All Benedictine Saints

On 13 November we celebrate the feast of All Benedictine Saints (i.e. all those who don’t have a day to themselves, so to say) and host our annual Oblates’ Day at the monastery. There is special joy today because our Canadian oblate, Margaret, will be making her oblation by video conference, in which oblates from other parts of the world will be joining. So why am I sitting at the computer in a distracted frame of mind? It is partly because today’s ‘to do’ list already looks impossible and I am not always optimistic first thing in the morning; it is partly because it is cold and dark and neither is conducive to high spirits; but mainly it is because the thought of holiness is sometimes more daunting than encouraging. Other people become saints; I/we don’t.

Regarding holiness as something ‘other’, attainable only by a special few, is, of course, a snare and delusion. It is also completely unBenedictine. The Rule of St Benedict isn’t meant for supermen or superwomen. It doesn’t prescribe any esoteric practices or extreme ascetical feats. Instead, it asks the monk or nun to live a life of daily fidelity to small things which are actually great things: to living in community under rule and abbot; to prayer, work, service, hospitality; absolute renunciation of personal ownership; an obedience as entire as it is intelligent. In doing so, the Rule shows us a way of living the Gospel that will lead to holiness. The tragedy is that many of us stumble along the way, don’t quite make it, grow weary or give up. That is why Benedictines pray for perseverance; for the grace of daily fidelity. Please pray with and for us.



11 thoughts on “All Benedictine Saints”

  1. Ascending a mountain is never very easy and is punishing on the body and the spirit. It is not like the broad and easy route that leads to perdition. Comfort yourself with this thought that you are not alone and many of us are trying to walk this path with you. My prayer for you is that you will not stumble on your journey and that your spirit is made strong to persevere in your journey of faith. Holiness is not the goal,rather it is having fellowship with a Holy God who also happens to be your Father.:)

  2. If I might answer a quote from your post “The tragedy is that many of us stumble along the way, don’t quite make it, grow weary or give up.” with a quote from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, film “the only real failure is the failure to try and the measure of success is how we deal with disappointment”.

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