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July 11, 2013

The Feast of St. Benedict


saintb1.jpg (9701 bytes)The life of St. Benedict is told rather simply, yet his example and writings are filled with wisdom for all ages, including the present.
Benedict was born in Nursia, Italy, around the year 480, and was the son of a noble family. As a youth, he went off to Rome to study. At that time, Rome was showing signs of moral and political decay. Turning away from such Corruption, Benedict discontinued his studies and withdrew from Rome and went into solitude.
For three years Benedict remained in solitude in a cave. Through a life of fasting and praycr, he sought to grow closer to God. Being such a holy person, the local people would seek him out. They desired that he pass on the message of Christ to them during a time in history that was greatly in need of the Gospel.
In the year 529, after having lived these years as a monk, Benedict established a monastic foundation where men, who wanted to live a life in common and together seek out the Lord, could come to dwell. This new "school of the Lord" came to rest on a hill near Cassino in Italy. Hence, the monastery came to be known as Monte Cassino. There, Benedict established his community and wrote a rule, that is, a guide to be followed in the daily lives of his monks. Benedict guided the community as the father, also known as the abbot, until his death around the year 547.

Since this humble beginning of the Benedictine monks, that is, those vowing to live their lives under the Rule of St Benedict, the religious order has spread throughout the world down to the present day. From Monte Casino many other Benedictine communities have been established.

Novices Invested with the Monastic Habit

From Left to Right: Br. Mark Liatti, Br. Ignatius Camello, Fr. Bonaventure (Vocation Director), Br. Matthew Hershey, and Br. Charles Hopkins

Before the Novices were Invested with the monastic habit they listened to a reading from 1 Samuel 3, the Lord's call to the young Samuel.  This reading reminds us that the Lord calls each of us in our own special way.  Sometimes we fail to recognize the voice of the Lord, but when the Lord's voice becomes clear, Samuel shows us that our only response should be one of complete obedience, receptivity, willingness, and Love.  May these new novices continue to be open to the Lord's voice and may they be given the grace to persevere.  Amen.    

1 Samuel 3: 1-10
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli. The word of the LORD was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. 2 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3 the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called, "Samuel! Samuel!" and he said, "Here I am!" 5 and ran to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call; lie down again." So he went and lay down. 6 The LORD called again, "Samuel!" Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call, my son; lie down again." 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8 The LORD called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Pax et Gaudium

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness