Notebook

On the Threshold

Dom Ildefons Herwegen concluded his portrait of St Benedict, Der heilige Benedikt, ein Charakterbild, which first appeared a century ago, with words that remain full of relevance now:

“St Benedict refers the spirit of the Western world to the unchangingly divine, the final goal of all created spirits. He shows us how the dignity of man can be preserved in his likeness to God. At the same time he teaches how a human society on earth is to be built. May the essential traits in this portrait of St Benedict — his great, soul-changing love of Christ, the measured, noble form of Antiquity, his keen sense of the pressing necessities of the time — remain the inalienable heritage of his disciples in the new epoch on whose threshold we stand.”