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Exploring the Rule of St Benedict
Exploring the Rule of St Benedict
LI S T E N carefully, my child
to your master's precepts,
and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20).
Receive willingly and carry out effectively
your loving father's advice,
that by the labour of obedience
you may return to Him
from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.
What do we know of this monk of Nursia? Well, to be honest quite a bit and I’m not going to delve into that here; there is a hyperlink below which you may find helpful.
This hub is about the Rule of St Benedict, upon which many
communities of monks and nuns base their daily lives in monasteries Abbeys and convents around the world. A section is read daily in cycles throughout the year in all Benedictine communities.
St Benedict is credited with writing a rule – a set of boundaries
guidance to help both individuals follow their faith and God but also for a
community to live and work by. From the qualifications of the Monastery Cellarer (like a storekeeper) to the proper amount of food and drink; from the restraint of speech to a discourse on humility; from the sleeping arrangements of the monks to the reception of guests; it's all here
The words above are from the prologue – the introduction to the rule. It opens with the word ‘Listen’; something we don’t do very often in our daily lives. Listen to others, to God maybe, or to nature – to the birds, wind in the trees. The bubbling of a stream... great music... poetry... many many things that if we listened, if we found some space and time in this hectic world, we would find peace.
I have found a short book called Spirituality for Everyday Living – an adaptation of the rule of St Benedict by Brian C Taylor.
It is a straight forward look at the way in which people can adapt the rule to their lives – looking at commitment, study, work, relationships and solitude – the latter being perhaps one of the most important things in busy hectic lives - time to listen as Benedict himself directs us, as he introduces the rule.
With thanks to WriteAngled, a fellow hubber, I have added a further web link below to the site of a lay Benedictine community. it's worth a visit if you are looking to do more about the Rule in your day to day life. The community was formally attached to Worth Abbey; I've included their web site link also.
For those seeking a more in depth view, a good writer on the Rule of St Benedict is Esther de Waal; she is well known and respected in the world of Benedictine writing. Perhaps her most well known book is Living with contradiction – An Introduction to Benedictine Spirituality; closely followed by another of her titles, Seeking God – The Way of St Benedict.
As to the Rule itself, if you are interested and want to read it – either on a daily basis as it is read in the monasteries, or as a book - perhaps the best translation with notes (in my view) is RB1980, The Rule of St Benedict in English.
There is a less weighty volume called The Rule of St Benedict, translated by Abbot Parry OSB with a foreword by Esther de Waal; this version is nicely broken up into daily 'bites' of the Rule.
I discovered St Benedict many years ago and I have found his rule to be an inspiration; the balance which he seeks to bring through a relationship with god and those around us. Whether of great faith or none, I think Benedict’s Rule can help us all to find balance and peace. I hope you have found this of interest and are inspired to explore further this monk of Nursia.
- Links | Lay Community of St. Benedict
The Benedictine order in the UK and worldwide Worth Abbey - The original home of the Lay Community of St. Benedict. Worth Abbey is a Benedictine Monastery
- The Order of Saint Benedict (OSB). Index. Information about monastic Benedictines, men and women, an
Information about the international Benedictine monastic order of sisters and brothers founded by the Patriarch of Western Monasticism, Saint Benedict of Nursia (480-547), Italy, in the sixth century A.D. He wrote what we know as the Rule of Benedict
- Welcome to Worth Abbey
At the heart of Worth Abbey is a community of 25 Catholic monks who follow the Rule of St Benedict, a Rule written 1,500 years ago but which still offers life-giving guidance to men and women today.