St. Margaret's Weekly Reflection

WEEKLY REFLECTION | Proper 10A – July 16, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On July 11, we celebrated the feast day of St. Benedict of Nursia. This is an important day for us, and not just because our Benedictine Oblate Chapter* meets regularly at St. Margaret’s.

St. Benedict and his twin sister St. Scholastica (celebrated on February 10) are important to us as Episcopalians, because many of our Anglican roots are firmly embedded in the Benedictine tradition. In part, this is because many of the early Christians bringing the Gospel to Britain were Benedictine missionaries. And even more, because during the Middle Ages, many of Britain’s Cathedrals were also Benedictine monasteries (including Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and York Minster). The monasteries were centers of education, medical care and industrial innovation. 

It’s not unusual for Episcopalians with whom I talk about the Benedictine lifestyle to respond, “But that seems so familiar!” Yep, it’s in our DNA, right down to our prayerbook and liturgy. All our services have psalms in them—one of the central features of monastic prayer. And the prayerbook begins with the Daily Office: Morning, Noonday and Evening Prayer, ending with Compline (Night Prayer). A round of prayer to keep us aligned with God throughout our day.

The Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities have adopted a statement of 10 Hallmarks * which express the core values of Benedictine life. I think they provide wonderful guidelines for living our lives in Christ.

  1. Love of Christ and neighbor
  2. Prayer: a life marked by liturgy, sacred reading (lectio) and mindfulness
  3. Stability: commitment to the daily life of this place, it’s heritage and tradition
  4. Conversion of Life: the way of formation and transformation
  5. Obedience: a commitment to listening and consequent action
  6. Discipline: a way toward learning and freedom
  7. Humility: knowledge of self in relation to God, others and creation
  8. Stewardship: responsible use of creation, culture and the arts
  9. Hospitality: openness to the other
  10. Community: call to serve the common good

I have often said the Benedictine way of life fits wonderfully with our Episcopal way of life. Take a look again at these hallmarks and think of everything St. Margaret stands for, both for us as parishioners and for our community. What do you see? How can you enrich your lives by living intentionally?

Mo. Laura+


*Benedictine Oblates are people of all sorts, lay and clergy, married and single, of many different denominations, who live the Benedictine life in the world, rather than in monasteries. We follow the 6 th Century Rule of St. Benedict in the ways that apply to our varied modern lives. Many Benedictine monasteries—Anglican, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and ecumenical—have oblates. Oblate comes from the word oblation, which means an offering. An oblate offers his or her life to Christ.