In The Rule
• St. Benedict's general
approach, which sees
the presence of Christ in
myriads of places, is a
• There is no chapter on
• Many chapters give us
• "They are truly monks
when they live by the
labor of their hands."
• Desert abbas lived in
the desert, farmed
very small plots.
• The manner of having farms and gardens
was part of the spiritual practice.
• "If at all possible [the monastery] is to be
so constituted that all necessities, such
as water, mill, garden, and various crafts
may be practiced within the monastery 7
so there will be no necessity for the
monks to wander outside; for this is not
at all good for their souls."
Monastero di Santa Maria delle Carceri
The Common Good
"If any products of the craftsmen
are to be sold, care should be
taken that those by whose
hands the transaction takes
place do not presume to
practice any fraud. …
In establishing their prices the
evil of avarice must not creep in:
instead, the goods should
always be sold for a little less
than those living in the world are
able to charge, so that in
everything God may be
• Many continue to
make food products.
• (Sr. Teri makes jams
and jellies, which are
sometimes at the
• For cloistered
monasteries, this is a
source of income
and a connection to
"From early times, the
Benedictines nurtured the
land of Europe that had
been wasted by Roman
latifundism, a practice in
which Roman businesses
bought up estates and
exploited them to
exhaustion for maximum
profit. The repair of
damaged land is a job for a
gardener, one who carefully
nurtures the soil, often in a
small area, until it comes to
• Sacristan's garden
to decorate the altar.
• This garden was
intended to be a
place of beauty that
reminded viewers of
the Garden of Eden,
lost to humans.
• Large orchards,
• Monks were
vegetarian, so no
livestock were kept for food.
• In Northern Europe, more need
for meat in long winters.
• Fish (carp) raised in special
ponds within the monastery.
• Monks did not reject alcohol
and there were several
monastic recipes for brews.
• One which fell out of favour in
England due to the
Reformation was cyser. This
was a hybrid between honey
and apple juice, a cider-mead
cross, and was a monastic
• Another was braggot, which
was made with grain and
honey and was thus an ale-
mead cross. Monks often
brewed ale/beer, which was a
Laudato Si – Brief Summary (1)
Laudato Si is Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment or more
formally – On Care for Our Common Home. Laudato Si means
“Praise be to you,” the 1st line of St. Francis'canticle
that praises God with all of his creation.
Pope Francis states the goal of the document: “In this
Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all
people about our common home” (#3).
Normally, papal documents are addressed to the
Church bishops or the lay faithful. But, like John XXIII’s
Pacem in Terris, Pope Francis address his message to
The goal of the dialogue: “I urgently appeal, then, for
a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our
planet. We need a conversation that includes everyone, since the
environment challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots,
concern and affect us all” (#14).
“The ecological crisis is also a summons to profound
interior conversion. It must be said that some committed
and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and
pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for
the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to
change their habits and thus become inconsistent.
So what they all need is an ‘ecological conversion’,
whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ
become evident in their relationship with the world
around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of
God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not
an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian
No matter who you are or where you find yourself in
relation to protecting the environment, Pope Francis has
this message for you: “I invite all to embrace with open
hearts this Encyclical which is in line with the Church’s
social doctrine” (General Audience, June 17, 2015).
Laudato Si – Brief Summary (2)
Dialogue with the Environment
Sister Edith Bogue
St. Scholastica Monastery
8 November 2015