Posted in MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Thought for the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Excerpt from the Homily of Pope Benedict

General Audience, 9 April 2008

“Today, I would like to speak about Benedict, the Founder of Western Monasticism and also the Patron of my Pontificate.

I begin with words that St Gregory the Great wrote about St Benedict:  “The man of God who shone on this earth among so many miracles was just as brilliant in the eloquent exposition of his teaching” (cf. Dialogues II, 36).   The great Pope wrote these words in 592 AD.   The holy monk, who had died barely 50 years earlier, lived on in people’s memories and especially in the flourishing religious Order he had founded.   St Benedict of Nursia/Norcia, with his life and his work, had a fundamental influence on the development of European civilisation and culture.   The most important source on Benedict’s life is the second book of St Gregory the Great’s Dialogues.   It is not a biography in the classical sense.   In accordance with the ideas of his time, by giving the example of a real man – St Benedict, in this case – Gregory wished to illustrate the ascent to the peak of contemplation which can be achieved by those who abandon themselves to God.   He therefore gives us a model for human life in the climb towards the summit of perfection.   St Gregory the Great also tells in this book of the Dialogues of many miracles worked by the Saint and here too he does not merely wish to recount something curious but rather to show how God, by admonishing, helping and even punishing, intervenes in the practical situations of man’s life.   Gregory’s aim was to demonstrate that God is not a distant hypothesis placed at the origin of the world but is present in the life of man, of every man.

Throughout the second book of his Dialogues, Gregory shows us how St Benedict’s life was steeped in an atmosphere of prayer, the foundation of his existence.   Without prayer there is no experience of God.   Yet Benedict’s spirituality was not an interiority removed from reality.   In the anxiety and confusion of his day, he lived under God’s gaze and in this very way never lost sight of the duties of daily life and of man with his practical needs.   Seeing God, he understood the reality of man and his mission.   In his Rule he describes monastic life as “a school for the service of the Lord” (Prol. 45) and advises his monks, “let nothing be preferred to the Work of God” [that is, the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours] (43, 3).

However, Benedict states that in the first place prayer is an act of listening (Prol. 9-11), which must then be expressed in action.   “The Lord is waiting every day for us to respond to his holy admonitions by our deeds” (Prol. 35).   Thus, the monk’s life becomes a fruitful symbiosis between action and contemplation, “so that God may be glorified in all things” (57, 9).   In contrast with a facile and egocentric self-fulfilment, today often exalted, the first and indispensable commitment of a disciple of St Benedict is the sincere search for God (58, 7) on the path mapped out by the humble and obedient Christ (5, 13), whose love he must put before all else (4, 21; 72, 11) and in this way, in the service of the other, he becomes a man of service and peace  . In the exercise of obedience practised by faith inspired by love (5, 2), the monk achieves humility (5, 1), to which the Rule dedicates an entire chapter (7).   In this way, man conforms ever more to Christ and attains true self-fulfilment as a creature in the image and likeness of God.

Benedict describes the Rule he wrote as “minimal, just an initial outline” (cf. 73, 8);  in fact, however, he offers useful guidelines not only for monks but for all who seek guidance on their journey toward God.   For its moderation, humanity and sober discernment between the essential and the secondary in spiritual life, his Rule has retained its illuminating power even to today.

By proclaiming St Benedict Patron of Europe on 24 October 1964, Paul VI intended to recognise the marvellous work the Saint achieved with his Rule for the formation of the civilisation and culture of Europe.

Having recently emerged from a century that was deeply wounded by two World Wars and the collapse of the great ideologies, now revealed as tragic utopias, Europe today is in search of its own identity.   Of course, in order to create new and lasting unity, political, economic and juridical instruments are important, but it is also necessary to awaken an ethical and spiritual renewal which draws on the Christian roots of the Continent, otherwise a new Europe cannot be built.   Without this vital sap, man is exposed to the danger of succumbing to the ancient temptation of seeking to redeem himself by himself – a utopia which in different ways, in 20th-century Europe, as Pope John Paul II pointed out, has caused “a regression without precedent in the tormented history of humanity” (Address to the Pontifical Council for Culture, 12 January 1990).

Today, in seeking true progress, let us also listen to the Rule of St Benedict as a guiding light on our journey.   The great monk is still a true master at whose school we can learn to become proficient in true humanism.

Here is a PDF of the Rule for downloading:  http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0480-0547,_Benedictus_Nursinus,_Regola,_EN.pdf

St Benedict, Pray for Europe, Pray for the World,

Pray for the Church, Pray for us all!st-benedict-pray-for-us-11 july 2017 - 3

Advertisements
Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

“Ora et labora.”ora et labora - st benedict - 11 july 2018

“Be careful to be gentle,
lest in removing the rust,
you break the whole instrument.”becareful-to-be-gentle-st-benedict-11 july 2017

“He should first show them,
in deeds,
rather than words,
all that is good and holy.”first show them in deeds - 11 july 2018

“Before all
and above all,
attention shall be paid
to the care of the sick,
so that they shall be served,
as if they were Christ Himself.”before all and above all - st benedict - 11 july 2018

“He who labours as he prays,
lifts his heart to God with his hands.”

“Whenever you begin any good work,
you should first of all,
make a most pressing appeal
to Christ our Lord,
to bring it to perfection.”

St Benedict of Nursia (c 480-547)he-who-labours-as-he-prays-st-benedict-11 july 2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

One Minute Reflection – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit; he whom you serve is the Lord…….Romans 12:11romans-12-11- 11 july 2017

REFLECTION – “There exists an evil fervour, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell.   Similarly, there is a good fervour, which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life.”…St Benedictst-benedict-there-exists-an-evil-fervour- 11 july 2017

PRAYER – Loving Father, grant me to have a true fervour in Your service.   Let me never tire of following Your Son’s example and avoiding evil.   Grant that by the intercession of St Benedict, we may grow in holiness and attain our eternal home with You.   We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st-benedict-pray-for-us-11 july 2017 -2

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 11 July – St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Our Morning Offering – 11 July – St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

O God, Be With Us
St Benedict (c480-547)

O God,
from Whom to be turned, is to fall,
to Whom to be turned, is to rise,
and in Whom to stand, is to abide forever,
grant us in all our duties, Your help,
in all our perplexities, Your guidance,
in all our dangers, Your protection,
and in all our sorrows, Your peace,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ameno god from whom to be turned is to fall - st benedict - 11 july 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 July – St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547) Patron of Europe and Founder of Western Monasticism

Saint of the Day – 11 July – St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547) Patron of Europe and Founder of Western Monasticism.   Some of his many Patronages – Against Poison, Against Witchcraft, Agriculture, Cavers, Civil Engineers, Coppersmiths, Dying People, Farmers, Fevers, Inflammatory Diseases, Kidney Disease, Monks, Religious Orders, Schoolchildren, Temptations.BenedictinosSaint_Bendict_of_Nurcia

St Benedict founded twelve communities for monks about 40 miles east of Rome, before moving to Monte Cassino, in the mountains of southern Italy.   St Benedict’s main achievement is his “Rule”, containing precepts for his monks.    The unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness influences it and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout Middle Ages, to adopt it.    As a result, the Rule of St Benedict became one of the most influential religious rules in western Christendom.    For this reason, Benedict is often called the “founder” of western Christian Monasticism. Heiligenkreuz.St._Benedict

St Benedict is the twin brother of St Scholastica and is considered patron of many things.    He was born in Nursia, Italy and educated in Rome.Scholastica-and-Benedictmy snip - benedict and scholastica - domenico corvi 1721-1803

benedict and schalastica
St Benedict and hisd twin sister, St Scholastica

He was repelled by the vices of the city and around 500, fled to Enfide – thirty miles away.    He decided to live the life of a hermit and lived in a cave for three years.    Despite Benedict’s desire for solitude, his holiness became known and he was asked to be the Abbot by a community of monks at Vicovaro.    He accepted but when the monks resisted his strict rule and tried to poison him, he returned to Subiaco and became a centre of spirituality and learning. champaigne_philippe_dezzzscene_from_the_life_of_st_benedict-_the_poisoned_cup_of_wine

st benedict and the cup of poison
St Benedict and the Cup of Poison

He eventually moved back to Monte Cassino and destroyed a temple to Apollo on its crest and brought the people of the neighbouring area back to Christianity.    In 530 he began to build the monastery that was to be the birthplace of western monasticism.  data=dfJwSHpr2UU2dqoWYuGhCM6f93gIUaI8nJa4qy1CkuUIECsLTKt97nBY-VhQhXiVd_QY-L05N6sf2u3rW46w2dOiTQnblInFmXtgNjvDhRy3fFbi1V8nbtijMOtdHPafZzrH1YTVpMw1z2hkH7TuHn4S98gGrYdfEAmGGjSfyVFG-Zr-PNRk8

Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-2005-0004,_Italien,_Monte_Cassino
Monte Cassino in ruins after Allied bombing in February 1944.
1024px-Monte_Cassino_Opactwo_1
Rebuilt Abbey

Soon, disciples again flocked to him as his reputation for holiness, wisdom and miracles spread far and wide.    It wasn’t long and he organised his monks into a single monastic community and wrote his official Rule, prescribing common sense, a life of moderate asceticism, prayer, study, work and community under one superior.    It stressed obedience, stability, zeal and had the Divine Office as the centre of monastic life.    While ruling his monks, most of whom – including Benedict, were not ordained, he counselled rulers and Popes and ministered to the poor and destitute.    He died at Monte Cassino on 21 March 547 and was named patron protector of Europe by Pope Paul VI in 1964.    The Universal Church celebrates his feast day today. San_Benedetto_da_Norcia_ABst benedict and monks

The St Benedict medal is very popular among Christians to this day and are hung above doors and windows, for protection against evil.    It is believed that evil cannot enter your house if you protect every opening with a St Benedict medal and Crucifix.    The medal has an image of St Benedict, holding the Holy Rule in his left hand and a cross in his right.    There is a raven on one side of him, with a cup on the other side.    Around the medal’s outer margin are the words “Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur” – “May we, at our death, be fortified by His presence”.   The other side of the medal has a cross with the initials CSSML on the vertical bar which signify “Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” “May the Holy Cross be my light” and on the horizontal bar are the initials NDSMD which stand for “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” “Let not the dragon be my overlord”.   The initials CSPB stand for “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” “The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict” and are located on the interior angles of the cross.   Either the inscription “PAX” Peace or the Christogram “HIS” may be found at the top of the cross in most cases.   Around the medal’s margin on this side are the initials VRSNSMV which stand for “Vade Retro Satana, Nonquam Suade Mihi Vana” ”Begone Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities” then a space followed by the initials SMQLIVB which signify “Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas” “Evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison”.st benedict medalst benedict medal 2st benedict crucifix and medal

The Medal of St Benedict can serve as a constant reminder of the need for us to take up our cross daily and “follow the true King, Christ our Lord,” and thus learn “to share in his heavenly kingdom,” as St. Benedict urges us in the Prologue of his Rule.

More on St Benedict, his Rule and the Medal here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/saint-of-the-day-11-july-st-benedict-of-nursia-o-s-b-abbot-patron-of-europe-patronus-europae/saint-benedict-nursia-munsterschwarzach-germany-83888371768px-Einsiedeln_-_St._Benedikt_2013-01-26_13-50-02_(P7700)

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 February – The Memorial of St Julian the Hospitaller (unknown date of birth and death)

One Minute Reflection – 12 February – The Memorial of St Julian the Hospitaller (unknown date of birth and death)

I was ill and you comforted me…..
As often as you did it for one
of my least brothers, you did it for me…….Matthew 25:26,40matthew-25-36,40-2017

REFLECTION – “Before all things and above all things, care must be taken of the sick. They must be served in every deed as Christ Himself.”…………….St Benedictbefore-all-things-and-above-all-things-stbenedict-12 feb 2017

PRAYER – Jesus, infinite Healer, teach me to visit and comfort the sick.   Help me always to see You in them and not count the cost. St Julian, you were a perfect example of giving your utmost love to the sick, please pray for us, amen!st julian the hospitaller - pray for us - 12 feb 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 10 February – The Memorial of St Scholastica (c 480-543), the Twin Sister of St Benedict (480-547)

Our Morning Offering – 10 February – The Memorial of St Scholastica (c 480-543), the Twin Sister of St Benedict (480-547)

Father, in Your Goodness, Grant Me ….
St Benedict

Father, in Your goodness,
grant me
the intellect to comprehend You,
the perception to discern You,
and the reason to appreciate You.
In Your kindness
endow me with
the diligence to look for You,
the wisdom to discover You
and the spirit to apprehend You.
In Your graciousness
bestow on me
a heart to contemplate You,
ears to hear You,
eyes to see You,
and a tongue to speak of You.
In Your mercy confer on me
a conversation pleasing to You,
the patience to wait for You,
and the perseverance to long for You.
Grant me a perfect end,
Your holy presence.
Amen.father, in your goodness, grant me - st benedict - 10 feb 2018 memorial of st scholastica