All tagged Saint Benedict

For one quarter of the day, every Benedictine is supposed to do reading from the monastery library. But here is the crucial insight. The point is not to have the reader go through the book. It is instead for the book to go through the reader. How different would we read the Christmas story, if we do not just go through the story but let the story go through us?

It’s seems an open secret that being alone is an important art, but that most of us find it difficult to do. In fact, being alone can be dangerous: One can fall into loneliness and despair. But solitude is different from loneliness, it neither means nor endorses leaving people behind, but calls us to retreat into the presence of the moment in which we are alone with God.

On Monday of last week, we visited a cave in a valley near Subiaco, a one-hour drive directly west of Rome, into the Apennine mountains that run down the center of the peninsula. Benedict’s story begins in this cave where, as a young man he spent 3 years as a hermit, with a local monk lowering him food in a basket.