Medieval monks said that a monastery without a library is like an army without weapons. For this reason, we also have a collection of books divided into sections according the the traditions of Christian humanism: Scripture, Theology, Philosophy, Literature, Art, History and Music.
In the fury of our world which is becoming more and more focussed on technolgy and utilitarianism, the Humanities allow one to express the inexpressable, record and understand the past, imagine the ideal, create beauty, think on the essentials, look towards the future and contemplate the mystery of a life which does not end with our biological death.
St. Benedict organized the day of his monks and established that during Lent the brothers shall devote themselves to reading until the third hour. Then they will work at their assigned tasks until the end of the tenth hour. Also, during this time, each monk shall receive a book from the library, which he should read carefully cover to cover. (RB 48: 14-16)
St. Benedict considered teh monk a disciple in the school of divine service. His mission was to listen to Christ, the Master, in order to absorb wisdom. The Bible is of course the greatest of books for reading the lives of the holy; however, in conjunction to the Bible, there is much to be gleaned from the lives of the Desert Fathers.