Update Memorial of St Benedict 2013

 "Saint Benedict, along with his twin sister, Saint Scholastica, was born in the Umbrian hill town of Norcia in Italy around 480. He was sent to Rome for studies at a time when the Roman empire was reeling from barbarian invasions. 

Benedict left Rome to become a hermit for three years at Subiaco in the mountains northeast of Rome. As people sought him out for spiritual guidance he developed a community of monks.
Eventually the monks moved farther south to Monte Cassino, high above the road going from Rome to Naples. Here Benedict wrote a Rule which brought together the wisdom of monastic tradition with his own deep understanding of human beings. Benedict died around 547.
His monastery at Monte Cassino was destroyed three times over the centuries but continues in existence today. The bodies of Benedict and Scholastica are buried beneath the high altar of the church. Saint Benedict was declared to be the Patron of Europe by Pope Paul VI. The church celebrates the feast of Saint Benedict on July 11th. Benedictines also observe the older feast of his death on March 21st. Saint Scholastica is honoured on February 10th."

Source of text and image above  from here.

Ora et Labora : Prayer and Work. Image Source Zdroj: iStock
Click here for an interesting post on the rule of St Benedict as applied to Young Adults, which draws on the work of Esther de Waal. Extract is below...

"In her own reflection on the Rule of St. Benedict, Esther de Waal describes the Rule and the vows taken in conjunction with it as meeting very basic needs of the human condition. “They are not, as they might seem at first glance, about negation, restriction and limitation,” but rather “they are based on a commitment which is both total and continuing…the paradox is that they bring freedom.” [6]

As a young adult, in the midst of regular chaos and instability, the Rule of St. Benedict provides a means for stability (on a human level), a common purpose (on the communal level) and an avenue toward a deeper and more intimate relationship with God on the spiritual level."

Click here and here for my posts on this feast from last year, which coincided with a conference I attended at the Benedictine monastery at Buckfast Abbey in Devon.

Don''t forget to check out the i Benedictines blog here written by Benedictine nuns from Holy Trinity Monastery, formerly of East Hendred, now at Howton Grove Priory, U.K.

Click here for another post on Benedictine Fr. Laurence Freeman's "Five Essential Things." and my own previous post from 2012 here.

This is Fr Laurence's letter to the Oblate community at Meditatio House, posted on their facebook page for today's feast....

"Dearest Friends in St Benedict
At the beginning of every day the members of the Meditatio House Oblate Community in London meet to discuss the day's section of the Rule. The house runs in the spirit of the Rule, welcoming guests, sharing the workload in an orderly way and everyone in the house, including those who work in the International Office on the top floor, and, morning, midday and evening, stop doing what they are doing and come to the oratory for the office and meditation.
Our discussion of the Rule of the day is usually heartfelt and deep. People open to each other and themselves with the key to wisdom, kindness and self-understanding that the Rule rarely fails to provide. It is obvious in this way how even St Benedict's apparently minor provisions have a subtle power to make all the details of our lives significant and to help us understand what praying continuously might really mean in practice.
For every oblate in the World Community the Rule should in this way be an increasingly familiar guide to life as we live it at all levels, inner and external - how we deal with our own and others' faults and how we can turn problems into opportunities for receiving the 'divinising light' of the Word to which our whole lives become a growing obedience.
On this Feast of St Benedict I send you my love and gratitude for the witness that the Oblate Community is making about the possibility of living a balanced, centred and peaceful life even in the middle of modern stress and speed. By sharing in the life and work of the World Community, through sharing the gift of meditation with others, our oblates also make visible in the whole community the essential influence of Benedict in our mission.
I and the community of Meditatio House will be celebrating the Feast with my Olivetan brothers and sisters at Turvey Abbey near London. We will keep you warmly in our heart this day, with much love

July, 2013
Laurence Freeman
Meditatio House
32 Hamilton Road
London W5 2EH

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