I think it would perhaps be best to start at the beginning.

I returned to the Catholic Church 8 years ago. I recalled hardly anything of my childhood religious education: all I knew was that Jesus died on the Cross and that He was the Son of God (even that He is consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit, I had no idea).
At the time I returned I was introduced to the Jesuits. I did not find their “spirituality” (or at least its current incarnation) congenial and was a bit wary that it might lead to a type of spiritual deception, what with the space it allowed for one’s imagination and no mention of how to discipline it. However, I was briefly introduced to the Liturgy of the Hours during that period, and something about it struck a chord within me.

Feeling lost and dissatisfied with what I was being given at the Jesuits and not having at the time anyone who could point me in another direction I turned, perhaps like many recent converts and reverts, to the Internet. It was on-line that I really began to learn about the Church, her history and her traditions. I spent many an hour on websites such as  New Liturgical Movement and What Does the Prayer Really Say, for example. I spoke with people in forums who introduced me to the Fathers, and who showed me that there was a lot more to Catholicism than just the Roman Church.

I discovered the Byzantine rite and fell in love with it: you might say that’s when I discovered my love of the Liturgy in general. Here was a rite rich with symbolism and poetry and ritual, something that spoke to me of God and which I was not finding in the Roman rite. It was through my studies of the Eastern and Oriental rites that I eventually discovered the vetus ordo and the beautiful liturgical heritage that was mine in a more particular way.

I looked to the Fathers for their teaching and how it helped to make what I read in the Catechism come alive.

During all this time I kept looking for someplace where I could feel at home within the Church. I had come to realise over the years that being a Christian was not a “one man show”, rather that it was about discipleship, and so I continued to look. Then, one fateful day some years ago, I happened to chance upon the blog Vultus Christi. That first post captivated me, and so I decided to look through the archives – I had finally found what I was looking for. Here was a community that held dear the same things I did: the opus Dei, the Fathers, chant, silence, stability. This, in a nutshell, was how I came to find a home among the Benedictines. As I became more and more acquainted with them I began to want to learn more about the Rule. I wanted to know how one living in the world but with his heart in the cloister could follow it which, while written for the cenobitic life, seemed so apropos of family life. And so, as the great teacher commands in the Prologue, I inclined the ears of my heart to listen…

One thought on “Why Benedictine?

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