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Rule of St. Benedict

RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict in Latin and English with Notes - St. Benedict of Nursia, Timothy Fry, Timothy Horner, Augusta Raabe My reviews on Goodreads act as a sort of journal or life documentation. In a sense, I'm telling my story. So, I've been remiss in not including one of the most important works in my life - "The Rule of St. Benedict (1980)". As an oblate of St. Brigid of Kildare Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, the "Rule" is an important guide for my life of service in community.

I especially love St. Benedict's teaching on hospitality: "All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35). Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.... Great care and concern are to be shown in receiving poor people and pilgrims, because in them more particularly Christ is received." Sure, aspects of the "Rule" simply aren't appropriate for my non-monastery, family setting. But it's fun to interpret the teachings for my life as an oblate. It's all about building loving relationships, after all.

I recommend reading the "Rule" slowly almost in a devotional sense. I've also found it helpful to find good commentaries on the "Rule", particularly those by de Waal and Chittister. They do masterful jobs of bringing the teachings of St. Benedict into our post-modern context.

Read it slow, read it often, live in a way that nurtures loving relationships with all people regardless of belief or tradition. A good rule for life, I think.