Thought for the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)
Benedict’s name means “blessed.” His most famous monastery, Monte Cassino, has been destroyed and rebuilt three times. His monks follow the motto Ora et labora, which means “Pray and work.”
It is unfortunate that no contemporary biography has been written of a man who has exercised the greatest influence on monasticism in the West. Benedict is well recognised in the later Dialogues of Saint Gregory but these are sketches to illustrate miraculous elements of his career. Pope Benedict did a great Catechesis on him, excerpt here and at the end, is a link to the Rule: https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/11/thought-for-the-day-11-july-the-memorial-of-st-benedict-of-nursia-osb-c-480-547/
The Rule that gradually developed prescribed a life of liturgical prayer, study, manual labour and living together in community under a common abbot. Benedictine asceticism is known for its moderation and Benedictine charity has always shown concern for the people in the surrounding countryside. In the course of the Middle Ages, all monasticism in the West was gradually brought under the Rule of St Benedict.
Today the Benedictine family is represented by two branches: the Benedictine Federation encompassing the men and women of the Order of St Benedict and the Cistercians, men and women of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.
The Church has been greatly blessed through Benedictine devotion to the liturgy, not only in its actual celebration with rich and proper ceremony in the great abbeys but also through the scholarly studies of many of its members. Liturgy is sometimes confused with guitars or choirs, Latin or Bach. We should be grateful to those who both preserve and adapt the genuine tradition in the Church, our great act of worship!
O God, Be With Us
St Benedict (c 480-547)
from Whom to be turned,
is to fall,
to Whom to be turned,
is to rise,
and in Whom to stand,
is to abide forever,
grant us in all our duties,
in all our perplexities,
in all our dangers,
and in all our sorrows,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
St Benedict, Pray for Europe, Pray for the Church, Pray for Us all!