Cherishing the Wisdom of Community: A Benedictine Model of Leadership for Turbulent Times
We live in turbulent times: war, refugees, hate groups, and increasing disconnection between the rich and poor, healthy and sick, and self-interest and the common good. Disorder, angst, and malaise often describe the twenty-first century.
Disorder, angst, and malaise may also describe the sixth century in Europe as the Roman Empire fell apart. In those turbulent times, Benedict of Nursia entered a tradition of Christian monasticism that was then over 200 years old and eventually led a group of monks who sought to grow in spiritual maturity through their experience of authentic relationships in a life lived together.
Benedict developed a written Rule that set up the conditions by which the individual could grow and become an instrument of God’s will in the world. This chapter examines the background and contents of the Rule of Benedict and proposes four key dynamics that may allow twenty-first-century people to learn from the wisdom of the sixth-century monks: community, hospitality, humility, and charity.
KeywordsRule of benedict Benedictine spirituality Community Hospitality Humility Charity
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