On Monday we had an interpretation of the Holy Rule by Sr Margaret Turran OSB.Sr Margret while from Stanbrook Abbey is currently living atSt Cecilia’s Convent( See below)
She points out that at the heart of the Holy Rule of Benedict is the the use of community.She refered to a film based in Newark USA where despite deprivation a local Bendictine Prep School resulted in more pupils going on to Higher Education. The sense of Community inspired in the school being the key ingredient that leads to success.
The recipe for success is the Rule of St Benedict as it stres
ses the importance of Community. She pointed out that building up such a community has to be done slowly.
Tuesday we visited St John’s Lateran and the Basilica and Convent of St Cecilia.St Cecilia, the great aunt of Benedict was martyred on the site of the church in her bath. She left her house to the Christians at it became their church.
Wednesday saw us visiting some of the early sites in Benedicts monastic life. We noted that his first attempt at leading a Community failed- they tried to poison him because of his Leadership. A good example to all of us embarking on this path, and a further reminder that things take time to learn and develop. We must remember how y oung Benedict was at the time , probably under 20.
Prior to that he became a Hermit in a cave at Subiaco. At the site of the cave there is a Chapel where the Monks pray for a United Europe. These prayers are offered around a lamp placed in a bomb case from bombs dropped by the Allies in the Second World War. Fortunately unlike Monte Casino the fact the Monastery was embedded it in the rock saved it and it’s 12 theCentury frescos.
Near the site today is St Scholastica’s Abbey which we also visited. Scholastica was of course the sister of Benedict and her self an Abbess. st Schlolastica’s Abbey is the only 1 of the 12 created by Benedict in that valley still in use.