Throughout the month of October, the bishops who gathered in Rome for the synod thought and prayed about the family and its place in society. The Rule of Saint Benedict, because it describes the life in a monastery as a family life, also has something to say on the subject, a message to deliver to families.
In writing his Rule, Saint Benedict distanced himself from the image of the roman “paterfamilias” who held absolute power over the members of the family. The abbot is a father in the Christian sense. One who educates and shows the way to God by becoming a servant. Paternal authority is a true ministry of charity requiring that he care for every member, especially the weakest and the sick.
It is no coincidence that Saint Benedict insists so strongly on the virtue of humility. He knows that only to the extent to which each member forgets himself, gives himself to others, renounces his egotistical ways, will a climate of peace and authentic happiness reign in the family.
May monks be witnesses to this special joy that springs from living together, a visible sign of God's love for us!
+ Abbot Philippe Dupont