A Refection for the Feast of All the Benedictine Saints:  The radical and literal laying down of one’s life for one’s friends is generally an exception in the life of most Christians and monks. However, this does not mean that this noble deed is without relevance in our ordinary daily lives. Every time we resist our selfish inclinations or don’t satisfy our self-centered wishes and desires at the expense of a brother or sister, we participate in the same generosity that inspires those who do literally lay down their lives for others. Paul describes this self-forgetfulness in terms of sharing in [Christ’s] sufferings by being formed into the pattern of his death. The psalmist describes this daily self-renunciation in terms of thinking the truth in [our] hearts, and not slandering others with [our]tongue; and not harming [our] neighbor. And so every time we think first of the other and his/her good, rather than our own, we are laying down our lives (however modestly), and practically fulfilling Christ’s command that we love one another as he has loved us. May all the Saints of the Benedictine Family intercede for us in conforming our lives to Christ and thus becoming his true friends—and thereby, true friends of one another.