The monastic community is the place where we learn the practical business of loving. St Benedict describes it as a "School of the Lord's Service." We learn to serve Christ especially in those most in need: the old, the sick, the guests and pilgrims that come to the monastery.
Benedict set before his community a vision inspired by love: "This zeal, therefore monks must practise with fervent love: They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other, supporting with the greatest patience one another's weaknesses of body or behaviour, and earnestly competing in obedience to one another. Not one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead what he judges better for someone else. To their fellow monks they must show the pure love of brothers; to God loving fear; to their abbot, unfeigned and humble love. Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life" (Ch 72)