Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Benedictine Revolution

St. Benedict's Rule started like a seed. He wrote it at Monte Cassino and gave it to those who desired to live his life. After his death, like the seed that sprouted, those formed by the Rule began to move on to other places. Pope St. Gregory commissioned Benedictine monks to evangelize the Angles in England and from the local monastery of St. Andrew, forty monks, under the leadership of St. Augustine, set out to fulfill this mission. Interestingly, they wanted (very much) to turn back, terrified of the barbarians to whom they were sent, but the Pope insisted. They went on to found the monastery at Canterbury. 

The Rule spread rapidly, adapted as necessary to the time and place. It brought the Gospel to those living in darkness with gentleness and persistence. The people learned from the monks how to follow Christ in well ordered lives. 

The times then were much like ours - disordered, unfaithful, set on this world. The light of Benedict may well be an answer to the question: How do we find God? It is the way of Christ.

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