In the Rule of Benedict., reading is an essential part of the monastic practice: giving a reader the role of reading during the noon meal. Nobody is expected to respond or discuss, but all are expected to listen carefully. In fact, nobody is invited to respond, for fear that their response would bring attention to themselves and diminish the message of the reading. So, too, with the reader: he is expected to do the reading in a way that minimizes his presence.
It reminds me of what a challenge it must be for any priest to say the liturgy and give the sermon in a way that diminishes him as an individual and instead highlights the Lord. It is a delicate balance because we all know how important is the teacher, the priest; but we also know that his/her role is to direct us towards the Holy one, not towards himself.
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