Wed 11 Jul, 2012
Tags: Benedictine Sisters, Prayer, Scholastica, St. Benedict
This solemnity celebrating our founder gives us time to ponder and remember how the Benedictine monastic movement came to birth back in the sixth century.
We know of St. Benedict from the writings of St. Gregory in his Dialogues. Traditionally it is believed that Benedict and his twin sister, Scholastica, came from a wealthy Roman family in Nursia, Italy. Born around 480, they grew up privileged and led lives of distinction.
Around the turn of the century, a young Benedict traveled to Rome to continue his studies, and it was here that he became dispirited with the lack of morality in the so-called civilized culture. Thus, he left all behind and sought to live a life of worth and honor. Eventually he came to live in a cave where he fasted, prayed and developed a deep reverence for all things holy. During these years of solitude, Benedict grew in grace and wisdom.
Benedict’s life was a model that many followed and desired. After much entreating by those who found him out, Benedict moved back into community to be a spiritual guide and leader. His years of being abbot gave him wisdom and understanding enough to write a rule, The Rule of Benedict. He relied on other rules that were in existence as well as patristic writers such as John Cassian and St. Basil. However, it was his reliance on Holy Scripture that gave his rule some moderation. The influence of this rule made him famous and put his mark on western monasticism.
Since the beginning of the sixth century, women and men throughout the world have followed Benedict’s example and persevered in their journey of preferring nothing to the love of Christ and delving into the spiritual work of God. The Benedictine motto, ora et labora (pray and work), prescribes that all monks keep before them the balance of life necessary to grow in holiness.
Today we thank God for St. Benedict and St. Benedict for being a humble man of God. May we too prefer nothing to the love of Christ and together be lead to everlasting life (RB 782:11) St. Benedict intercede for us.
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