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Practicing Benedict

To St. Benedict, on his feast day (A repost from last year)

My Dearest Benedict, You and I didn’t meet in the regular way. I wasn’t making lifelong vows in a sacred space, a cross pressed to my chest, holy fingers on my forehead. Instead, I was soaking in an Epson salt bath, recovering from birthing a child. (Something I’m guessing, you encountered little of in your ...

A Letter to St. Benedict, on his Feast Day *

My Dearest Benedict, You and I didn’t meet in the regular way. I wasn’t making lifelong vows in a sacred space, a cross pressed to my chest, holy fingers on my forehead. Instead, I was soaking in an Epson salt bath, recovering from birthing a child. (Something I’m guessing, you encountered little of in your ...

{Practicing Benedict} The Finale: A Beginning

The purpose for which we have written this rule is to make it clear that by observing it in our monasteries we can at least achieve the first steps in virtue and good monastic practice. Anyone, however, who wished to press on towards the highest standards of monastic life may turn to the teachings of the holy Fathers, which ...

{Practicing Benedict} The Good Spirit

“It is easy to recognize the bitter spirit of wickedness which creates a barrier to God’s grace and opens the way to the evil of hell. But equally there is a good spirit which frees us from evil ways and brings us closer to God and eternal life. It is this latter spirit that all who follow the monastic way of life ...

{Practicing Benedict} Gentle Piety, Warm Charity

At the entrance to the monastery there should be a wise senior who is too mature in stability to think of wandering about and who can deal with the enquiries and give whatever help is required. This official’s room should be near the main door so that visitors will always find someone there to greet them. As soon as ...

{Practicing Benedict} Compassion and Sober Judgment

“The abbot or abbess, once established in office, must often think about the demands made on them by the burden they have undertaken and consider also to whom they will have to give an account of their stewardship. They must understand the call of their office is not to exercise power over those who are their subjects but ...

{Practicing Benedict} Offering the Child

"If parents who are from the nobility want to offer to God in the monastery one of their children, who is too young to take personal responsibility, they should draw up a document like that described above and, as they make the offering, wrap the document with the child's hand in the altar cloth... Poor people may make ...