The last two blog posts were about St. Benedict and the shepherds who both saw the bright glory of the Lord in the night sky.
In addition to seeing the glory shine all around, St. Benedict also had a very monastic vision at the same time. He saw the entire world represented in a single ray of light. This event may have helped guide or confirm St. Benedict’s vision in the Rule of St. Benedict(1) of a Christian life that combines the material and spiritual into one life devoted to seeking God.
Benedictine monasticism for monks, nuns, and sisters is well known for its ordered, humane, yet deeply spiritual ways.
Ora et labora (prayer and work) — although the specific term is not used in the Rule of St. Benedict — is often used as the guiding principle of those living by the Rule — particularly oblates.
I hope I see all my ora et labora — all my world — in that single ray of light — that would be very Benedictine during this Advent.
(1) St. Benedict’s Rule became the foundation of Western monasticism and that monasticism preserved and then was a major cause of the development of Europe. It has been said that other than the Bible, the Rule of St. Benedict has been the most important book for the development of Western civilization.
St. Benedict who saw the whole world during the dark nights of the collapse of the Roman Empire might be the perfect person to help rebuild and redevelop Europe in the light of Christ that combined prayer and work.