Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Benedict for Us

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!


Justin Dziowgo said...

I think the laity need to live the charisms of these orders, and I've had an inkling for about two years now that a lay community needs to be formed that would be different from the current ecclesial movements like Opus Dei in the Church today. That's a matter that's still in the works, but the idea essentially involves communal life and prayer with the necessary physical and temporal separation one needs for raising their own family and holding certain amounts of property. My idea is something akin to a lay reform of the Jesuits, using their spirituality and rules. Again, it's just a sketch, but it's an idea I haven't given up either.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your blog Mr. Lorenzo but fail to find in it an actual way to live ie a clear suggestion as to how we might do this. I don't see how Benedict really demonstrates this to the lay people except through theology and poetics. Great for those who have time to study and discern but what about the rest of us who simply have to live life, going to work and existing in a secular world where the Church isn't surrounding us like the walls of the Vatican? Got any solid suggestions besides poetry?

Perry Lorenzo said...

Yes, it's the challenge of living a Christian life in the world--isn't that the main challenge of being a Christian? As Justin points out, there's something in the concept of a lay order, like the modern movements Opus Dei, like Communion & Liberation. I do like Opus Dei's ideas on the santcification of work .. .more to come.