lectio divina. Today's monks sit on the chairs; in previous centuries, they sat on the stone steps that circle the room. And outside this room, carved high on an arch is where yesterday's Devil is found. This carving is the only one of a person or animal in the entire monastery. Perhaps it's there to remind the praying monks that as they leave this room, the Devil and worldly temptation are always waiting.
"What is the use of placing these ridiculous monsters, beautiful horrors, and horrible beauties under the eyes of the monk when he must read and meditate?...It then becomes more pleasant to read the marble than the manuscripts and one spends days contemplating these sculptures one after the other instead of meditating on the law of God."