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The Rule of Radical Generosity - An Interview with Fr. Meinrad Miller on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Father Meinrad Miller of St. Benedict's Abbey and Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.  Andrew and Fr. Meinrad discuss St. Benedict of Nursia's life and about the Rule of St. Benedict. They discuss how generosity can lead to temperance, one of the Cardinal virtues and the main one that Andrew has come to associate with Benedict’s life and legacy. Hopefully you can take something away from this interview and from the Rule of Radical Generosity that Andrew shares at the end.

We wish you a wonderful New Year and pray that we can all be healthier, wealthier, wiser and more generous in 2021. God bless and enjoy this episode with Fr. Meinrad Miller on St. Benedict of Nursia.


Show Notes: 

As we close out 2020, we decided to share an interview that i did with Fr. Meinrad Miller of St. Benedicts Abbey and Benedictine College in Achison Kansas. Not surprisingly, Fr. Meinrad is an expert on St. Benedict of Nursia and specifically, about the Rule of St. Benedict. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and writing about virtues and about how charitable giving and radical generosity can help us grow in virtue, and this led me to want to learn more about St. Benedict. Benedict was born in 480 AD, left his Roman studies around 500 AD, and set up in a little cave in Subiaco, Italy. There, Benedict lived as a hermit for 3 years and developed a bit of a reputation around the area. The story is an interesting one with a number of twists and turns, but eventually, Benedict establishes 12 orders of monks and even takes over management of the monks at Montecassino. It was there that he put together a guide for how to live as a monk and how to run a monastery, which came to be known as the Rule of Benedict. 

 

I had a great conversation with Fr. Meinrad about Benedicts life and about his Rule and we even discussed how generosity can lead to temperance, one of the cardinal virtues and the main one that i have come to associate with Benedict’s life and legacy. I hope that you enjoy my conversation with Fr. Meinrad. And as a special treat, I did not write down my three takeaways as i normally do, but instead, i wrote my own Rule. I am calling it the Rule of Radical Generosity and I will read this Rule at the conclusion of my conversation with Fr. Meinrad. Hopefully you can take something away from this interview or from the Rule. I wish you a wonderful New Year and pray that we can all be healthier, wealthier, wiser and more generous in 2021. God bless and enjoy this episode with Fr. Meinrad Miller on St. Benedict of Nursia.

 

Fr. Meinrad Miller

 

Fr. Meinrad had been a monk for 35 years and a priest for 26 years. He is the choir director, the oblate director for lay people, a professor of theology, the associate director for the local Knights of Columbus as well as the Chaplain at Valley Hope, an addiction recovery center. 

 

Fr. Meinrad can remember feeling the call to St. Benedict all the way back to grade school. He was drawn to the combination of prayer and work. 

 

St. Benedict of Nursia

 

He was a man who was in love with Christ. Even when living in solitude, he was called to lead and to teach. 

He lived in a time that was tumultuous in both Rome and in the faith. And this turmoil led Benedict to solitude. The turmoil wasn't the only reason for his escape to Subiaco, but a genuine desire for quiet and reflection. 

Subiaco is beautiful and, in fact, 700 years after Benedict lived there, St. Francis of Assisi spent 30 days in Benedict's cave.

Benedict shows that wherever we go, we are called to deepen our roots in our spiritual life and our relationship with the Holy Spirit. 

Benedict's lessons are for everyone. There is no division by class, faith journey, culture, age, demography, etc. 

It creates a deep hunger to have a life like the life of Jesus. 

 

Rule of St. Benedict

 

The Rule is a guide to human living, rooted in the Gospels with hints of all the Fathers of the Church. St. Augustine, St. Basil, the Desert fathers, Eastern fathers, etc. 

St. Benedict says to take these words and continue learning from the scriptures and from the Holy fathers. 

It's like the quote from Miracle on 34th Street, "don't just shop at Macy's, go to Gimble's too." Benedict is saying to not just take his word for it. Don't read one thing and then stop learning. But to continuously be learning. 

 

Fundraising and Development

 

There is tremendous benefit to the donor who operates in a spirit of generosity. St. Benedict represents the virtue of temperance. He had an awareness of how people can be involved. Of how to be aware of the poor. The monks received land and goods from the rich and in return they were able to give to the poor. 

 

For instance, with the land they had, they gardened. By taking care of the land and being responsible, they were able to give food from their garden to those in need. 

 

Rene du Bose labeled Benedict the Patron Saint of the environment. And what is important in that, is that they were good caretakers who showed others how to take care of the land as well. Cultivating the ability to live off what you have. 

Keeping the sense of stewardship. 

 

Chapter 7 of the Rule of St. Benedict

 

The ascension to heaven is through humility. Redirecting the glory unto God. 

Taking example from the wealthy couple who lives in a modest home so that they can give generously. 

All that we have is a gift from God and it brings fulfillment to give back to God. What happens if we only take for ourselves what we've been given or earned and never give?

 

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is the advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

 

Andrew shared the Rule of Radical Generosity 

I hope that you enjoyed this reading of the rule of radical generosity. A copy of this rule is available on our website. Please visit there to read it again, print it to read with your family or share it with others. God bless you and god bless all of us as we strive to become holy donors practicing radical generosity in service of God and his Church on earth.

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