Sunday, April 16, 2017

'The Benedict Option' in 'Elijah in Jerusalem'

Image result for elijah in jerusalem

Just finished reading "Elijah in Jerusalem", Michael D. O'Brien's sequel to the popular Catholic novel, "Father Elijah".  Many have waited 20 years for this final tale of Brother Enoch and Father Elijah.

It is a novel of the 'end times' and religious persecution. The anti-Christ is becoming prominent and preparing for world domination.  Many political and church leaders are co-operating and even promoting this evil one's agenda.  It is a chilling story and though there is a remnant of hope and faith left in the world, it is presented as sort of an 'underground' .... "Cloud of Witnesses" (the name of a chapter in the book.)

Today there is much talk about "The Benedict Option", and if it is what the Church needs to consider....separating itself from the secular world to avoid religious persecution.  It was interesting to see this concept in O'Brien's novel.

The story takes place in Jerusalem, yet we learn several miles away a small group of believers from different backgrounds have come together and formed a sustainable farm in the hills away from any nearby towns.  They are hidden away and strive to keep it that way.  They live, work, worship and celebrate Mass together when a Priest is available.  They welcome believers who are somehow guided to the farm,  but they stay to themselves and don't really go out to evangelize, like a monastery.

 It seemed to me to be very much what Rod Dreher's "The Benedict Option" book is suggesting.  Has anyone else read both these books and seen the similarity?  What do you think about it?

Is it a Catholic option to be considered?  The religious persecution has begun. Even the guards protecting  Mass attendees in foreign countries are being murdered by terrorists, as churches are becoming targets.
  It will all too soon be happening right here.