Father Benedetto Scarfi


Father Benedetto Scarfi


A restless pilgrim found himself crossing the streets of Mount Athos and not fully understanding what his own calling was, and so he had to ask an old monk for advice, for some indication of which texts to consult so as to deepen and confirm his choices.
The old man smiled, “My son, the problem is not which book you might need to read, but rather finding within yourself the capacity to forget everything you’ve read up to now to make room for our Lord.”
This should be a monk’s mission, forgetting and constructing.
Forgetting everything we’ve found within ourselves, the subjects of conditionings and pressures, and dedicating ourselves to the construction of a new life, inspired by principles that “are not of this world.”
Living in a monastery, the everyday routine forces us to consider the concrete presence of prayer, the powerful accelerator of awareness.
This is the goal I set for myself together with you all, sharing the awareness of being immersed, by the single and simple fact of being alive, in the perfect work of the Creator, exploring all those human resources, made from images, thoughts, texts, and testimonies, that throughout the centuries have made the revolutionary message of Christianity available.
In this powerful endeavor of sedition, working against an ever de-Christianized, materially secular reality, against the programmatic negligence of beauty that seems to triumph in the age of information overload, I have found a strong point of resistance and of natural contact with the Academy for Christian Art.


Recounting our cultural and religious identity makes us stronger and more greatly available to find: “Whatever could be a gain for me, I considered a loss in the face of the sublimity of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, my Lord, for whom I gave up all of these things I consider rubbish, in the end gaining Christ and being found in him: not as my own form of justice deriving from the law, but with that which derives from faith in Christ” (Phil 3, 7-9).
It remains unfathomable to us how much happens to the human heart when it encounters the mystery of God, be it a little or a lot, and I believe that the duty of a monk is that of responding affirmatively to a call for dialogue and because of this we try to fill our silence with the narration of that which we feel belongs to us.


Father Benedetto of the Visoki Dečani Monastery
Kosovo and Metohija