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.