Wednesday, January 15, 2014

True Christian Culture

England before the Norman Invasion had it.  If we in the South, the children of England, want it again, we must study their way of living.  And one of the integral parts of their society was the monastery.  Through the ascetic disciplines and within the liturgical life available at the monastery, monks and nuns develop the spiritual vision that gives birth to true culture. 

At the twin monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow in Northumbria, such a true culture developed.  Because of the energy and holiness of its founder, St Benedict Biscop, literature and other arts flourished there and deeply influenced other parts of England:  illuminated manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures, history, choral chanting, and so on. 

The South and the other parts of the American Empire are right now incapable of such a beautiful and sacred culture.  The idea of God’s presence in the material world has been rejected; the goal of life is no longer union with God through Christ but the satisfaction of the passions of the mind and flesh.  Our society reflects this - an obsession with politics, sports, violence, technology, hollow entertainment, money, etc.

Let us repent while there is still time.  St Benedict Biscop, St Bede, and the other holy men of Wearmouth-Jarrow stand ready as intercessors, to help us on our journey back to sacred living (a journey that likely will be fraught with difficulties).  But through their prayers and the Lord’s help, it is at least possible.

For more on the lives of St Benedict Biscop (whose blessed repose in the Lord was celebrated recently on 12 Jan.) and others from Wearmouth-Jarrow, and on the monastery itself, please visit these web sites:

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