My name is Benedict, F.O.S.B. I was received into All Saints Priory in winter 2009. As you might have guessed, I was named after the Father of the Western Monasticism, St. Benedict of Nurcia. I wear a black habit, and according to the wise injunction of our Holy Father Benedict—I mean St Benedict of Nurcia—I wear a habit made of fur because it is most suitable for the local conditions. I’m referring to the Holy Rule Chapter 55, if you have any doubt about what I say.
People also associate me with Pope Emeritus, His Holiness Benedict XVI, and there are many commonalities between us. The list is long, so I will not go into it. Suffice it to say we are both wise and humble.
I live under the Rule of St. Benedict as you can easily imagine. I am especially drawn to Chapter 7, which is on humility. I mediate day and night on the ninth step of humility, which is about controlling our tongue. This is where I excel, and my brother miserably fails. More about him later.
I spend much time in Lectio. I deeply savor such scriptural lines as “Jesus said to his disciples, Come and have breakfast.”(John 21:12)
I am rather quiet and introvert by nature, so this life suits me fine. But that brother of mine! He is a Dominican and in black and white, as he wears his cappa (black mantle) all the time. He loves to preach. Let me make clear: there are two Dominicans around here and the one I’m talking about is the shorter one. He is about a foot and half in height, with tail and all; the other is six-feet-four.
This brother of mine, who bears the venerable name of the founder of the Order of Preachers, is usually called Nicky as he can’t live up to his name. He came in summer a few of years ago. Let me tell you it wasn’t my idea to receive him into our household. In fact, I didn’t want to be around him at all first. You see, I’m introvert and he is super-extrovert. I’m retiring and contemplative, and he is outgoing and loves to talk. It took me some getting used to, to say the least.
But one day he fell from a banister and hit his nose very hard. I found him in a daze and with a bloody nose. Obviously he was hurt. I was so worried. That moment I realized I had come to love him. You know love is a gift from God. And my little brother too is His gift because he loves me. With all his shortcomings, he is still my brother.