The Benedict Option Another Take

Fr. Longenecker writes at the Imaginative Conservative that the Benedict option may be the only option for us because there is no communication possible.

 If there is a disagreement, there is very little logical thought or rational debate. The two weapons of emotivism and utilitarianism usually rule the day. No true debate takes place. Instead, arguments are dismissed by changing the subject, launching a personal attack or playing the victim.

A position is advocated according to sentimental feelings or practical considerations. The more intellectual, like Lewis’ demon- possessed Weston, use intellectual arguments not as a process to discover the truth, but as a weapon—and a weapon that is more like a bludgeon than a rapier. If their intellectual argument falls flat, they simply deny, lie, and shout more loudly.

In other words, the Benedict Option may be the only option because debate has ended. Our society is so worm-eaten with relativism the any idea that one might use reason, research and debate to discover truth is defunct. The idea, not only that truth can be discovered, but that once discovered one has a duty to believe and obey, is even more obsolete. Consequently, if there is no truth there can be no reasoning into truth, and if there is no reasoning then there is no reason to argue. All is relegated to a matter of opinion—and often the opinion is not even offered as being true. The person asserts it simply because they believe it and they believe it because they assert it.

The Benedict Option is therefore more about a change of heart and mind than growing a beard, getting some chickens, and building a utopian religious community in the woods. The Benedict Option means coming to the realization that the time for dialogue and debate is over and the time for quiet action has begun.

But what about the example of Jesus? He didn’t stop preaching, even though he knew their hearts were hardened and they would not listen. He said, ” He who has the ears to hear, let him hear.” So how do we do this?

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