Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Monastic Beer - A Gift of God

Monks working in the Brewery
Belgium Monasteries are especially famous for the beers they brew, but a new brewery has been started in the birthplace of St Benedict,the founder of Western Monasticism in Norcia in Italy. This new community which began the revival of monasticism in Norcia in 2000 have this year begun to produce Birra Nursia as part of their monastic work. They reflect on this on their brewery website:
"From ancient times, monks have understood that their vision of life must be shared with society by means of earthly experiences, otherwise it becomes closed off and isolated from the world.

In the course of monastic history, Benedictine monks have given witness to the presence of God in the world in many ways. First of all, through their daily rhythm of prayer, monks have sought to remind themselves and the entire world that the only way to true happiness must have the God of salvation at its center. A vision of the world without God will always leave us empty and incomplete.

But from ancient times, monks have understood that this vision of life must be shared with society by means of earthly experiences, otherwise it becomes closed off and isolated from the world. Monks have implemented this view in the liturgy, with the singing of Gregorian Chant, the use of incense, and the use of bells—things which involve all of man’s senses, as well as in the area of study, seeking to enlighten the farthest reaches of the human intellect, and finally in work aimed at bringing forth the fruits of the earth which nourish the human body. In all of these undertakings, monks have never ceased to sanctify material things in order to make them paths that lead to God."

We will all, surely, be happy to raise a glass of their beer to that!

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