From his monastery, St. Benedict used his whole life to proclaim God
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Benedict (July 11, 2018): HOS 10:1-3,7-8,12; PS 105:2-3,4-5,6-7; MT 10:1-7
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today we celebrate St. Benedict, the medieval monk who not only founded a religious community that spread widely, but also affected the spirituality and day-to-day way of life of consecrated men and women around the world.
About 480 A.D. he was born in Nursia in central Italy to a well-off family. Following studies in Rome, he believed he could best serve Christ in the solitary life of a hermit. But as others gathered around him for instruction, Benedict realized that a contemplative community could be a source of growth for their souls and service to the Church. “Sow for yourselves justice, reap the fruit of piety; break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain down justice upon you” (Hosea 10:12).
His founding of Monte Cassino, the first great European monastery, led to the establishment of the rule of Benedict emphasizing prayer, work, and study. He also insisted on caring for the physical needs of their neighbors, particularly through hospitals. One of his prayers sums up Benedict’s complete trust in God: “Almighty God, give me wisdom to perceive You, intelligence to understand You, diligence to seek You, patience to wait for You, eyes to behold You, a heart to meditate upon You and life to proclaim you.” Let us imitate this saint’s loyal devotion to God and His people.
Suggested missionary action: We can try to be more contemplative by praying in quiet times at work or home or when we travel. We can ask St. Benedict to help us give our prayer, our work, everything to God.