"Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit."
Birth of Jesus
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. 20 As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “ Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. ” 22 Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:
( Emmanuel means “ God with us. ” )
24 When Joseph woke up, he did just as an angel from God commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he didn’t have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. Joseph called him Jesus.
When St. Benedict formed his first small community of monks at Monte Cassino on the hilltop, Italy--and much of Europe--was ravaged by war. The Roman Empire was breaking apart, and politics, cultural life, and even the Church, were all in disarray. In the midst of these tumultuous times, Benedict offered his followers a “little rule,” a guide about the size of a checkbook, that showed his monks the way to peace as they learned to prefer Christ above all things.
Though it was written nearly 1500 years ago, the Rule of Benedict still offers the practical tools for living a Christ-centered today. Here in St. Benedict’s Toolbox, readers will find a primer on how to use these tools in their own tumultuous lives. Each chapter examines one aspect of the Rule, from ways of praying to ways of embracing humility, and offers suggestions for prayer, reflection, journaling, and action. As they learn to use Benedict’s tools, readers will discover the power--and the timeliness--of this ancient way of life.