The superiority of the Christian faith both philosophically and ethically is set forth, the chief stress being laid on monachism, with which heathen philosophy has nothing to compare.
The third is the age of the plena spiritus libertas, the age of contemplation, the monastic age par excellence, the age of a monachism wholly directed towards ecstasy, more Oriental than Benedictine.
From this monastery went forth St Augustine and his companions on their mission to England in 59 6, carrying their monachism with them; thus England was the first country out of Italy in which Benedictine life was firmly planted.
Basing themselves on St Gregory's counsel to St Augustine, Dunstan, lEthelwold and Oswald adopted from the observance of foreign monasteries, and notably Fleury and Ghent, what was suitable for the restoration of English monachism, and so produced the Concordia Regularis, interesting as the first serious attempt to bring about uniformity of observance among the monasteries of an entire nation.
The relation of St Benedict's Rule to earlier monastic rules, and of his institute to the prevailing monachism of his day, is explained in the article Monasticism.
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