Friday, July 11, 2008

Saints Benedict and Paul

Special thanks to Father Mark @ Vultus Christi

Saints Benedict and Paul - see within each their understanding and obedience to God's calling. How are we doing on that score today?

This Solemnity of Our Father Saint Benedict, falling in the Pauline Year, invites us — I want to say, compels us — to reflect on the relationship between the Apostle of the Nations and the Patriarch of Monks. Saint Benedict was imbued with the Epistles of Saint Paul; he quotes the Apostle 23 times in the Holy Rule.

The Experience of Being Loved by Christ

What exactly do Saint Paul and Saint Benedict have in common? A personal experience of the love of Jesus Christ. The Apostle himself could have counseled his spiritual children to “set nothing before the love of Christ” (RB 4:21). He could have instructed his disciples “to prefer nothing whatever to Christ” (RB 72:11). Saint Benedict, for his part, surely said with Paul, “I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20).

The apostolic vocation of Saint Paul and the monastic vocation of Saint Benedict spring from the same experience of the love of Christ.


Athos said...

Hey, I like St Paul's cool sword - it looks just like mine!

David Nybakke said...

One theme I keep coming back to again and again is vocation and being open to discerning one's call from God.

So I think that another important thing that Saints Benedict and Paul have is their commitment to decide and go forth to love and serve God and one another. Of course the word decide - [Origin: 1350–1400; ME deciden < MF decider < L décīdere lit., to cut off, equiv. to dé- de- + -cīdere (comb. form of caedere to cut)] - is so emblematic of a sword and that is why I wanted to use this picture of St. Paul.