Monday, 11 July 2016

St Benedict of Nursia

Today seems as good a day as any to resume blogging after several weeks' break. With all the upheavals of Brexit, the chaos of UK politics and violence around the world, it's a relief to focus on a Christian saint who valued kindness. Just imagine a world in which kindness is institutionalised. How different would that be?

Today is a feast day of St Benedict of Nursia (480 - 547 A.D.), Abbot of Monte Cassino and founder of Western Monasticism. He lived at a time of political upheaval as the old Roman Empire crumbled. His rule is based on a balance of prayer, work, sacred reading and sleep which offered a distinctively Christian culture. Rather than following prevailing secular culture his legacy helped to shape modern Europe through education, welfare provision, the arts and the practice of hospitality.

15 centuries after St Benedict's death his rule of monastic life is the most widely used in Christian monastic communities. You can find a brief account of St Benedict and his legacy here.

St Benedict's chief aim for the communities he founded was to lead people to God.

Here is a prayer that I love that is attributed to St Benedict:

Gracious and holy Father, 
please give me: 
intellect to understand you; 
reason to discern you; 
diligence to seek you; 
wisdom to find you; 
a spirit to know you; 
a heart to meditate upon you; 
ears to hear you; 
eyes to see you; 
a tongue to proclaim you; 
a way of life pleasing to you; 
patience to wait for you; 
and perseverance to look for you. 

Grant me: 
a perfect end, 
your holy presence, 
a blessed resurrection 
and life everlasting.

Image Credit: Flickr, CC License

4 comments:

  1. Welcome back, Nancy. A lovely post. Benedict has always been one of my inspirations.

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    1. Thank you for the welcome back. I've got out of the habit of regular posting, but hope to get back to it and your comment has encouraged that.

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  2. Welcome back to blogging. A difficult time for our country when we certainly need to pray for kindness, a focus on welfare and clear leadership.

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    1. To say this is a difficult time for our country is an understatement I think. There's certainly a need for praying for and practising kindness and promote policies which will enhance the welfare of all and not just the few. Thanks for the welcome back.

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