Benedict Option Misnamed

From a Facebook conversation:

Reading Zmirak is often like getting punched in the face while trying to determine whether inference C follows from premise A on any B you’re willing to accept, but he has stated more clearly than I have seen yet what I consider to be the fatal flaw of the “Benedict Option” as stated: that it seems to confuse the consequential public realities of monastic and marital vocations for lay people.

That mystical ex-hermit [St. Benedict] never tried to organize laymen, but monks—men who could live and work together only because they took vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience. Benedict drafted his famous Rule to teach monks how better to obey these particular, difficult vows. Married people make very different promises. They don’t obey an abbot but are subject to each other. They’re called to be fertile, not celibate; thrifty and prudent, not poor. The proper bourgeois virtues of responsible Christian parents are almost the diametrical opposite of monastic communalism. Most historical attempts to found such communities among married couples have ended in farce or disaster.

I think I have repeatedly stated that I think something *like* what Dreher and others seek must be in our minds, but “neighborhood” is really quite different than monastic fraternity, and will invariably call for societies with different formal principles and different kinds of civic engagement. What those neighborhoods look like, and what sorts of guilds, land use agreements, sharing programs, and alternatives to corrupt civic institutions we will need to have them, is the problem for today.
(source: Reading Zmirak is often like getting punched in… – Peter Gordon Epps)