Benedikt Nursiysky: The Charter of the Monastery Hostel...

Benedikt of Nursi: the charter of the monastic hostel

As mentioned above, monasteries, especially those located in rural areas, were important centers of the early medieval civilization. It was not only the foci of religious life, which to a certain extent connected vast spaces, but also the center of various types of intellectual and economic activity. Intellectual culture was maintained and developed in monastery scriptories and libraries. The landed estates of the monasteries represented exemplary agricultural lands for that time. In the monasteries schools were created, and until the end of the eleventh century. monasteries retained a monopoly on education. A particularly important role in the development of the monastic movement was played by Benedictine monasticism. The basis of the order is due to the activities of Benedict Pursias (480-543). According to the legend, the founder of the order came from a noble family of Aniciev, was born in Nursia (now Norchya near Spoleto), received in Rome a traditional rhetorical education for that time, but early decided to abandon the temptations of worldly life. After retiring to the Sabinsky Mountains, he lived as an anchorite, imitating the devotees of Thebaid. Later, when due to the severity and holiness of his life Benedict acquired sufficient fame, he founded the monastery of Monte Cassino near Naples. The monastery was erected on the site of the ruins of a pagan temple dedicated to Apollo. Its construction was started on April 8, 529, the day of Easter, when the monks removed from the dilapidated forum the statue of Apollo and the images of other pagan gods and then erected in this place a chapel-oratorio of St. John, revered "patron of monasticism". The rapid growth of the monastery, which became a refuge in the war conditions of Byzantium with the Goths, necessitated the ordering of the monastic life, in connection with which the so-called "Benedict's statute" was created. (530).

In forming his charter, Benedict relied on the judgments and prescriptions contained in the writings of Jerome,

Augustine, Basil the Great, Cassian, and others. The latter two, in turn, were the authors of monastic statutes, but Benedict's statute was destined to displace all the previous statutes, and most Benedict to acquire the glory of the true founder of Western monasticism. Priority attention to the statute of Benedict was due primarily to the fact that, without breaking with the traditions of eastern monasticism, Benedikt Nursiisky abandoned the extremes of monastic asceticism. "If it happens," the statute, written in Latin, said, "that a brother will be prescribed heavy or impossible duties, then let him receive them with all meekness and humility." However, if he finds that their heaviness exceeds his capabilities, then let him explain it to the eldest, but he will do it at a convenient opportunity and with humility, showing no pride, no indignation, no obstinacy. " The monastic hostel in the statute is assessed as the most acceptable form of salvation for eternal life, "the school of serving the Lord" (Latin Dominici schola servitii). This service involves a distance from the world. Without the permission of the abbot, the monk, according to the statute, could not see even his parents; the permission of the abbot was required, among other things, for written communication with relatives and for receiving from them any gifts or gifts. Admission to the monastery presupposed the abandonment of property, poverty: "with a root must tear out from the monastery the vice of possessing something". You can not even have your own body or your desires ... Poverty, chastity, work in combination with prayer vigils and observance of fasts determined the basic content of monastic life. Particularly emphasizes the charter virtues such as humility and obedience, which also imply a tendency to silence. "Refusing personal desires, accept the most powerful and beautiful weapon of obedience to serve the true king of the Lord Christ." Speak and teach befits a mentor; the disciple must be silent and listen. " Even simple conversation is recommended to monks only in case of emergency.

The Abbot's charter is considered as a substitute for Christ in a monastery, which must be strictly obeyed. The abbot appears as a strict, but at the same time indulgent father of the family, obliged to affirm fraternal feelings in the community. To the members of the community, Benedikt demands the "stabilitas loci", which presupposes a permanent stay in the same monastery throughout his life. The settling of the monks was largely ensured by the Institute of Ioviatsat. This meant that the novelty was accepted into the monastery after a thorough test, and only after a year did not have any new complaints brought solemn vows to comply with the requirements of the statute and became a full-fledged monk. As for the election of the abbot, he was elected by a simple majority of the brothers, but the ego required the approval of the bishop.

The Benedictine Charter strongly recommends that monks engage in manual labor as a way out of many vices and temptations. "Cross and Oral" ("Cruce et aratro") recommended in the charter to achieve spiritual victories. As for the language of the charter, it is marked by a penchant for military terms, which must establish both the idea of ​​the discipline of monastic life, and the task of spiritual struggle for moral perfection. It is noteworthy that the charter itself is called Lex sub qua militare vis, which means "The law, obeying which, you expect to militate."

As for intellectual work, it is recommended primarily in the form of studying books of spiritual content and church chants. The charter recommends daily 1-2 hours to devote to reading, and the abbot is recommended, at his discretion, to provide monks with a board and a slate. As OA Dobiash-Rozhdestvenskaya writes, the charter of St. Benedictus ordered the young monk never to part with the sign and style: "The cleric, as a girlfriend hold the plate at her thigh," - rephrases this charter of Boethius. Brothers, however, neglecting reading, the statute calls lazy.

This attitude to both physical and mental labor was characteristic of medieval thought. Another bl. Hieronymus in the Epistle to Rustic, instructing the youth intending to become a monk, wrote that work is the main way to combat temptations, "an idle monk is an easy prey to the devil, and to him who works, the unclean can not be approached; Both mental and physical labor help, but most importantly the reading of the Holy Scripture. " Idleness denounced and bl. Augustine. Commenting on the message of the apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 3, 6-12), he proves that monks should not despise physical labor. Monasteries are best arranged, where monks perform different tasks, devoting part of the day to manual labor, and part to reading, prayer, studying the Holy Scripture.

Afterwards, many monasteries of the Benedictine Order (in Fulda, Reichsau, St. Gallen) became famous for their libraries and scholarly pursuits, although in this tendency many authoritative medievalists see the impact on Benedictines Vivaria Cassiodorus. Large monasteries have always been known for beautiful libraries. Here is a description of the library of Durham Monastery, which belongs to the Order of St. Benedicta: "On the north side of the covered gallery from the corner opposite the porch of the dormitory there were superb glazed windows from the top to the bottom that looked out onto the courtyard of the monastery gallery. Each window had a bench and a cubicle; all the old, respected monks used their own booths, and after a day's meal they retired there to study books. And so everyone sat in his booth all afternoon, until the beginning of the evening service. Such activities were taught every day. Opposite the booths at the wall were huge, full of books, cabinets, in which lay the ancient writings of the fathers of the church, and the works of other authors describing the deeds of various saints ... & quot ;. As you know, the book in the Middle Ages cost a fortune, the monks had to carefully store books and manuscripts on which one could often find inscriptions: "Quisquis quem contigerit Sit ili Iota manus"; ("Do not let anyone touch the dirty finger of my blank pages") or "Let anyone who steals this manuscript, or uses it without demand, or spoils its name, will be anathema." Amen. "

If later the Benedictine Order became a disseminator of knowledge, and the Benedictine monks were the copyists of ancient manuscripts of only spiritual and secular content, this order was due to the influence of Vivarium Cassiodorus, "notes I. Golenishchev-Kutuzov. Subsequently, the Benedictine Charter was supplemented by a number of other provisions. For example, the morning prayer was postponed from 2 am to 4 pm, graduations between the lowest lay monks and higher monks were booked (monachi literati ), permission was given to eat meat, etc. >

An important role in the spread of the Benedictine Charter was played by Pope Gregory the Great (590-604). He introduced the Benedictine Charter in the monastery founded by St. Andrew, where the monk Augustin was then sent to England by missionaries with 90 ascetics. On their way the missionaries made a long stop in France, which resulted in the introduction of the Benedictine statute in a number of Gallic monasteries. In England, the first Benedictine monastery was founded in Canterbury in 597, and the Benedictine idea later became decisive for English monastic culture. Then the English missionaries exported Benedictine idea to Germany and Scandinavian countries. By the ninth century. The Benedictine Charter became a general rule for all the monasteries of Western Europe, with the exception of Scotland, Wales and Ireland, where for some time the stricter regulations of St. Columban (543-615). The charter of Columban included exhausting posts and other difficult physical tests: for example, long prayer stands with crossed arms, swimming in icy waters with singing psalms, eating once a day, etc. Assessing the significance of the Benedictine idea in the history of Western European monasticism, L. P. Karsavin saw in it the approach of the church idea to the world. In his opinion, the statute of Benedict of Nursia establishes "the type of monastic life not so heroic as the life of early monasticism, but, in general, more culturally effective."

Circle of concepts and problems

Benedictine idea: School of service to the Lord, stabilitas loci, institute of novitiate, monachi literati.

Assignment for self-monitoring

Tell us about Bendikt Nursi, Gregory the Great, St. Columbus.

thematic pictures

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