There’s been a lot of talk about the so-called Benedict Option over the past couple years. Rod Dreher, a blogger at The American Conservative, has been driving the conversation.
I don’t care to get into the minutiae about what the Benedict Option does or does not entail. Some people think it is contrary to the demands God places on his followers and that it leads to a ghetto mentality. Others think it’s a required tactical move given the present hostility of liberal culture. Whatever the case might be, the call to live intentionally among like-minded persons in union with God is nothing new. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre instructed Catholics to do precisely that during a sermon he delivered in 1979:
And I wish that, in these troubled times, in this degenerate urban atmosphere in which we are living, that you return to the land whenever possible. The land is healthy; the land teaches one to know God; the land draws one to God; it calms temperaments, characters, and encourages the children to work.
The area surrounding the Benedictine-run Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey in northeast Oklahoma is slowly becoming home to more and more Catholics wanting to get back to the land and live out their faith. A few weeks ago the Wall Street Journal did a fair-minded exposé on the folks living there. Sam Guzman, a friend of Magnificat Radio and owner of The Catholic Gentleman.com, was quoted in the article. Read it here. Sam recently came on Church and State to talk about what life is like in Hulbert, Oklahoma.