Who we are
We have families, circles of friends and acquaintances. Like everyone. We are senior and ordinary employees, we work in schools, offices, and public institutions. We run businesses. Among us, there are retired people who have the willingness and the time to share their knowledge and experience. Among our many obligations, we try to find the time and place for prayer and quiet, for reflecting on God’s Word, and for Christian meditation.
In the “Benedict Option” Foundation we wish to build a culture of living in community. We base ourselves on what is important for us in life: the Benedictine Ordo et Pax, respect for humankind and nature, trust, responsibility, balance between work and rest. We wish to offer workshops and retreats for spiritual and personal development to all who are searching for meaning in life. We wish to create a space for believers and seekers. We wish to serve as a place in which peace and tranquillity prevail, where the rhythm of the day is marked by the Liturgy of the Hours, lectio divina (spiritual reading) and meditation.
We have chosen the region of Mazury, on the edge of the Pisz Forest, far from tourist routes. Here we are building our Centre and hermitage.
The idea behind the Foundation
The idea of a community was born 30 years ago in the heart of a Benedictine monk, Fr. Włodzimierz Zatorski. It was he who inspired lay people who went to Tyniec for retreats and workshops.
Like St. Benedict, we wish for “God to be worshipped in everything”: at work and at home, in daily duties and in leisure, and in encounters with other people. The wisdom written down in the Rule of St. Benedict would appear to be a timeless remedy for the maladies of today’s world. It is a list of simple truths, tested both in lay and monastic life. They are universal laws governing people’s spiritual life. The Rule was written 1,500 years ago and was a response to cultural decline. Today we are similarly experiencing a crisis of faith and spirituality, a crisis of being and of mutual relations. This is happening because basic laws of life itself are being broken. The building of communities is a response to these challenges, as was said half a century ago by the Rev. Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI.
Because ever more people are struggling with basic questions relating to the meaning of life, happiness, and faith, we therefore see profound sense in creating a “Benedict Option” community. It attempts to build on tried and tested laws relating to life, because no matter what we think up, even if it seems to us to be the noblest, most excellent idea, and then try to do it ourselves without divine guidance, it will become fruitless and lack life. Therefore the first and most essential thing is for us to hear God’s word, directed to us. Only then, by responding to it, can we do anything which builds us up and roots us in truth and in life.