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To answer that question let’s turn to the late Dom David Knowles, from Downside Abbey in England, who offered a timeless definition half a century ago. He wrote: “Benedictine monachism presents an objective form of life, sane, strong, unchanging from year to year, a life of work and liturgical prayer which can be seen and heard, lived in conditions which aim at representing all that is best in the basic family life of Christianity, aided by all human courtesies, reverences, and affections. It is nothing secret or esoteric, nor an impossibility, but an ordinary form of ordinary life.” (Benedictine Peace, 49-50)