"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Benedict XVI on Benedict of Norcia

An excerpt from the Pope's Angelus message yesterday:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: Tomorrow the feast of St. Benedict of Norcia is celebrated, patron of Europe, a saint who is particularly dear to me, as can be intuited from my choice of his name. Born in Norcia about 480, Benedict's first studies were in Rome but, disappointed with city life, he retired to Subiaco, where he stayed for about three years in a cave -- the famous "sacro speco" -- dedicating himself wholly to God. In Subiaco, making use of the ruins of a cyclopean villa of the emperor Nero, he built some monasteries, together with his first disciples, giving life to a fraternal community founded on the primacy of the love of Christ, in which prayer and work were alternated harmoniously in praise of God. Years later, he completed this project in Monte Cassino, and put it in writing in his Rule, the only work of his that has come down to us.

Amid the ashes of the Roman Empire, Benedict, seeking first of all the kingdom of God, sowed, perhaps even without realizing it, the seed of a new civilization which would develop, integrating Christian values with classical heritage, on one hand, and the Germanic and Slav cultures on the other. There is a particular aspect of his spirituality, which today I would particularly like to underline. Benedict did not found a monastic institution oriented primarily to the evangelization of barbarian peoples, as other great missionary monks of the time, but indicated to his followers that the fundamental, and even more, the sole objective of existence is the search for God: "Quaerere Deum." He knew, however, that when the believer enters into a profound relationship with God he cannot be content with living in a mediocre way, with a minimalist ethic and superficial religiosity. In this light, one understands better the expression that Benedict took from St. Cyprian and that is summarized in his Rule (IV, 21) -- the monks' program of life: "Nihil amori Christi praeponere." "Prefer nothing to the love of Christ."

The entire message may be read here.


Anonymous Mimi said...

I sometimes wonder why u aren't Roman CAtholic already!

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good question!

9:31 AM  
Blogger texanglican said...

It is a fair enough question, my friends. The fact is that I understand and believe about 98% of the contents of "The Catechism of the Catholic Church" (which I suspect is a higher percentage of agreement with the teachings of the RCC than a significant number of communicants in the typical RC parish in the USA have). I have a deeep respect for the Roman Catholic Church, and am a BIG fan of Pope Benedict XVI. (I have a vastly higher opinion of the pope's teaching authority than that of +Frank Griswold of ECUSA, that's for sure!).

But the short answer, my friends, as to why I am not an RC is "the FIRST Vatican Council." Had it not been for that Council's promulagation as official RC dogma of the pope's power to speak infallibly without calling an ecumenical council (and the two declarations of dogma--IC and Assumption--that have used this power purportedly vested solely in the bishop of Rome) swimming the Tiber for me might not be so difficult. Hence, I am an Anglican of Anglo-Catholic sensibilies, rejoicing in my membership in an orthodox diocese with a godly, faithful bishop and clergy. I do pray daily that the theological difficulties between Rome and orthodox Anglicanism will soon be reconciled. It appears that Pope Benedict "has a heart" for healing the divisions between Rome and the East. Hopefully as that dialogue develops, the distance between Rome and Anglo-Catholics will be greatly shorted. I am fairly sure that any agreement the bishops of Eastern Orthodoxy could reach with the Vatican on Petrine primacy and the Immaculate Conception would satisfy the objections of Anglo-Catholics like myself as well. May our Lord Christ hasten the day when we are again all one in His Body, as He and the Father are one.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous franksta said...

Randall, this is my first time visiting your site, I was linked here from another blog (I'm a great fan of both Benedicts). Great site! Proverbially speaking, I was baptized in the Tiber, flung headfirst into the Cumberland (a 15-year stretch as a Baptist), and several years ago swam the Thames. I studied theology just up the road from you at Southwestern. But a few years ago I realized I could not continue to worship apart from the sacraments and the liturgy, so here I am as an Anglican. I share both your deep respect for the RCC as well as concern over its problems like papal infallibility.

Anyway, keep up the good work!

Frank (back in Hurricane Alley, Florida)

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Freemasonry Fraternal Organization said...

Thanks for the nice blog. I enjoy your writing.

6:59 AM  

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