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?
When we pray regularly, we create an architecture in time that allows the transcendent to break through, slowly, imperceptibly – in the way flowing water shapes stone.
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.
When our will bumps up against the will of another, we can discern the desires of the true self.
During our Italy pilgrimage one morning we woke up in the Monastery of St. Scolastica, at the foot of the mountain of Cassino, on whose summit Benedict founded his last (and some say greatest) monastery, Monte Cassino. St. Scolastica is a striking contrast from the gold and power of Monte Cassino at the top of the mountain.
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.