Our Charism

Our Charism

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. Although we do not own a monastery, through a vigorous formation program, each member has learned to live into a ‘monastery of the heart’, where each of us practice the discipline of prayer, study and work in our own homes and at our jobs.

As Christians, we made a covenant with God through our Baptism:

  • To continue in the Apostle’s teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.
  • To persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.
  • To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.
  • To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves.
  • To strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.

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. For members of The Companions of St. Luke, the Rule of St. Benedict is our rule of life. Therefore, the Rule is for us the full expression of our attempt to live into our Baptismal Vows. The Benedictine charism is and always has been a life devoted to Christ. Nothing, says our Holy Father Benedict, is to be preferred to the love of Christ, to the work of God, (prayer, meditation and study) and participation at the Eucharist.

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. In the spirit of our Patron St. Luke, we all try to bring healing by seeing Christ in all persons and through contemplative prayer for a wounded world.

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

Finally, 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 call for each of us as Benedictines to actively practice the commitment made to God through our Baptism. Each Companion determines, based on their own skills and interests, how these “tools for good works” will be practiced in their own lives. Our ministries take various forms as we are called to serve in our local church communities.