Feast of St Benedict at Bonnevaux

Dear Brothers and Sisters

I have just come up to my room after our daily reading together of the Rule. Today it was Chapter 33 saying that the monks should possess nothing of their own. The desire to possess privately, he says, is a vice that must be uprooted from our hearts. To introduce the discussion, I pointed to the passage in Acts 3:42 where we find the beautiful description of the early Christian community on Jerusalem who shared everything in common and in which, consequently, no one was ever in need. I thought this would make Chapter 33 easier to understand for the young people with us. 

Today’s gospel shows Peter asking Jesus ‘what about us?’, what are we going to get out of this life of following you? He is told what Benedict and the early Christians discovered, that to let go of possessiveness and control is to discover liberation into a world where kindness, compassion and meeting each other’s’ needs becomes possible and even how we wish to live.

As I sit now, sending you greetings for today’s Feast, I feel moved and inspired by the way the young people staying with us did listen to this chapter of the Rule with insight into its true intent. I think it encourages us all to see the WCCM Oblate Path as highly relevant for the young people of our day who are often painfully in search of meaning, community and values that transcend our prevailing materialism and self-fixation.

So, as we celebrate with each other today and hold each other in our hearts in meditation, let’s reflect on how we can live this path more fully by sharing it with others. Think maybe of how you can invite young people to your cell meetings or make the values of the Rule better understood in your work, your parishes and your families.

May the spirit of wisdom in our Holy Father Benedict continue to challenge, energise and guide us to live as members of our ‘school of the Lord’s service’.

With much love

Laurence Freeman OSB

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