Sunday, September 07, 2014

Benedict Option? I don't think that phrase means what you think it does.

Whenever I hear someone talk about the Benedict Option I wonder they know what that really means. St. Benedict did not stand up one day and announce, "This empire is doomed. Me and my boys are going to head to the backwoods and watch it burn. If any lay people show up we'll teach them all the arts and sciences they forgot after the barbarians destroyed everything." 

The saint was a hermit for years before founding his monasteries. I don't see St. Benedict and his sister, St. Scholastica as hiding from the world or deciding to build a private little community for lay people. They were serving God first, and striving to save souls. The preservation of Western culture came later, much later as a happy side effect on Benedictine monasticism.  If you and a few like minded families go off some where intending to build a utopia you won't be latter day St. Benedicts.  If you really want to imitate St. Benedict then leave all behind and head to the monastery or the convent. If you are called to the lay state then you can become a Benedictine oblate.  


newguy40 said...

I find myself lately with a strong desire to just pull in and hunker down and see what happens the rest of the year.

Did you see Of Gods and Men? Certainly a lesson there. Are you familiar with Lindisfarne priory and how many many times the Vikings sacked it and killed or enslaved all the religious?

Maybe I should just stop reading the news...?

Pauli said...

The truth is that there are many different vocations in the Church, the body of Christ, just as there are many different parts of the human body. Yet all these vocations require hard work and sacrifice. If God calls me to leave everything would I say "YES!"? I'd like to think so, however when he asks me to do much smaller things I often say "NO!" So... that's all I've got to say about that....

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Though scriptoria and libraries and schools came with the time more and more to be dine by Benedictines, and scriptoria and libraries WAS planned, one cannot say everyone outside monasteries were Barbarians as we use the word.

Dynasties of rulers and newcomers to nobility could often be Barbarians in the technical sense of being neither Greek nor Roman by origin. Does NOT mean they were knownothings.