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MEMORIAL OF SAINT BENEDICT, ABBOT


Gospel Mt 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "He drives out demons by the prince of demons." Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest."

REFLECTION Today is the Feast of St. Benedict of Nursia who is known as the "Father of Modern Monasticism." He lived from c. 480 to c. 547. Benedict was quickly disillusioned by the lack of morality in the youth of his times. He did not want to fall into the same temptations his peers succumbed to. Benedict wanted to be holy so he left the large cities in Italy and found a quiet place where he could live as a hermit near Subiaco. Here he found a holy monk, Romanus, who became his spiritual advisor.


While Benedict was in seclusion he worked on conquering three main temptations: "the temptations common to most men: the temptation of self-affirmation and the desire to put oneself at the center, the temptation of sensuality and, lastly, the temptation of anger and revenge." After he succeeded in controlling these temptations, he was invited by a monastery to become the abbot. Soon the monks were opposed to Benedict's strict rule as abbot. They hated him so much that they plotted to poison his wine. Before drinking the wine, Benedict blessed it and the glass shattered. The plot was exposed. He left that monastery.


Benedict was often called upon for his spiritual help. There were miracles witnessed when he intervened. In one incident Satan came to Benedict and told him he was going to attack the monks working on building a wall. A child died, who was helping the monks build the stone wall. The monks grieving the child's death brought him to St. Benedict. He prayed over the child and he came back to life and his injuries were healed.


Another miracle reported was that a man was possessed by a demon. Even the bishop could not exorcise the spirit, so they called Benedict. Benedict called upon Jesus in prayer and the demon immediately left the man. Then Benedict told the man to live by these two rules: abstain from meat for the rest of his life and not become a priest.


St. Benedict is known for his power to protect us from evil by praying to him and wearing his medal. Let us pray for our priests and for their protection and for our PAPA families. St. Benedict pray for us!




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