"They are truly monks when they live by the labor of their hands, as did our fathers and the apostles" --Rule of St. Benedict
The early monks supported themselves by the work of their hands, usually weaving mats, hats, rugs, baskets, and other products which they later sold at nearby local markets. Work is an integral part of all human life, be it inside or outside a monastery. Therefore, monks seriously apply themselves to the humble task of earning their living, not wishing to beg or be a burden to anyone. What differentiates the monk's approach to work from that of others is the attitude he brings to it. Monastic work is functional. It is not motivated by a desire for a career or for success, and even less by greed. The function of monastic work consists of the imitation of of Jesus and St. Joseph, the humble carpenters of Nazareth. Along with Mary, they give us an example of how to live and order the pattern of our lives. The second function of monastic work is to provide for the monastery and those who inhabit it. The third important aspect of all monastic work is the element of balance which work brings to the daily rhythm of the monastic life.