So on this last Sunday, Pope Benedict spoke about St Benedict, about his mission to create new Christian communities that bridged the classical world of Rome and the new semi-Christian barbarian German and Slavic world, forming a path through the new dark ages. How can we do so? How can we live in our contemporary American secular world, in our jobs, our homes, our neighborhoods, our networks, our worldly real historical, social, visible lives--and do so as Christians?
Somehow we must--Pope Benedict insists. Somehow we must pray, live and love--in the spirit of St Benedicts a real Christian community!
So how do we find our new form of Christian community? To begin with, we might take a look at the great religious orders of the past, each inspired by the charism of its founder. The Benedictines, the Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Jesuits--all these live a real, historical, visible Christian community, responding to God's call, in a manner suited for their time, in love of God, and in loving service to other people. So how do we do that? Some of us oculd knock on a monastery door, serve in a Franciscan soup kitchen, email the Dominicans, or go on an Ignatian retreat--but how can we live the life of Christian community, the evangelical call, love of God and service to others in the world of our work, our lives in the secular world, in the professions? This seems to be the task, the calling, of the great Movements of today--in the spirit of Benedict, living the Christian life in the world.
And we have a witness, a pointer, a living invitation so to do! Pope Benedict XVI himself!