Tristan Macdonald, a theology and literature teacher at a Catholic high school in Boston, did me the very great honor of sending me a sonnet he wrote after reading The Benedict Option. Here it is:
The Benedict Option
Upon learning that my wife was pregnant,
I finally fully felt my true calling:
to reflect the Father in my falling,
in my self-submergence as a servant
and teacher of my kids. But in this scarring
culture cut off from the past, in this segment
severed from Tradition, is there some remnant
to prevent their stunting and their stalling?
These schools are mostly broken incubators
or breeding, gene-tweaking laboratories,
these cities rich, heavenless hermitages.
Yet have I the strength to leave my creator,
this state containing my family’s stories,
for distant, religion-stitched villages?
Magnificent. Thank you, Tristan — and congratulations to you and your wife on the baby to come. If you want some light Ben Op fiction to read, try The Awakening of Miss Prim, which even has the monks of Norcia in it. It’s not poetry, but it’s lovely and inspiriting, like vinho verde on a hot day.
Readers, check out this wise piece Tristan Macdonald once wrote on the importance of reclaiming a culture by living out narrative.