Saturday, July 9, 2011

Prayer, Worship, Service: St. Benedict's Rule

On July 11, a number of Christian denominations will commemorate the feast day of St. Benedict of Nursia, often called "The Father of Western Monasticism". In his Rule, written in the mid-sixth century, St. Benedict describes a balanced way of life, dedicated to guiding a community to live in Christ. With its recommendations for work, prayer, study of Scripture, rest, and life together, Benedict seeks to create a school for God's service. In some ways, he might be the patron saint of this blog!

St. Benedict's Rule has been a model for many Western Christian monastic orders. But it also provides a wise foundation for any person's life in Christ. Or for a parish.

His sensible, and sensitive, approach to spirituality is more popular than ever. Keeping in mind that there are cultural differences between our world and the world of the 6th century, a reading of this tiny book, composed with a great number of quotes from Scripture, can help us structure our lives to "prefer nothing whatsoever to Christ. And may he bring us altogether into eternal life." (The Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 73)

Read more about The Rule at the Order of St. Benedict's bibliographic page on The Rule.

Sr. Joan Chittister has written an excellent book with a contemporary translation of The Rule, and some commentary. Selections are available online The Rule of St. Benedict: Insight for the Ages.

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