Much of todays fascination with and attraction to the Rule of St Benedict can be attributed to John Main, a Benedictine monk, who first saw that this rule of life for monastic communities could be relevant for Christian living in the secular world.
He founded a community of lay people who shared his vision and from this small beginning has grown The World Community for Christian Meditation which today is active in numerous countries around the world and has thousands of members and associates. Its work, and its emphasis on meditation, derives directly from the Benedictine focus on prayer and lectio divina or holy reading.
Right up to the end of his life in 1982, John Main wrote a series of remarkable letters of spiritual direction to WCCMs growing family. Two collections have previously been published and are now out of print and the complete letters are now published in this single volume. Together they constitute a volume of remarkable spiritual wisdom and insight, as fresh and relevant for today as when they were first written.
Laurence Freeman OSB is a monk of the Olivetan Benedictine Congregation of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation. Freeman was born in England in 1951 where he was educated by the Benedictines and studied English Literature at Oxford University. In the monastery his spiritual teacher was John Main with whom he studied and whom he helped in the establishment of the first Christian Meditation Centre in London. In 1977, he went with John Main at the invitation of the Archbishop of Montreal to establish a Benedictine community of monks and laypeople dedicated to the practice and teaching of Christian meditation. Freeman studied theology at the Universite de Montreal and at McGill University, made his solemn monastic profession in 1979 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1980. After the death of John Main in 1982, he continued the work of teaching meditation that had now begun to develop a global community. In 1991, Fr Laurence returned to England to establish the International Centre of the newly formed World Community for Christian Meditation that is now present in more than a hundred countries. He is the Director of the WCCM Benedictine Oblate Community. In 2010 he launched the MEDITATIO outreach programme of the Community to mark the celebration of its twentieth anniversary.