Benedict, a 6th century monk, radically influenced monastic life in the West. From Nursia, Benedict became a student in Rome before fleeing to Subiaco to live for three years as a Hermit. He later established twelve monasteries near Rome, and wrote a Rule for monastic living.
Benedict’s new message, that would later transform Europe, focused on the central call to ‘Listen’. In his view the whole spiritual life should be a process of listening with the core of our being to God’s voice in the everyday. As such it becomes a journey of discovery, through which we are able to live more fully in the Truth.
In Benedict’s way of life, relationship with Christ is placed at the centre: “Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ” RB72. Through a deep inner listening and discovery of the Truth, we become open to the process of continual conversion.
Benedict and the first monks were lay people. His wisdom is again being discovered by lay people today, inspiring us to root our lives in God, listen with openness to his Word, and recognise our calling to serve one another in love.