A Letter from Our Abbot
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Peace be with you and welcome to the Companions of St. Luke, OSB. Perhaps, you are like I was not too many years ago and are feeling a bit lost orthat there must be more to spiritual life than what you are currently experiencing. Going to services on Sunday, taking part in parish life, having an active prayer life and trying to be a good person are all important and satisfying. Yet, I still felt that there must be something more. I yearned for a deeper closeness to God and a more intentional way of Christian living. If you are experiencing some of these same thoughts, then I invite you to walk with us for a while and explore the unique Benedictine community that is the Companions of St. Luke, OSB.
The Companions of St. Luke is a religious community formed under the Canons of the Episcopal Church. Our members are men and women; young and old; married, divorced, single and celibate; straight and gay; teachers, lawyers, doctors, bankers, nurses, clergy, law enforcement and military officers; administrators; students; housewives and retired people; Episcopalians and members of other denominations. We live in places ranging from Alaska to Florida and from New Hampshire to California. In other words, we are just like you and we are proud of the dynamic community that our diversity fosters. Some of us have lived communally in the past but most of us carry the monastery of our Community in our hearts as we live our lives in local communities and parishes across the United States and beyond.
Certain things bind us together despite our diversity. First and foremost, in the words of our father, St. Benedict, we are called to “Prefer nothing whatever to Christ”. In practice, this means we are called to reorder our priorities radically and to live our very lives away from many of the things that modern life tells us are so important. In doing so, we seek to hear more clearly what the Lord is saying to us and to follow more intentionally the path to the salvation that He promises us. For us in the Companions of St. Luke, that means we take vows of obedience, stability and conversion of life. We humbly submit ourselves to God and the Community and undertake years of monastic formation to learn how to live into our vows, learning how to serve God and our fellow man. We follow the Rule that St. Benedict set out for us 1500 years ago, but we do it in a manner reflective of the 21st Century. We are called to be Contemplative of God and our relationship to Him and to be intentional in all that we undertake in life. We pray—a lot—a minimum of four Daily Offices a day for vowed members, because we know there is nothing more rewarding or more important than communion with our Savior. We seek to be a new expression of monasticism, helping each other in our spiritual journeys and serving as examples to the wider church and world.
St. Benedict said, “Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road that leads to salvation. It is bound to be narrow at the outset. But as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts over-flowing with the inexpressible delight of love.” He also told us “to listen with the ear of our heart”. I invite you to listen with the ear of your heart, not to be daunted by fear. Consider walking with us, the Companions of St. Luke, OSB, as we seek to navigate together that narrow path that leads to salvation.
Br. Basil Edwards OSB, Abbot