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The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation

Rod Dreher

Top 10 Best Quotes

“A church that looks and talks and sounds just like the world has no reason to exist.”

“I am a college-educated American. In all my years of formal schooling, I never read Plato or Aristotle, Homer or Virgil. I knew nothing of Greek and Roman history and barely grasped the meaning of the Middle Ages. Dante was a stranger to me, and so was Shakespeare. The fifteen hundred years of Christianity from the end of the New Testament to the Reformation were a blank page, and I knew only the barest facts about Luther's revolution. I was ignorant of Descartes and Newton. My understanding of Western history began with the Enlightenment. Everything that came before it was lost behind a misty curtain of forgetting. Nobody did this on purpose. Nobody tried to deprive me of my civilizational patrimony. But nobody felt any obligation to present it to me and my generation in an orderly, coherent fashion. Ideas have consequences - and so does their lack.”

“Christians often talk about “reaching the culture” without realizing that, having no distinct Christian culture of their own, they have been co-opted by the secular culture they wish to evangelize.”

“Though Donald Trump won the presidency in part with the strong support of Catholics and Evangelicals, the idea that someone as robustly vulgar, fiercely combative, and morally compromised as Trump will be an avatar for the restoration of Christian morality and social unity is beyond delusional. He is not a solution to the problem of America’s cultural decline, but a symptom of it. The”

“Ideology is the enemy of joyful community life, and the most destructive ideology is the belief that creating utopia is possible.”

“The overweight person diets not to punish him- or herself for being heavy but to become healthier. The athlete works out not because he feels guilty for sitting around watching TV but to train his body for competition. So it is with monks and their asceticism—and so it must be with us lay Christians.”

“If there is going to be authentic renewal, it will have to happen in families and local church communities.”

“Love is the only way we will make it through what is to come. Love is not romantic ectasy. It has to be a kind of love that has been honed and intensified through regular prayer, fasting, and repentance and, for many Christians, through receiving the holy sacraments. And it must be a love that has been refined through suffering. There is no other way.”

“If you are going to put down spiritual roots, taught Benedict, you need to stay in one place long enough for them to go deep. The Rule requires monks to take a vow of “stability”—meaning that barring unusual circumstances, including being sent out as a missionary, the monk will remain for the rest of his life in the monastery where he took his vows.”

“If we are going to be for the world as Christ meant for us to be, we are going to have to spend more time away from the world, in deep prayer and substantial spiritual training—just as Jesus retreated to the desert to pray before ministering to the people. We cannot give the world what we do not have.”

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