Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

St. Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monastism

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[St. Benedict] . . .  perfected the form of this project at Monte Cassino and wrote it down in the "Rule", his only work that has come done to us. Seeking among the ashes of the Roman Empire first of all the Kingdom of God, Benedict perhaps unknowingly scattered the seed of a new civilization that would develop, integrating Christian values with the classical heritage on the one hand, and on the other, the Germanic and Slav cultures.

Today, I would like to emphasize one typical aspect of his spirituality. Benedict, unlike other great monastic missionaries of his time, did not found a monastic institution whose principal aim was the evangelization of the barbarian peoples; he pointed out to his followers the search for God as the fundamental and indeed, one and only aim of life: "Quaerere Deum" [to seek God].

He knew, however, that when the believer enters into a profound relationship with God, he cannot be content with a mediocre life under the banner of a minimalistic ethic and a superficial religiosity. In this light one can understand better the expression that Benedict borrowed from St Cyprian and summed up in his Rule (IV, 21), the monks' programme of life: "Nihil amori Christi praeponere", "Prefer nothing to the love of Christ". Holiness consists of this, a sound proposal for every Christian that has become a real and urgent pastoral need in our time, when we feel the need to anchor life and history to sound spiritual references.

Pope Benedict XVI
from Angelus: St Peter's Square; Sunday, 10 July 2005

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  1. Happy Feast Day Oblates!!!!