St. Benedict

In our last post, we quoted a prayer by St. Benedict.  St. Benedict is a Catholic saint who lived from 480 to 543.  He is probably most famous for his St. Benedict’s Rule whose “purpose was not to institute an order of clerics with clerical duties and offices, but an organization and a set of rules for the domestic life of such laymen as wished to live as fully as possible the type of life presented in the Gospel”. [1]

Instead of practicing a theoretical Christianity he tried to practice a Christianity that could be lived in the real world.  “Benedict had the revolutionary idea that work was a necessary instrument of virtue almost on a par with prayer, and often indistinguishable from it. To him it was the natural condition of man, and he envisioned a state of life in which the physical components of work, prayer and reading were in all ways equal. He warned against outward expressions of piety and excessive mortification, especially when they were found to be, as is most often the case, an end in themselves. His was a voice of moderation and reason; his Rule is, indeed, a document about how a man can live with God in an imperfect world.” [2]

While I do not consider living in a monastery living in the real world, St. Benedict’s aim was noble.  Those of us who work in manufacturing or in call centers or in the medical profession or in a nonprofit organization do not have a St. Benedict to guide us; we must figure out for ourselves how to live with God in our profession.  It is odd that we see so little discussion on how to apply Christianity to our work.




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