Benedictines: September 2009 Archives
First comes the word of God that addresses me, touches me, calls me into question, wounds and judges me, but also heals and frees me. Both prayer and silence can only be an answer to God's word and may not precede it.
Thus Benedict requires that prayer should be frequent, but short. In it the monastic is to respond to the word of God and express his or her readiness to follow God's demands with deeds. Thus we find in Benedict's Rule no teaching on mystical prayer, but very sober instruction to open one's daily life to God again and again in every situation.
What is crucial is not our doing, but living before God, in God's presence, listening to God's word that addresses us and shows us the way. In prayer the monastic responds that she or he has heard God's word and is now ready to follow it.
Benedict of Nursia His Message for Today
Anselm Grun OSB
The monks of Cistercian Abbey, Spring Bank, WI, are featured in a PBS video.
These monks are proprietors of LaserMonks.com, a non-profit work providing a discount prices items for your printers and other products (some of which made by monks & nuns of other monasteries).
Watch the video...it's fascinating to see their vocation lived.
The Benedictine ideal of the human being is not that of one who achieves and accomplishes things, not a person with an unusual religious gift, not a great ascetic, but the wise and mature person who knows how to bring people together, who creates around herself or himself an atmosphere of peace and mutual understanding.
Behind this ideal image stands a high demand. No one can simply resolve to become a peacemaker. Only those who have created peace within themselves can make peace, only those who have become reconciled with themselves, their own weaknesses and faults, their needs and desires, their contradictory tendencies and ambitions.
Making peace is not a program of action that one could write on one's banners; rather, it must arise from inner peace. And inner peace is achieved only through a hard and unremitting struggle for inner purity and through prayer, in which one seeks to accept everything God presents, whether one's own weaknesses or those of others.
Benedict of Nursia: His Message for Today
Anselm Grun, OSB
PS: what Fr Anselm doesn't say is that creating an atmosphere of peace is harder than it looks, but don't stop striving.... The realization that we are person's with great inner need, as in we need a mother or we need friendship, like we need God, is born out in our abandonment to the Divine Plan of seeking a deeper communion with God, as John rested his head on the breast of Jesus.