Friday, September 4, 2020


In recent Blog, I mentioned the Rue of St. Benedict and how he can influence families in education of their children. I found this recently written by  Prior Mark Kirby, OSB,  of  Silverstream monastery, in Ireland.  (VULTUS CHRISTI September 18, 2019).

If you were or are attracted to Carmel, to Saint Teresa and Saint John of the Cross, or to Saint Thérèse and her Little Way, know that nothing of their teaching is missing from the Rule of Saint Benedict: purification of the heart, ceaseless prayer, secret exchanges with the Word, the Divine Bridegroom, and participation by patience in the Passion of Christ.

If you were or are drawn to Saint Dominic, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and Saint Catherine of Siena, know that the Rule of Saint Benedict calls you to the joy of the Gospel, to the love of chastity, to the quest for Truth, to confidence in the mercy of God for sinners, and to the ceaseless prayer of the heart represented by the Holy Rosary.

If you were or are fascinated by the Little Poor Man of Assisi, the Seraphic Saint Francis, know that the Rule of Saint Benedict offers you complete disappropriation to the point of having neither your body nor your will at your own disposal; that the Twelfth Degree of Humility is configuration to the Crucified Jesus; and that the adorable Body of Christ, the Sacred Host, shows you the perfection of monastic holiness in silence, hiddenness, poverty, and humility.

If you were or are charmed by Saint Philip and the Oratory, know that the Rule of Saint Benedict calls you to good cheer, to gentlemanly courtesy, to an ever greater infusion of the charity of God, that is the Holy Ghost. 

All of these virtues, qualities, and gifts are found in abundance in the Holy Rule. Why do I say this? I say it because Saint Gregory the Great authorizes me to do so when he tells us that Saint Benedict, the vir Dei, was filled with the Spirit of all the just. Saint Gregory says:

The man of god, Benedict, had the spirit of the one true God, who, by the grace of our redemption, hath filled the hearts of his elect servants; of whom Saint John saith: “He was the true light, which doth lighten every man coming into this world,” [John 1:9]. Of whom, again, we find it written: “Of his fullness we have all received,” [John 1:16]. (Second Book of the Dialogues, Chapter 8).

The Holy Rule is, according to Bossuet, a mysterious abridgment of the Gospel, and the Gospel is the wellspring of every variety of holiness and of a torrent of graces that irrigates the Church by means of countless rivulets in every age and in every place. The son of Saint Benedict may rightly say with Saint Thérèse, Je choisis tout, “I choose all,” because in submission to the Holy Rule, he places himself in the school of the Lord’s service, he enrols in the army of the Lord Christ, the True King. Saint Benedict himself concludes the Holy Rule by saying:

Whoever, therefore, thou art that hasteneth to thy heavenly country, fulfill by the help of Christ this least of Rules which we have written for beginners; and then at length thou shalt arrive, under God’s protection, at the lofty summits of doctrine and virtue of which we have spoken above. (Chapter 73)

                                                              Prior Mark Kirby, OSB, VULTUS CHRISTI September 18, 2019

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