The Rule of St. Benedict Lives On

by Terry Long

       There is no evidence that St. Benedict deliberately set out to establish a rule of life that would endure for fifteen hundred plus years, yet it lives on! In the seventh century, men followed Benedict, drawn by his simplicity of life and authentic faith that evidenced itself with good fruit –  (sounds like Jesus, doesn’t it?).  Eventually Benedict found a place where they could all live in community in a monastery, and then, out of sheer practicality and some would say, divine wisdom, the Rule of Benedict was written for them all.  Since then it has become the leading guide in Western Christianity for monastic living in community for Catholic and Anglican Orders.  It is not surprising that it is also becoming an influence in current houses of prayer and urban monastic centres globally as they add the contemplative aspects to their unique communities and are essentially becoming “Benedictine Hybrids”.   The simple and balanced message of the rule can be briefly summed up with the words “pax, ora and labora” which mean peace, prayer and work.  The Rule is not just for monks, but can be incorporated into everyone’s everyday life.  I am going to leave a link  to a blog written by an Anglican Priest who does a great job introducing you to St. Benedict and his rule – scroll down to where it starts at “What is Benedictine Spirituality?”  Check it out at: http://revpatrickcomerford.blogspot.com/2009/12/introduction-to-benedictine.html

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