We have the opportunity today to celebrate In Festo Omnium Sanctorum Ordinis S.P.N. Benedicti…who fought the good fight under the Rule of St Benedict. Let’s reflect on the supreme importance of the monastic vocation, past and present.
Do we support our Benedictine monasteries? I am thinking of the monastic communities at Portsmouth , St Meinrad, Regina Laudis, Our Lady of the Rock, Marmion, St Walburga, the Petersham Benedictine Communities (St Mary’s Monastery & St Scholastica Priory).
Monastic life is indispensable to the life of the Church, East and West, much less civil society.
The beautiful hymn (Avete Solitudinis) from First Vespers prior to the 1963 reform of the Monastic Breviary:
Hail dwellers in the solitude
And in the lowly cloister cell,
Who steadfast and unshaken stood
Against the raging hordes of hell.
All wealth of gold and precious stone
And glories all of rank and birth
You cast away and trampled on,
With all low pleasures of this earth.
The green fields and the orchards grew
The simple fare whereon ye fed.
The brook was drink enough for you,
And on the hard ground was your bed.
Around you dwelt the venomed snakes,
And fiercest monsters harboured near.
All foul forms that the demon takes
You saw, but would not yield to fear.
Far, far beyond all earthly things
Your burning thoughts would wing their flight,
And hear the holy whisperings
Of angels in the heavenly height.
Thou Father of the heavenly host,
Thou glorious Son of Mary maid,
Thou Paraclete, the Holy Ghost,
To Thee be praise and glory paid.