Detail of an icon of St. Benedict of Nursia, from the hand of Fabrizio Diomedi (Dreher personal collection)

Today is the Feast of St. Benedict of Nursia in the Roman Catholic Church (we Orthodox observe the feast in March). The poet Malcolm Guite has written a sonnet for our father among the saints, Benedict:

You sought to start a simple school of prayer,
A modest, gentle, moderate attempt,
With nothing made too harsh or hard to bear,
No treating or retreating with contempt,
A little rule, a small obedience
That sets aside, and tills the chosen ground,
Fruitful humility, chosen innocence,
A binding by which freedom might be found

You call us all to live, and see good days,
Centre in Christ and enter in his peace,
To seek his Way amidst our many ways,
Find blessedness in blessing, peace in praise,
To clear and keep for Love a sacred space
That we might be beginners in God’s grace.

Hear the poet read it aloud here. I strongly urge you to do so; his voice is so richly textured.

In The Benedict Option, you can read about believers — some under religious vows, others in the lay state — who are following in St. Benedict’s footsteps over 14 centuries after he lived and prayed and walked on this earth. He has so very much to teach us still.