A few years ago a student in a course on monasticism at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University wrote this account of what getting to know some Benedictines had meant:
Of course, Benedictines have a tremendous love for God. However, they have love for many other things. … I feel that the Benedictines really are different from the rest of us, sadly because we see the world in black and white. We take many things for granted. The Benedictines see the world in many colors. I really am making an honest attempt to see the world in many colors because of my experiences. I am amazed by the simplest or littlest things.
“Seeing the world in many colors.” This is one of the gifts that spiritual sons and daughters of the 6th-century twins, Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica, have been giving to the world for 1500 years.
For 150 years, the sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery in Saint Joseph and the monks of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, just five miles apart, have offered this vision and practice of a many-splendored world to the people of Central Minnesota and, through a wide range of ministries, to the nation and beyond. The vision is both cosmic and intimate—it is reported that Saint Benedict saw the whole world gathered up into a single ray of light, and his Rule says that the utensils of the kitchen are to be treated with the same reverence as the vessels of the altar. The student’s “I am amazed by the simplest or littlest things” reflects a fundamental insight of the Benedictine way: wisdom is distilled from the daily.
Copyright © 2006 Saint Benedict’s/Saint John’s Sesquicentennial
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