Friday, 4 September 2009

Benedictine Charism

Right. Moved house, getting hang of new job, must get into this blogging malarky again.

An interesting article from Sub Tuum. Love the last line.

....In short, we have no charism. We're not practicing the spirituality of X while doing work Y and wearing the habit of Z. We have no distinct spirituality, though it can sometimes look as if we do since we have maintained the office while it has gone by the wayside to varying degrees elsewhere. We have no manuals or exercises. We have no distinctive apostolate. We wear a basic habit free of distinctive trinkets. In 1500 years the Benedictine family has produced preachers, teachers, mystics, and theologians, but the first task was always simply to seek God and try to try to save our own souls. A Benedictine monastery is just a place to try to live out the Christian life. It ultimately has no other purpose or mission....

....We pray for our own ongoing conversions and growth in compunction. We sing the psalms, read the fathers, and assist at Mass. Monks and nuns are generally not given to dramatic revelations and those who are generally don't blab about them. Most of our superiors would probably agree with a famous 20th Century abbot who, when asked what he would do if he had a mystic in his house, said he'd drive him out. When asked what if the visions were genuine, he said that then he'd be sure to drive him out. Monks and nuns aren't given to the sudden and the novel. Our forebears generally believed that this suspicion of extremes of sensation is one of the most important ways of breaking ourselves of worldly attachments....

....In summary, if you're looking for a rather pedestrian life, don't mind a boring outfit, think repetition is cool, and can't keep up with trends, the Benedictine charism may be just the ting for you.

(With apologies to St. Dominic, not that he was particularly nice to us.)

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