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It certainly works for me.”According to Dreher, our best hope for standing firm in the face of this cultural tsunami is “to form stronger, thicker communities based on a commitment to virtue.” These communities will take on diverse forms depending upon the unique circumstances in which they take root.The key will not be to fit a predetermined, cookie-cutter pattern of life.These forms of community will necessarily involve withdrawal, but this withdrawal will be, as Timothy O’Malley puts it, “a retreat into Catholic particularity so that the Church might be better prepared to offer the fruits of her life for the world.” Marr, a Catholic, contrasts the Benedict Option with the approach of the “New Monastics,” a loose affiliation of pacifist and progressive Protestants.
Sullivan is not only a fallen-away Catholic, but also, it appears, a liberal one (she notes that she favors same-sex marriage and contraception).
Yet the beauty of the Benedictine nuns’ way of life speaks directly to her heart.
At the abbey, even the smallest act is considered an act of devotion, so that every dish washed or loaf of bread baked takes on heightened importance.
I couldn’t have understood this as a kid, arguing with the parish priest. There is something powerful about being in the presence of faith when you yourself are doubting. You can read more about a couple of the nuns who live and work and pray there.
Rather, such communities will be Benedictine, according to Dreher’s understanding of the term, to the extent that they foster genuine economic solidarity and enable the transmission of Christian culture, both of which will be the natural outworking of shared convictions about God and God’s activity in the world.