Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Man for Our Times

St. Benedict lived in a time of complete chaos. The central government of Rome had been destroyed. Vandals struck at the old trade routes, and attacked the ports, ruining trade and ending the lucrative merchant houses. People were without basic needs.

Roads became the haunts of robbers and villains. Lending businesses, mints, and storage houses were plundered.

The law and order which prevailed under Roman Rule fell into disuse, with only some local governors maintaining order with their own local militias and their own charismatic personalities or virtuous reputations.

Morality sunk to new lows. The Christians fled the large cities and urban areas for the first time and went into the country, creating the Christian Diaspora which made Europe Catholic,

In the midst of all of this, a young man was born to a local government official, a young man who would change the course of both material and physical history. In 480, to a classical family, Benedict entered this world he would change.

From his journey with God, he became the inventor of Western monasticism, and Catholic education. Not only did the Benedictines preserve the ancient Greek and Roman texts of all subjects, but they carried on and Christianized the Trivium and Quadrivium.

The Rule of St. Benedict created common sense ways of not only perserving the Faith, but passing it on to future generations, in the silent hard work of Laborare et Orare.

Out of chaos came order. Out of gross immorality came sanctity. Out of ignorance came learning.

Seeking God in prayer, work and learning became the hallmarks of the Benedictine way.

Benedictine's genius is the way for us today.

Years ago, in my twenties, I fell in love with Bernard of Clairvaux, who I call the Saint of Love. From there, I studied and learned the Rule of St. Benedict. One can never exhaust this Rule.

The ways of St. Benedict can be considered our way forward in chaos, as we are in chaos.

When Benedict stood in the hills of Nursia, and finally, at Monte Cassino, he looked at the order he, through grace, has brought back into the world. We are standing on those same hills, but staring at chaos wondering what to do.

From the Cheviot Hills, to the  Pennines, to the Yorkshire Dales, to the  Peak District, to the Lake District, to the North York Moors, to the  Shropshire Hills, to the the Cotswolds, to the Chiltern Hills, to the North Downs, to the North Wessex Downs, to the Mendip Hills, to Exmoor and to Dartmoor, one can look down and see the chaos St. Benedict witnessed. But, he did something, and we can do the same.

I highly suggest in these dire times which will get worse doing three things.

One, move close to Farnborough, or Buckfast or Colwich or Ryde or Tyburn. 

Two, enter into, as much as possible, the Divine Office at these places.

Three, if you are single, ask to join the monasteries. If you are called to the lay life, or too old to join, become an Oblate.

Destroy the chaos in yourselves and outside of yourselves. Renew England with the Rule of St. Benedict.

Think that the Pope Emeritus was instructing us by choosing the name of Benedict for his own. 

Choose Benedictinism. Remember that England became Catholic because of Pope St. Gregory the Great, St. Augustine of Canterbury and St. Laurence, plus other Benedictines, who brought the Faith to the Island.

Remember St. Anselm who renewed the seminaries and re-introduced the trivium and quadrivium to the seminaries. Remember the Benedictine martyrs.

Blessed John Beche, Abbot of Colchester, 1 December 1539
Blessed Hugh Faringdon, Abbot of Reading, 14 November 1539 
Blessed Richard Whiting, Abbot of Glastonbury, 15 November 1539
Blessed John Rugg, 15 November 1539
Blessed John Thorne, 15 November 1539 
St. John Roberts, 10 December 1610
St. Alban Bartholomew Roe, 21 January 1642
Blessed Mark Barkworth, 27 February 1601
Blessed George Gervase, 11 April 1608
Blessed Maurus Scott, 30 May 1612
Blessed Philip Powell, 30 June 1646

Blessed Thomas Pickering, 9 May 1679 (Benedictine lay brother)

Become a Benedictine and save England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

And, pray for me, this little Benedictine soul, so that someday I may return to the Isle, Mary's Dowry.

1 comment:

  1. " Our hearts and our bodies must, therefore, be ready to do battle under the biddings of holy obedience; and let us ask the Lord that He supply by the help of His grace what is impossible to us by nature."
    Rule of St Benedict

    Thank you for your reflective postings...I shall pray for you


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...