Thursday, October 26, 2017
My friend and colleague, Prof. Paolo Carozza, shared with me the address he delivered a few years ago at Benedictine College. It is a very thoughtful reflection on the life and witness of St. Benedict and his relevance to our times. Among other things, he engages some of what Rod Dreher has been arguing, in his The Benedict Option and elsewhere.
I particularly liked this:
God has written into the world “an order and a dynamism that
human beings have no right to ignore,” [Pope Francis] tells us . . . . And thus the proper
attitude for us to strive for in the face of this fact must be one of “gratitude and
gratuitousness, a recognition that the world is God’s loving gift.” It is
quite countercultural today to insist that reality and the world of meaning are not
wholly constructed by us. And nevertheless it is true that the things that most
correspond to the destiny of our lives are not the ones we “make”, and still less the
ones we “possess” or that we “consume”. Instead we have to allow ourselves to be
made by, possessed by, and consumed by a passion for truth and beauty and
Beginning again, the beginning of a new year institutionally, the beginning of
a new stage in life, the new beginning of hope in a world that has lost its way, begins
with our own hearts. If we allow ourselves to be made and possessed and consumed
there, we will witness the transformation of the very heart of the world.