July 10, 2011

Kindred Spirits Across the Ages

I don't know why I never noticed before that E. B. White's birthday is also the feast of St. Benedict, but I can't help thinking that these two men would suit and respect one another.  While White had little faith, and was much more dour than St. Benedict, I find in both of them this appreciation of work and the grace it bestows.  (Of course, for Benedict, the motto Orare et Laborare--to pray and to work--still guides the life of his brethren.) If I was with all my books, I'd pull out the Rule of St. Benedict and my collections of White's essays and write something about their kinship.  Instead, I will take the easy way out, and put up my favorite lines from each of them:

"But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it difficult to plan the day."  --E. B. White

"Whatever good work you begin to do, beg of God with most earnest prayer to perfect it." --St. Benedict

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