The life of St. Benedict was an ordinary one. This is something he most certainly desired. Ordinary in the best of ways of course. I’m sure that Benedict never wanted to form a monastic community and most definitely not an Order. His desire was simply to follow Christ and that he did!
More then fifteen hundred years have gone by and yet the Church and the world remembers the life and name of this humble monk. Thousands continue to strive to live the life laid out by Benedict in his little Rule and find great honor in being a part of the Benedictine family.
What comes to mind most for me on this Solemn Feast of the Transitus is that I must remember that simple and ordinary acts – when united with Christ – can change the world. St. Benedicts life proves that.
Time and again we see within the Rule that Christ is found in the humble and ordinary things in life – service in the kitchen (RB, 35), care of the sick (RB, 36), food and drink (RB, 40). The “tool for good works” (RB, 4) is a laundry list of ordinary things which we must strive to do for God’s glory and the good of others.
There’s something extraordinary about the ordinary when done in Christ’s name. This is the essential teaching of the Rule which is the life St. Benedict lived. I think this feast should remind us that God is calling all of us to make simple and humble acts into a gift of prayer and praise which will resound throughout history. I’m not so sure that those acts will be remembered 1,500 years after we’re gone from this earth but neither did Benedict!
I pray that St. Benedict will help us to make our own transitus (crossing) into a life which sings the praises of God in every action we take up in His name.
Holy Father Benedict, ora pro nobis!