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July saint Benedict

Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, Father of Western Monasticism

c.550 Benedict of Nursia is the founder of what we still call the Rule of Benedict. I think most of us know, more or less, that the essence of the Rule is considered to be “ora et labora” which translates as praying and working. When Sigmund Freud was asked about fourteen hundred years later what an adult mature person should do to be able to lead a fulfilling life, he answered: “Lieben und arbeiten” which translates as to “love and work”. Now if we see “praying” as a searching for the love of God and the striving to love God yourself, Freud, as confirmed atheist, was expressing almost the same Rule as saint Benedict but in his owns terms. When we consider Benedict as patron of Europe, his Rule enjoins us to pray and work with our European neighbours. It seems to me that indeed that might be a good rule for all our politicians. So, let us all pray on 11 July in saint Benedict’s name, for peace and well-being for Europe and all who live there.

Notes and background

You can find more background on saint Benedict at wikipedia. He is also by the Roman Catholic church considered the main patron saint of Europe.

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