Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (9: 32-38) in which Jesus went to all the towns and villages teaching, proclaiming the good news, and healing. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Benedict whose memorial we celebrate today. Fr Paul says Benedict was born in Nursia, in Umbria, and studied in Rome. Like a lot of us he was unable to stomach city life and he became a solitary hermit at Subiaco. His reputation spread, and some monks asked him to be their abbot; but they did not like the discipline he imposed and tried to poison him. Benedict organised various small communities of monks and nuns in various places, including the great monastery of Monte Cassino. He drew up a set of rules to guide the communal life of monasteries. Although this was not the first monastic rule ever, the Rule of St Benedict has proved so wise and balanced that it has served as the foundation of practically every attempt at communal living ever since – and not only in religious communities. The Rule of St Benedict recognises that people aim at perfection but often we fall well short of it. It and aims to be a “rule for beginners” in which even the least perfect and least able can grow in spiritual stature. On this day, Fr Paul invites us to ask ‘St. Benedict… pray for us!’