12 Jul 2012
“Take a vow of stability”
“By proclaiming St Benedict Patron of Europe on 24 October 1964, Paul VI intended to recognize the marvelous work the Saint achieved with his Rule for the formation of the civilization and culture of Europe. Having recently emerged from a century that was deeply wounded by two World Wars and the collapse of the great ideologies, now revealed as tragic utopias, Europe today is in search of its own identity. Of course, in order to create new and lasting unity, political, economic and juridical instruments are important, but it is also necessary to awaken an ethical and spiritual renewal which draws on the Christian roots of the Continent, otherwise a new Europe cannot be built. Without this vital sap, man is exposed to the danger of succumbing to the ancient temptation of seeking to redeem himself by himself – a utopia which in different ways, in 20th-century Europe, as Pope John Paul II pointed out, has caused “a regression without precedent in the tormented history of humanity” (Address to the Pontifical Council for Culture, 12 January 1990). Today, in seeking true progress, let us also listen to the Rule of St Benedict as a guiding light on our journey. The great monk is still a true master at whose school we can learn to become proficient in true humanism.” Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 9 April 2008
The followers of Christ who live the way of St. Benedict take – along with the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience – a fourth vow of stability. In a world today where we are tempted to give ourselves permission to leave when the going gets tough Benedict reminds us to “stay, remain faithful, hang in there, and keep our word.” Stay in a friendship and work out your differences. Remain faithful to your spouse even if someone else seems to understand you more. Hang in there with your parish even when you don’t see eye-to-eye with your pastor. Keep your word and finish the job.
Pray for me and all priests, Fr Dan