White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

The Benedictine Network's Brochure

The Benedictine Network is the public expression of the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict. The Benedictine Network is an independent, ecumenical, catholic community of men and women who appreciate the Benedictine spirituality expressed by the White Robed Monks. People whom the Monks have served sacramentally are automatically associates of this Benedictine family of Contemporary Catholics. All people are welcome to join together to let the world a more compassionate place. Affiliates of Benedictine Network may be clerical, religious, or lay, Catholic or of any other belief or non-belief. Their common bond is the intention to let Earth be truly a more compassionate place for one and all.

The Benedictine Network traces its history through the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict from both the Eastern and Western Catholic traditions. The Network's bishops flow in Apostolic Succession from Christ through various lines of the Catholic Church, East and West. Being Catholic, people of The Benedictine Network acknowledge that God, by any name, works within the human community. He does so, in part, through the efficacy of seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, The Eucharist, Reconciliation, Matrimony, and Healing.

The people of the Benedictine Network, as do the Monks, have no dogmas, often only barriers to God set-up by humans. As do the Monks, the people of the Benedictine Network acknowledge that each of us experiences the Presence of God in that we do — if we so attune ourselves to or are mindful of God's Presence. We each share in the Priesthood of Christ, The Light of the World, just as we share in the Compassion of the Buddha, the Lamp of the World. Each person exercises his or her priesthood of loving compassion by teaching, leading, and sanctifying according to his or her function within the community: lay, priest, or bishop; employee, employer, parent, child, married, single.

The people of the Benedictine Network are bonded together by their common respect for themselves and their fellow human beings. The Benedictine Network, under the aegis of the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict, provides a sacramental context for those disenfranchised from their institutional church of origin who want to practice what they know to be true. Formal membership as a Benedictine Monk is open to all so inclined who wish a structure (The (Zen) Rule of St. Benedict) from within which to grow. Affiliation through the Network is open to anyone who desires a more compassionate world or who simply appreciates the idea and would like to be so associated or connected.

People of the Benedictine Network appreciate that Love without Compassion tends to be delusive, manifesting itself as selfishness. Compassion without Love tends to be illusive, manifesting itself as hollowness. In either instance, without our loving, compassionate Presence to who we are, we fall into the allusive trap of believing of story of whom we think we are or are not. As human beings being human, we know who we are and stop denying the absolute, essential fact of our natural Presence.

Thus, people of the Benedictine Network's family acknowledge Christ's only two commandments: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:35-40)

For more information contact
Father Abbot reference documents noted below. To become an affiliate of the Benedictine Network, please complete Network Affiliation Form. Upon receipt, the Monks will send you a certificate and include your name on the Archive Register. Your intentions will be included in the general intercessions of The Order and The Network. (Episcopal Jurisdictions and Religious Orders may also affiliate with The Network. Please refer to Network Affiliation Process and Network Affiliation Form.)

A word about zazen, a practice that leads to compassionate Presence:

Zazen is a sitting meditation practice. It is the essential practice of the Zen tradition. The specific practice the White Robed Monks of St. Benedict is that of the Soto Zen tradition. A person only-just-sits. A person simply pays attention to maintaining the correct posture (sitting perfectly still, spine erect, head slightly tiled forward, eyes opened at a 45 degree angle down, with left hand in palm of right hand and thumbs slightly touching). A person may either sit in a chair or crossed legged on a mat on the floor. Each person follows the Psalmist's call: Be still and know that I am God. <Ps  45.10> Each person comes to practice the Christian theological notion of kenosis, "emptying." (His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God, but emptied himself to assume the condition of a servant. <Philippians 2: 6-7>). (Related page:
Being Christ-Like: Self-Emptying.)

Imagine a flower being handed to you with no words spoken. Just a look in the eye. As your eyes meet, you appreciate beyond words and silence — form and emptiness — what the giver is saying and what the flower means. Zazen.

For further information on the benefits of maintaining a meditation practice, please read Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. (ISBN 0-385-29897-8). This book is about the program of stress reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Dr. Zinn has also written: Where Ever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (ISBN 0-7868-8099-6).

For living a dynamic human life, please refer to A Listening Heart: The Art of Contemplative Living, David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B. Cam. (ISBN 0-8245-0576-X).

For insight into Zen, please read Zen Mind, Beginners Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice, Shunryu Suzuki (ISBN 0-8348-0079-9).

For an appreciation of the fullness of emptiness (as some of described Christ-nature), please refer to Divine Emptiness and Historical Fullness: A Buddhist, Jewish, Christian Conversation with Masao Abe, edited by Christopher Ives (ISBN 1-56338-122-2).

To discover congruencies between Christian mysticism and Zen, please refer to Zen and The Birds of Appetite, Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. (ISBN 0-8112-0104-X).

Peace and Joy to you and yours.
To read complete text the Network's Foundation Documents, please refer to:
Point of Departure: Contemporary Catholics.

To read an abbreviated version of same, please refer to:
Precis: Point of Departure Related Documents: Homepage
For further information, clarification, or offering of input, or please contact Father Abbot. Thank you.
Peace and Joy!

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
Post Office Box 27536
San Francisco CA 94127-0536 USA
Phone: 415-292-3228
Page URL: http://www.wrmosb.org/netbro.html
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