The Pax Christi Award: Saint John’s Abbey and University Collegeville, MN
Benedictine men and women embody in our century a tradition of faith and culture that is at once timeless and forever new. The silence they keep in their cloisters and the recurrent hours they spend in prayer root Benedictines in the fertile seedbed of perennial values and unchanging truths. Monastic men and women buffer the vicissitudes of human experience through their manifold educational and apostolic labors – thereby helping to shape society in the image of the Benedictine ideal.
Whether wealthy or in need, powerful or persecuted, honored or defamed, Benedictines have persevered in seeking those ultimate goods which alone give significance to life. “Whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovable” — these have been the object and the inspiration of monastic endeavor.
Those formed by the spirit of Saint Benedict continue this tradition. A strong and living faith inspires their unalterable devotion to God, the church, and their contemporaries. From their joyful awareness as children of God springs a fundamental optimism about life; and their gratitude to God overflows in an earnest zeal for the welfare of others, whom they recognize as their sisters and brothers in Christ. Esteeming spiritual values above all else, they honor those intellectual and aesthetic achievements which crown human dignity. They rejoice in those triumphs of the human spirit which reveal the creative spark of the divine. Borne up by a profound conviction of God at work in the world, they are prepared to recognize a guiding Spirit even in actions performed unwittingly.
These typically Benedictine traits are never fully realized in any one life, nor are they limited to those who live in monasteries. It is the purpose of the Pax Christi Award to honor those whose lives exemplify Benedictine ideals. In honoring these persons, we acknowledge them as spiritual heirs of Saint Benedict. We wish also to encourage them to persevere in living that spirit, so that through their example our Christian heritage of faith, confidence, and service may flourish on the earth so that God may be glorified in all things.