Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Feast of Saint Benedict

When I was at Caltech, I was fortunate enough to take a number of humanities courses from a French medievalist, (may she rest in peace), and among the many books we had to read, the most striking was the Rule of Saint Benedict, the rules for religious community life that defined the course of Western monasticism until our present day.

I thought, at the time, that living under the Rule was severe and strict; but it still impressed me greatly: I had a dim idea of sanctity, but I knew even then that it was a goal that ought to be pursued. More recently, I understood that the Rule was to be freely accepted, and not imposed, which makes its observance a good guide in the goal of sanctification.

Over the years, I would often re-read the Rule, and this was long before I became Catholic.

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