Benedict of Nursia
We need men who keep their eyes fixed on God, learning from him what true humanity means.
We need men whose intellect is enlightened by the light of God, men whose hearts are opened by God, so that their intellect can speak to the intellect of others and their hearts can open the hearts of others. It is only by means of men who have been touched by God that God can return to be with mankind.
We need men like Benedict of Nursia, who, in an age of dissipation and decadence, immersed himself in the uttermost solitude. Then, after all the purifications he had to undergo, he succeeded in rising again to the light. He returned and made his foundation at Monte Cassino, the “city on the hill” where, in the midst of so many ruins, he assembled the forces from which a new world was formed. In this way, like Abraham, Benedict became the father of many peoples. The recommendations to his monks with which he concludes his Rule show us, too, the path that leads on high, away from the crises and the ruins:
Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, so is there is a good zeal which separates from evil and leads to God and life everlasting.
Let monks, therefore, exercise this zeal with the most fervent love. Let them, that is, give one another precedence. Let them bear with the greatest patience one another’s infirmities, whether of body or of character.… Let them practice fraternal charity with a pure love. Let them fear God.… Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ. And may he bring us all alike to life everlasting.
Benedict XVI. (2006). Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures. (B. McNeil, Trans.) (pp. 52–53). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.