des working, the monks prayed. Hours every day were spent in prayer, which must have been more of the nature of meditation than intercession. In the intervals of prayer and work they sang or said psalms, and often repeated aloud long passages from the prophets. Books were scarce among them, and we read of monks visiting. each other for the purpose of learning off by heart fresh passages of Holy Scripture. The attainment of unbroken monotony was a thing greatly to be desired. Perfect quietness was the monk's opportunity for spiritual communion with God. Therefore they regarded restlessness and the wish for change as a sin to be fought against. Long periods of unbroken monotony were liable to produce in the monk a spirit of irritable peevishness and discontent with his surroundings, which was recognised as subversive of true spirituality. They called this state of mind "accidie" and held that it was the work of a special demon. The monk felt its force chiefly during the long hours of daylight when he grew weary
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