Ora et Labora – this is the well-known motto of St. Benedict. Prayer and Work. That’s the foundation of monastic life, not just for Benedictines but for all of us. Our order, which is dedicated to Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, is associated with prayer. In fact, many people think praying is the only thing we do. But religious life requires work as well. Here are a few snapshots of how we labored today on this feast of St. Benedict.
Before we knew it, our Friday had turned into yard day. Over at Our Lady of the Atonement they’re in the midst of clearing away a lot of limestone to make ready for their new high school. What used to be a driveway and a beautiful area in front of the church now looks like a war zone, as you can see behind Sr. Grace Marie. Father said the brick pavers weren’t needed anymore, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for free stuff. While Sr. Mary Peter fired up the lawn mower, we, armed with our trusty crowbar, went over to collect the free bricks before it got too hot, . As for what we’re going to do with all those bricks, well, I think we should save that project for winter…
It’s hard to overstate the influence of St. Benedict of Nursia. He is the Father of Western Monasticism, whose rule of life became the strong root from which so many religious orders grew. Were it not for St. Benedict, the light of truth, wisdom, learning, art, history, music, and the works of ancient philosophers may never have survived, for without his influence, there might not have been numerous monasteries of resilient monks to rebuild and restore civilization after the barbarian invasions.
We want to share a wonderful address given recently by Fr. Thomas Rosica at the Catholic Media Convention in Denver, Colorado. We especially loved the way he links the great Saint Benedict of Nursia with our own Saint Francis of Assisi, and Pope Emeritus Benedict with our present Pope Francis. Using a beautiful quote from the celebrated book on Saint Francis by GK Chesterton (a quote which we just happened to hear for the first time when Dale Ahlquist was on our radio show a couple weeks ago), Father Rosica draws the parallels between these four men, whose names and missions intertwine in a way that shows the marvelous workings of the Holy Spirit. Four men in different times, different centuries, and yet interwoven together in the amazing tapestry of the Church. We hope you find it as inspiring as we did.
Click here to read Fr. Rosica’s address at the Catholic Media Convention.