LSB5 – Holiness Beyond Appearance – The Life of St. Benedict – The Holy Rule of St. Benedict with Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Holiness Beyond Appearance – The Life of St. Benedict – The Holy Rule of St. Benedict with Fr. Mauritius Wilde, O.S.B.

Fr. Mauritius Wilde and Kris McGregor continue their discussion of the life of St. Benedict. In this episode, they highlight his journey of detachment from cultural norms and societal expectations to deepen his relationship with God.

They explore how Benedict’s appearance in the wilderness led shepherds to mistake him for a wild animal initially, symbolizing his detachment from cultural conventions. Despite his unconventional appearance, Benedict’s holiness was recognized by the shepherds, highlighting the idea that true holiness transcends outward appearances.

Fr. Mauritius extends to the broader theme of detachment from cultural biases in spiritual growth, drawing parallels with missionaries and the need to embrace others. He notes the importance of being vulnerable before God, shedding societal masks to reveal our true selves. Fr. Mauritius encourages listeners to examine their cultural biases, appreciate different perspectives, and embrace vulnerability in their spiritual journeys.

Discerning Hearts Reflection Questions:

  1. Recognition of Holiness: How does St. Benedict’s story challenge our perceptions of holiness, particularly in recognizing it beyond outward appearances?
  2. Detachment from Cultural Norms: What lessons can we learn from Benedict’s detachment from societal expectations, and how might this apply to our own cultural biases?
  3. Embracing Perspectives: In what ways can we emulate Benedict’s openness to different perspectives and cultures in our interactions with others?
  4. Authenticity in Prayer: How does Benedict’s journey encourage us to be authentic and vulnerable before God, especially in moments of prayer and reflection?
  5. Cultural Critique and Improvement: Reflecting on our own culture, what aspects do we appreciate, and what areas do we see as needing improvement or correction?
  6. Embracing Otherness: How do we view immigrants or unfamiliar cultures, and are we open to learning from them as God-inspired expressions of diversity?


From the Life of Our Most Holy Father St. Benedict by St. Gregory the Great:


“About the same time certain shepherds found him hid in a cave; who, at the first, spying him among the bushes, clothed in the skins of beasts, took him for some wild beast, but afterwards knowing him to be a servant of God, many of them were converted from their savage life to virtue. By this means his name began to be famous in the country, and many did resort unto him, bringing with them necessaries for his body, while they received from his lips the food of life.”

Father Mauritius Wilde, OSB, Ph.D., did his philosophical, theological and doctoral studies in Europe. He is the author of several books and directs retreats regularly. He serves as Prior at Sant’Anselmo in Rome. For more information about the ministry of the Missionary Benedictines of Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, NE

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