Thursday, March 15, 2018

Luther and Benedict - God, Conscience, and the Communion of Saints

"The Protestant Reformation has contributed notably to the constitution of Europe, and it is generally accepted that this action has entailed a surrender of what one might call the Benedictine spirit.  Let us concede as much. Nevertheless, notwithstanding harsh and draconian critiques of monasticism, the priorities established by Luther - God, conscience, and the communion of saints - were also those of Saint Benedict.  Martin Luther went to the Diet of Worms impelled by the same motive that led Benedict to Subiaco: he was bound in conscience by the Word of God.  With God's help he stood fast, for he could not do otherwise.

And the emblem of the Protestant Reformation has always remained a monk struggling in prayer, hunched over his Bible, his unconscious teeming with the images and the words of Scripture, above all those of the Psalter."

(Gordon Rupp, as quoted in "In the School of Contemplation" by Andre Louf, OCSO).

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