St Benedict

Today is the feast of St Benedict. He lived between 480-547.

 

Benedict lived at a time of great change. The Roman Empire had collapsed in Western Europe.

 

The various Barbarian invasions had been taking place.

 

Society was in turmoil.

 

In the midst of all this, he became a hermit in Subiaco. His reputation for living the Christian life grew.

 

Eventually, he began to organise small groups of monks and nuns living in the community.

 

The famous rule of St Benedict was developed by him. It has endured the test of time because of its wisdom.

 

It is aimed at helping people to be holy in a very human and down-to-earth fashion.

 

The Benedictine order, as it came to be called, grew and spread around Europe.

 

The monasteries became great centres of learning, culture, and development in the sciences and agriculture as well as being centres of Christian spirituality.

 

These monasteries slowly helped the development of society in the ‘dark ages’.

 

They became islands of missionary activity among the various ‘barbarians’.

 

They served a great need for the Church in their times. To this very day, the Benedictine order contributes in a great way to the life of the Church.

 

We need to discern the best models of the Christian community for our times. As we listen attentively to the Holy Spirit, God will guide us to be more in tune with his plan.

 

Like so many other founders of great movements in the Church, St Benedict saw a need and something about it. The monastic movement that he founded has gone through various forms of review restructuring and evolution. Under the guidance of the holy spirit and with true catholic openness we also need in our time to open to the promptness of the holy spirit. We need to continuously see appraise and act in our time, and every time.