Pope Benedict XVI gave a tribute to Saint Benedict his namesake in Pope Benedict XVI’s final General Audience of his pontificate on February 27, 2013 in Saint Peter’s Square, Rome, Italy.
In his goodbye Benedict XVI said:
“I am not returning to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences and so on. I am not abandoning the cross. I will remain in a new way at the foot of the Crucified Lord. I will no longer vest the power of office for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the vineyard of Saint Peter. Saint Benedict whose name I bear as Pope, is a great example of this. He showed us the way to a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God.”
The “work of God” Pope Benedict XVI spoke about is a manner of prayer followed by monasteries. In the more general sense it is the life of prayer.
The way of Saint Benedict to which the Pope referred is the prayer under Saint Benedict’s Rule (530 AD) — which is the divine office also called the liturgy of the hours or the opus dei — the “work of God.” This work of God is the psalms, antiphons, prayers, hymns, and Biblical readings recited at fixed hours of the day and night according to an ancient pattern. For Benedictines the pattern of the work of God is described in the Rule, chapters 8 through 19.
Benedict XVI as the newest Pope emeritus (his new title) since the resignation of Pope Gregory XII in 1415 will first stay at the papal summer residence in Castelgandolfo near Rome. Then when work on restoring a cloistered monastery inside the Vatican is completed, he will move there as his permanent residence for his work of God.
His life at the monastery will follow the general pattern followed by monasteries around the world.
The monks at Saint Leo Abbey in Florida follow that same pattern of prayer. Their prayer times are posted here and are open to the public. All are welcome to join Florida’s only Benedictine monks in the work of God.
Benedictine Oblates seek to follow the Rule of Saint Benedict as their state in life allows. And even though Oblates may not be able to do all the daily prayers, the life of an Oblate is “a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God.”
There are several divine office books used by Oblates, two of the most complete are Benedictine Daily Prayer and The Monastic Diurnal.
More information about the Oblate program at Saint Leo Abbey at their blog.
For more snaptwig.com information:
Seven things Floridians should know about Saint Leo Abbey
Religion 101: What is St. Leo Abbey in Pasco County, Florida?
Religion 101: How many Benedictines are there in the world?
Religion 101: Mysticism is not a bad word in the Catholic Church
Religion 101: Ancient monastic authors
Religion 101: Why become an oblate?
Religion 101: Example of a Benedictine divine office
Religion 101: First Benedictine book to read — two recommendations
Religion 101: What is a Benedictine oblate?
Religion 101: Overview of Benedictine spirituality