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Monday, July 7, 2008

Saint Benedict




The Fifth Century brings us not one but two future Saints.
It is 480 A.D. and a little voice cries out, Here I am world! But no sooner heard, than another tiny cry fills the air. Not one, but two babies will be born to the parents of the future Saints Benedict and his twin sister Scholastica. Now, Norcia is not easy to get to, as we well know. We often wonder why God chooses the most remote places in the world for apparitions by Mother Mary, by the Archangel Michael, for Miracles of the Eucharist and the birth of great Saints. Could it be, because we are too busy to hear or see God working in our midst? I don't know. What do you think?
Born of the nobility, Saint Benedict would have every advantage enabling him to receive the best education and preparation for life. It is believed that when he was no more than in his teens, his parents sent Saint Benedict and his nurse[1] to Rome, to pursue a higher education, more than likely majoring in law. As they had been blessed to be born of the nobility, it was the custom of people of their station to send their sons to acquire an education preparing them for a career as public magistrates or judges, in this way fulfilling their God-given obligations to serve.
Now Rome of his day had become nothing but a barbaric cesspool, filled with pagan tribes, who had invaded her shores, spreading heresy and immoral behavior the likes of which was leading to a widespread depraved and decadent culture infecting all, but especially the intelligentsia, as usual the students.
As goes the world, sadly, often follows the Church. Poor Mother Church was reeling from the attacks within and without - with schisms threatening to tear down all that the Early Church Fathers had built. Immoral and amoral behavior[2] soon became the accepted norm of the day with Christians accepting and adopting the culture of the hordes of heathens who had stormed their land. With permissiveness, war and rampant widespread plundering are sure to follow. There was not a ruler or king who was not either a pagan,[3]or an atheist,[4] or a heretic.[5]

Benedict moves on
Holiness begets holiness, as well as sin begets sin. As sheep willingly follow a goat[1] to slaughter, so it was with this scourge which covered society. It was such a deadly epidemic no one was exempt from its poisonous infection. The wholesale evil and totally immoral behavior of the parents soon cascaded down to the youth, who willing followed and consequently mimicked their example. By the grace of God, the young Benedict was repulsed by all the evil and scandalous behavior he could see permeating not only Rome, but the schools. Not prideful, and totally devoid of the brash opinion of youth, and society as well, that they can handle anything, Benedict made the decision to leave Rome. The only one he told was his nurse, who accompanied him.
The path was clear for him. Having completed all that higher education of his day could offer, he left behind his books; and rejecting all the trappings of the world, his parents' wealth and comforts of home and estate, departed for a life centered in God. It is fairly certain Benedict left Rome at age twenty, as he was mature enough to discern the decadency and immorality of his friends and class mates.
[1] A goat which leads sheep to slaughter is called a Judas goat.

[1] to care for his every need, most likely as his housekeeper

[2] Whereas in immoral behavior the sinner is aware of the difference of right and wrong and commits the sin anyway, in amoral behavior the sinner is unable to distinguish between right and wrong. He would be someone totally without principals.

[3] Paganism is a broad term which includes all religious beliefs, practices and systems with the exception of Christianity, Judaism, and Mohammedanism. It is thus applied to those who do not recognize a Supreme Being, the Monotheistic or Trinitarian God-oriented religions that have developed from the revelations of God and are carried through the fulfillment of the mission given by Christ to His Church. - The Catholic Encyclopedia by Broderick

[4] One who believes that God does not exist. Atheism can be a denial of God or the substitution of a lesser object in place of God. Moral Atheism holds that human acts have no morality with reference to the Divine Lawgiver; this is sometimes called particle atheism. - The Catholic Encyclopedia by Broderick

[5] A baptized and professed person who denies or doubts a truth revealed by God or proposed for belief by the Catholic Church is a heretic. - ibid

1 comment:

Hermit, without a permit. said...

PAX
its great you Both have a Blog!
If you ever get to Norcia(again?) I love the region.make sure to visit the new group of 15 AMERICAN Benedictine Monks there who are reviving Monasticism in the Birthplace of St Benedict.
a video link (Photos as well as some filmed interviews) about them below.
http://vocation-station.blogspot.com/2008/12/do-i-have-vocation-monastero-di-san.html