When Saint Benedict established a rule for monastic life more that 1,500 years ago, he urged monks to dedicate their lives to opus dei, "the Work of God." as he referred to it. At Saint Joseph Abbey, the community gathers five times a day for common prayer, thereby establishing a rhythm that becomes the fabric of their lives. At the day's center is the celebration of the Eucharist with the seminarians of St. Joseph Seminary College, retreatants and people in the surrounding area.

As a context for the Work of God, Saint Benedict requires monks to pray, read and reflect privately as well. Lectio Divina, that is, prayerful reading, flows from common prayer to the interior life of the monk and his relation to God. Monks read and meditate on sacred scripture, the Fathers of the Church and other spiritual writings. This leads them to acquire, like Mary, an appreciation of the Word of God in all creation.