Monday, July 5, 2010

Benedictine contributions update. A Benedictine oblate blog

All Monks

In a recent blog, I summarized the Benedictine contributions to the world. Much of the material was taken from How the Catholic Church built Western Civilization, by Thomas Woods1. I have updated that recent blog by adding the following quote from Cardinal Newman:
St. Benedict found the world, physical and social, in ruins, and his mission was to restore it in the way, not of science, but of nature, not as if setting about to do it, not professing to do it by any set time or by any rare specific or by any series of strokes, but so quietly, patiently, gradually, that often, till the work was done, it was not known to be doing. It was a restoration, rather than a visitation, correction, or conversion. The new world which he helped to create was a growth rather than a structure. Silent men were observed about the country, or discovered in the forest, digging, clearing and building; and other silent men, not seen, were sitting in the cold cloister, tiring their eyes and keeping their attention on the stretch, while they painfully deciphered and copied and re-copied the manuscripts which they had saved. There was no one that 'contended or cried out,' or drew attention to what was going on; but by degrees the woody swamp became a hermitage, a religious house, a farm, an abbey, a village, a seminary, a school of learning, and a city. Roads and bridges connected it with other abbeys and cities, which had similarly grown up; and what the haughty Alaric or fierce Attila had broken to pieces, these patient meditative men had brought together and made to live again. (Mission of St. Benedict, §9; reprint, p. 67) quoted in Benedictine Monachism, by Cuthbert Butler, London: Longmans, Green &, 1924, page 319-320.


The picture is All Monks. New Norcia, Western Australia by fastskybus and is used subject to license.

1. Thomas Woods' book is available on Amazon.

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