The Rule of Saint Benedict

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St Benedict was a Roman. Like any good Roman he had a flair for organization, a concern for order, a respect for authority.

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Rule of St. Benedict

Monastic life for him was to be structured; it was to follow a rule and a hierarchical chain of command. He was founding his monasteries at the time the Roman Empire was breaking apart, weakened by corruption at the center and barbarian invasion from the without. This center would not be corrupt and would recognize that it was part of a higher chain of command. Leaving the fortress of the monastery was spiritually unsafe.

Benedict was a man of his time.

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How then do we relate to his rule? How much of it is culturally conditioned and a response to the situation of its time?

Life on the Rock - 09-08-2011 - The Rule of St Benedict - Fr Mark and Doug with Cullman Monks

Is it possible to distill from the rule an essence that is applicable to the different social and historical context of today? Is it the need for authority, spiritual dependence on a father figure or an objective code of behavior?

Is it the need for a highly structured life where nature and spontaneity is regulated by discipline and self-control? Is it fear of the world, hiding away from the onslaughts of barbarian secularity in a separate spiritual reality? I propose that all these are responses that suit particular times and temperaments, of history and our own life. They are not the essential orientation of the Rule.


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Benedict is not primarily concerned with the external ordering of our lives but rather with a genuine seeking after God. The shape and the form of the life can be changed according to circumstance Ch It is pragmatic rather than programmatic. Can one then distill a spiritual essence out of the rule?

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Not in terms of a mystical treatise or a developed teaching on prayer, Benedict pointed beyond himself for that to the teachings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers Ch Quoting St. It is the motivation of the individual to the grace of God in living the Rule, rather. This flexibility in. Benedict was never. That tradition demands that the Rule be constantly.

The Rule of Saint Benedict Reader’s Guide

To clothe the ongoing tradition of the Rule of St. Benedict with the lived. Benedict is simply an application of the Gospel counsels and commands of. Christ to the monastic way of life. The observances and customs of the.

Analysis of the rule

Cistercians seek to interpret and apply the Rule in greater detail. Abbot's Greeting.

Untitled Who We Are. Rule of St. Cistercian History. Our History. The Community.

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Our Life. Community Prayer.

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