Benedict & Ownership, Part 1

Benedict’s short, direct and pithy chapter on Monks and Private Ownership encompasses ideas that have variously filled the pages of dissertations, started revolutions, and inspired countless people to saintly humility and holiness.

The heart of the chapter is here: that, without the abbot’s permission, “no one may presume to give, receive, or retain anything as his own—nothing at all…especially since monks may not have the free disposal even of their own bodies and wills.”

This is a direct appeal to our condition as those vowed to the monastic way, which in turn rests on our condition as persons baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ. Thus we are brought face to face not with mere stuff, but with our identity in the person of Jesus himself. Though he was in the form of God, he freely emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, following in all things not his own will but that of his Father in heaven.

Especially in modern American culture, this chapter tests and examines us in the most exacting ways, asking hard questions: where is our security, whom do we trust? what or whom do we love, what are our deepest fears? What do we want, and why do we want it?


Recent Issues

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

February 2021

January 2021

December 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015