Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Passing of St. Benedict

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benedict_rule_web224. It is not only the bygone ages that had reason to profit from the benefits of this Patriarch; our own age has many important lessons to learn from him. Let those first of all who belong to his numerous family learn - We do not doubt that they do - to follow daily ever more closely in his illustrious footsteps and let each reduce to the practice of ordinary life the principles and example of his virtue and sanctity. Thus they who in obedience to a supernatural call followed a heavenly sent vocation to embrace the monastic life, not only will correspond with it wholeheartedly and efficiently, seeking the peace and the calm not of their own conscience and their own eternal salvation alone, but they will also be able to labor with better effect for the common good of Christianity and for the promotion of God's glory.

25. Furthermore, all the classes of society, if they studiously and seriously examine the life, teaching and glorious achievements of St. Benedict, cannot but fall under the influence of his gentle but powerful inspiration; indeed they will spontaneously recognize that even our age troubled and anxious for the vast material and moral ruins, perils and losses that have been heaped up, can borrow from him the needed remedies. But before all, let them remember and consider that the sacred principles of religion and its norms of conduct are the safest and soundest foundations of human society; if they are disregarded and compromised, everything that promotes order, peace and prosperity among men and nations, as an almost necessary consequence, gradually collapses. The history of the Benedictine Order bears clear testimony to this, as we have seen; and it was already clearly grasped by that cultured mind of ancient pagan times when he expressed the judgment: "You, Pontiffs, give greater security to the city by religion than by the encircling walls". Also, "when holiness and religion are removed, there follows a life of turmoil and great confusion; and I would venture to say that when devotion to the gods fails, then fail trustworthiness, human society, and justice - that most excellent of all virtues".

Pope Venerable Pius XII
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