Mike Aquilina

A Taste for Basil

Saturday November 22nd 2008, 8:25 pm

Sister Macrina is trying to coax St. Basil out of the shadows: “Saint Basil has been badly served both in recent academic research on asceticism and also, particularly, in the recent upsurge in popular interest in monasticism.” She quotes from a recent book by Augustine Holmes: A Life Pleasing to God: The Spirituality of the Rules of St. Basil.

A plethora of books have been produced … to enable non-monastics to appropriate the spiritual riches of the rule of St Benedict … Parallel to this academic work there is no popular interest in ‘Basilian Spirituality’. This is both strange and regrettable as Basil’s teaching is scriptural, practical and avoids the ascetic extremism of the Egyptians and Syrians. It also has a strong social and community dimension which should appeal to modern concerns.