The Rule of St. Benedict

On July 11th, the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Benedict, the father of Western monasticism and the founder of the Benedictine Order. The Rule that he composed to oversee the life of the monks is both insightful and timely for all Christians to reflect upon, especially in these turbulent times both in society and in our Church.

In a world that is growing intolerant, self-centered and animated by a spirit of confrontation and disrespect, let us reflect upon these words from the Rule of St. Benedict:

“Just as there exists an evil fervor, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell, so there is a good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life. Monks should put this fervor into practice with an overflowing love: that is, they should surpass each other in mutual esteem, accept their weaknesses, either of body or of behavior, with the utmost patience; and vie with each other in acceding to requests. No one should follow what he considers to be good for himself, but rather what seems good for another. They should display brotherly love in a chaste manner; fear God in a spirit of love; revere their abbot with a genuine and submissive affection. Let them put Christ before all else; and may he lead us all to everlasting life.”

I wonder what the Church and society would look like if every Christian lived what Saint Benedict asks?

The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.