The visitor to our Household website may well ask, "Who is this St. Benedict guy, and what is he doing on the website of a gay male, leather, BDSM household?" It is a very good question, one we hope to answer briefly.
Benedict was an early 6th century Italian saint. Italy in his day was in a state of great chaos following the removal of the seat of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople and the repeated invasions of Rome and its surrounding countryside by roving Germanic tribes. Seeking to escape from that chaos and from the moral and social decay of Rome, and to follow seriously the spiritual life, Benedict took up residence in a cave in a desert place near Rome. Here he lived for several years as a hermit in a life of committed self-discipline.
In time the word of the authentic quality of his spiritual life and of his wisdom spread and many came out to the desert to seek his instruction and leadership. From these followers he founded and directed a significant number of monasteries in and around Rome. Unlike his personal training ground as a hermit living in a cave, these monasteries were each organized as a community of men living, working and praying together under the direction of an abbot.
Now we ask you, "Is there a hint of a parallel here yet?" Just in case you missed it, we are a community of men living, working and playing together under the direction of a Master.
The legacy of St. Benedict was not so much the communities he founded, but rather the Rule that he wrote to guide and direct them. 1500 years later this same, relatively simple Rule continues to guide the life of more than 1400 communities of Benedictine and Cistercian monks and nuns and thousands of dedicated layperson around the world. It also serves as a significant guide and resource to us in Household Keppeler.
Lest our reader think we've become religious fanatics, we hasten to assure you that the Rule has, in the overall, relatively little to do with the overt practice of religion, and a great deal to do with the practical reality of life lived, and lived well, in a structured, hierarchically ordered community. The vitality of the Rule is that it directs a way of life and an attitude of mind rather than a specific set of religious prescriptions. Its currency is in its speaking to relevant topics of our common life today; topics of authority and community, of relationships and psychological development, of stewardship and responsibility, of balance and simplicity.
Have we gotten you curious? Learn more about St. Benedict, the Benedictine way of life and the Rule of St. Benedict.
This page last updated on January 18, 2007.
Copyrighted © 2000-2007 by Master Alex Keppeler.
Constructed and maintained by Master Alex of Household Keppeler.
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