So what is a Benedictine? The simple answer is that Benedictine way of life is to seek God in their everyday lives by following the Rule of Benedict, praying the Office and Lectio Divina. We offer our lives to God. We are transformed by His presence in our lives through a three year process of learning and incorporating the Rule into our daily life. An Oblate promises reformation of their life, service of God and mankind according to the Rule of St. Benedict.
The Benedictine Rule was written by St Benedict in the 4th century to guide monks living in community. The Office, called the Liturgy of the Hours, is regular praying of the Psalms at different times of the day. Priests and religious do this daily. Lectio Divina, holy reading, is the private, prayerful practice of listening to the Word of God through praying the Scripture.
Ps 147: 2 “The Lord delights in all who wait for his love.”
Becoming a Benedictine is a life long process of learning and studying to know, love and serve our God as best as we are able. We allow our minds to be touched by a deeper awareness of God’s presence in our lives. We build and foster a desire for God through our various prayer practices. It is a process, best understood by experience.
Ps 42:9 “Why are you cast down my soul,”
I am a traditional Catholic and lived as an active, contributing parishioner for all of my life, as my parents did before me. When tragedy came into my life, I lost my way. By the miracle of God’s grace, I found myself at St Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo. I knew little about monasteries and Benedictines. Something about the place touched me and I went back frequently, mostly to cry and tell God how much I had messed up my life. He listened and patiently led me to forgiveness.
Ps 85: 8 ”I will hear what the Lord has said.”
I met Benedictine Oblates but had no desire to join, I saw them as holy people, so I excluded myself. After many years, God helped me realize that I was loved, in spite of all my weakness and failures. My life was changed. I began to study the Rule, attend retreats and pray the psalms as regularly as I could. Never in a million years did I ever imagine I could be so transformed by the Grace of God.
Ps 46 :1 “God is for us a refuge and strength,”
The Benedictine Rule has been observed in religious communities for years. Countless lives have been transformed by living this Rule. It has been the source of much renewal in church tradition. For me, it’s been a tool to lead me into a very different awareness of God’s presence in my life. This beautiful tradition has faded from our more current parish practice, even though Verbum Dei “insisted on the need for a prayerful approach to the Sacred text as a fundamental element in the spiritual life of every believer.”
Ps 17:2 “ Turn your ear to my prayer, listen to my word.”
This is an invitation to anyone who wants to inquire about our Benedictine community. I will hold 4 one hour introductory meetings designed to explore the Benedictine commitment and discern if you are interested in the Benedictine way. It so, we can meet regularly to continue the inquiry process of building a relationship with God and community. Please call Eileen Prendergast at (909) 624-7493 if you are interested or wish more information.