Today we celebrate the feast of St Benedict’s Transitus, his passing from this world to the next, with the sober joy characteristic of all Benedictine festivities, especially during Lent. The account Gregory the Great gives of his death in Book II of The Dialogues is strangely moving, despite all the typology he manages to cram into it. Benedict becomes the new Moses, not only law-giver but intercessor, the friend of God and, like him, ‘the humblest man alive’.
The analogy with Moses was one medieval writers loved to play with, and one can see why. What, perhaps, we modern Benedictines tend to forget is that what is true of Benedict ought, in some sense, to be true of us, too. There should be in every Benedictine a friend of God, one who intercedes for others, a truly humble person. I think I can see how I should be examining my conscience today, don’t you?
Today is the day on which Archbishop Justin Welby will be enthroned. We pray for him and for all our Anglican friends: Ad multos annos!