Monasticism and St. Benedict

 

 

 

 

 

The Christian Monasticism arose in the third and fourth centuries in the East as a movement following great men such as Antonio, Pacomio, Macario/Simeone, Basilio and a lot of lesser known figures but just as determined to live the basis of Gospel and the search of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the IV and V centuries it spread rapidly in the Latin West. Here the  monastic world seems less interested in knowledge and spirituality rules than in a described and fixed way of living: we find the rules (regulae) either translated (Rufino translates Basilio, Gerolamo translates Pacomio) or written first hand (St Agostino’s rule, Fathers’ different rules).

The regula is a latin way in accordance with its legal mentality: in the eastern countries Monasticism will continue to keep its free and charismatic aspects, slightly anarchic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After two centuries Saint Benedict (about 480-540) wrote his minimum Rule for beginners  (RB 73,8), synthesis of the spirituality and former monastic arrangements and beginning of the great medieval development. He wanted to establish a school for the service of the Lord (RB, Prol 45) and live day after day every activity so that in all things God may be glorified (RB 57,9), hallowing the time and the places through the prayer, the work, brotherly communion. The monks, climbing the stairs that from the fear of God lead through humility to perfect charity (cfr. RB 7) will be ready to attain to the loftier heights of doctrine and virtue (RB 73,9) that the Gospel proposes, or to accomplish the project of God in their life: to learn to be sons of  One Father and therefore brothers.

 

 

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