The Companions of St. Luke – OSB is a recognized religious community within the Episcopal Church. We are a community of men and women who are committed to following our savior, Jesus Christ by following the Rule and living into the Vows of St. Benedict. The Benedictine charism is and always has been a life devoted to Christ in constant prayer, in lectio divina, and in work. Nothing, says our holy Father Benedict, is to be preferred to the work of God, i.e. the Divine Office, and whenever possible participation at the Eucharist. Similarly, lectio divina is inseparable from our personal prayer and meditation. Our ministries will take various forms as we are called to serve in our local communities; but, in the spirit of our Patron St. Luke, we all bring healing through contemplative prayer to a wounded world.
In Chapter 4 of the Rule, St. Benedict encourages his followers to “relieve the lot of the poor, clothe the naked, visit the sick, bury the dead and console the sorrowing.” These “tools for good works” are a beginning point for Christian living. Each Companion determines, based on their own skills and interests, how these “tools for good works” will be practiced in their own lives. The threefold Benedictine vow calls each Companion to a life of conversion and, through conversion, a life of reconciliation and healing with God and our neighbor.
Here is love, wide as the ocean,
Mercies, boundless like the sea!
Prince of life in anguish dying –
Dying thus to set us free.
Who His love can but remember?
Who His Name can but adore?
Ne’er such love can be forgotten
While heaven lasts for evermore.
– Ancient Celtic poem
When St. Benedict started his first community in Nursia, Italy; he purposefully separated his members from the world in a monastery so the brothers could learn of the love of God and how to live in Christian community without the distractions and temptations of the World. His Rule and the separation of the monastery became the standard for men and women who seek to have a special relationship with God for almost 1500 years. In 1992, our founder raised this question: Does a person in the 21st century need to be sequestered in a monastic setting to be part of a Christian community in the Benedictine tradition? He felt the answer was “No”, so he founded the Companions of St. Luke. Since then we have grown from one or two members to over 35 Christian women and men.
We are a dispersed community with members living throughout the United States, Canada, Brazil and England, who are tied together by our love of Christ, prayer, and the Rule of St. Benedict. We pray and meditate in our homes and sometimes at work, we study the Rule and scriptures, and we work in the world and in our churches. We also treasure the two times a year when we meet together in person. The struggle for balance in our lives is the same challenge all Benedictines have struggled with through the ages.