July 11, 2007

Benedict of Nursia

Category: Communion of Saints — Micah @ 12:00 am

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Good day, and welcome to Communion of Saints from stjeromeschapel.org. I’m your host, Micah Jackson. Today is July 11th, 2007: the feast of Blessed Benedict of Nursia.

If there were one man who deserved the title “The Father of Western Monasticism,” it would be the man we remember today, Benedict of Nursia. He was born at the end of the 5th century and spent his early adulthood in Rome. He really disliked the city. He disapproved of the way people lived there, especially the lack of respect the Roman had for each other, and the political instability that came from the end of the classical Roman society and the rising influence of the barbarian tribes.

He left the city in disgust and set himself up as an ascetic monk in a cave outside of the town of Subiaco, west of Rome. Slowly, other monks came to admire the way Benedict lived, and sought to join him. Towards the end of his life, he composed his famous Rule which set forth the basic principles that guided his practice. Using this document, generations of monks have been able to order themselves into productive communities of work and prayer. In recent times even those who are not monks have distilled much wisdom from The Rule of Benedict, finding the idea of a rule one that helps them to find a way to pray and work as constant praise to God.

The reading for today comes from Proverbs, and tells of the value of listening to the wisdom of those who have already blazed a trail through the spiritual wilderness and left a path. “My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding… then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God… Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path.” (Proverbs 2:1-9)

Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, your precepts are the wisdom of a loving Father: Give us grace, following the teaching and example of your servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord’s service; let your ears be open to our prayers; and prosper with your blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thank you for listening to Communion of Saints. Please join us on July 17th at stjeromeschapel.org for the feast of Blessed William White. I’m Micah Jackson. May God be with you.

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