The Daily Prayer
SATURDAY, July 11, 2020
Benedict of Nursia (c. 480—c. 547)
Benedict was born in the town of Nursia, near Rome. At age twenty, he left home and lived for three years as a hermit in a desolate cave. There he practiced severe asceticism, maturing in both mind and character. Though he had little contact with the outside world, Benedict gained a reputation for his holy life and discipline. Eventually, he was asked to lead a monastery in a remote area near Monte Cassino. Drawing on older rules and the wisdom of experience, Benedict outlined in his rule a simple way of life for monks, centered on praying the daily office, studying Scripture, engaging in common labor for the good of the community, and performing works of charity. His vision of the holy life became the standard for Western monasticism and a model for how to live simply—in health, wholeness, and community.
Benedict of Nursia said, “However late, then, it may seem, let us rouse ourselves from lethargy. That is what scripture urges on us when it says: the time has come for us to rouse ourselves from sleep. Let us open our eyes to the light that can change us into the likeness of God. Let our ears be alert to the stirring call of his voice crying to us every day: today, if you should hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
God, make us bold enough to question tyranny, impassioned enough to submit ourselves to good teachers, and discerning enough to know when it is our turn to lead. Amen.