Some Thoughts On Lent Inspired by the Rule of St. Benedict

From the Rule of St. Benedict: “We advise that during these days of Lent he guard his life with all purity and at the same time wash away during these holy days all the shortcomings of other times” St. Benedict (2011-04-30). The Rule of St. Benedict (Kindle Locations 732-733). PlanetMonk Books. Kindle Edition. “During these days, […]

Laziness – The Rule of St. Benedict

Idleness is the enemy of the soul; and therefore the brethren ought to be employed in manual labor at certain times, at others, in devout reading. St. Benedict (2011-04-30). The Rule of St. Benedict (Kindle Locations 707-708). PlanetMonk Books. Kindle Edition. I’ve often wondered what “free time” was like in the ancient or medieval world. […]

Excommunication? The Rule of St. Benedict

Benedict writes a lot about when and how to excommunicate people from the monastery, whether those kicked out ought ever be welcomed back, and how to correct faults.  Like much of what he writes, this just seems foreign to contemporary readers.  Excommunication?  Kicking people out?  It seems so intolerant, we say.  It illustrates all the […]

The Work of God – The Rule of St. Benedict

After the long chapter on humility, Benedict moves on to a series of instructions on the life of a monk in the monastery.  The chapters have titles such as “How Many Psalms are to be Said at the Night Office” and  “How Lauds are to be Said on Weekdays.”  A lot of it is certainly […]

Be Humble! The Rule of St. Benedict

Humility is a big deal for St. Benedict.  Chapter seven of his rule focuses on humility and it is one of longest  (perhaps the longest) chapters in the entire work.  He compares the path to humility as a ladder to the heavens.  The first step on this ladder is fear of God which, for him, […]

Stop Talking and Be Silent – The Rule of St. Benedict (With an Assist from Lisa Simpson)

I talk to much.  This often leads me to putting my foot in my mouth, saying things I ought not say, or at the very least just rambling on into nonsense. In the words of St. Benedict: Therefore, because of the importance of silence, let permission to speak be seldom given to perfect disciples even […]

The Value of Mentorship – The Rule of St. Benedict

I enjoy reading these Christian classics, looking for nuggets of wisdom that have stood through the centuries.  Perhaps one thing I like most is that these classics come from a different time and place.  This means that the authors think and write things that may sound odd or surprising or even totally wrong. Today is […]

Our Effort and God’s Empowering – The Rule of St. Benedict: Prologue

I have enjoyed and benefited from working through the classics of Christian literature over the past few years, reading such great authors as Augustine of Hippp, Theresa of Avila, John of the Cross, John Woolman, Brother Lawrence and others.  My next to work through is The Rule of St. Benedict. Benedict of Nursia lived from […]