The Rule of Benedict
When St. Benedict wrote The Rule of Benedict in the 500s, he lived in a community of monks who had come together to seek God, pray and work side by side. They had turned from the life of selfish pleasure and personal gain that was so prevalent in Europe in that day, choosing the simplicity offered by St. Benedict's revolutionary monastic way. As in any family, they needed guidelines for their daily life together, in the newly-founded Order of St. Benedict.
The Rule of Benedict has been handed down from monastery to monastery for more than 1500 years. A slim volume, the Rule remains a commonsense guide for living together in peace and love - in monasteries, homes and neighborhoods. It allows for the weaknesses of human nature, encourages respect for one another, and stresses the importance of creating and preserving the relationships of those who live together in community. Read brief reflections on the Rule of Benedict.
This rule is a school for learning God’s ways. It was meant to be gentle, not harsh or burdensome. If it seems a little strict at times, try to remember its purpose — to heal faults and safeguard love. Do not grow afraid of its discipline and run away, for these teachings are a road to inner freedom and peace.
— Rule of Benedict
Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, has written a wonderful commentary on the Rule called "The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages." It is available at www.amazon.com.