Review: RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict in Latin and English with Notes
RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict in Latin and English with Notes by Benedict of Nursia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Benedict (d. 547) was a monk who codified life as a community of monks in a monastery. This rule has had broad appeal in monasteries for 1500 years.
Abbot - the supreme leader in charge of all things.
Authority - the main rule is submission to the authority of the abbot and senior ranking monks. A detailed pecking order based on length of time there and virtue was determined by the abbot.
Discipline - removal of meal privileges, corporal punishment and excommunication
Rations - a pound of bread and half a bottle of wine per day for each monk, along with side dishes at the evening meal. Clothing prescribed, down to the underwear.
Outside - a dangerous place - be sure to report everything you experience to the abbot!
Property - absolutely no private property is allowed. Anything found hidden in your bed brings severe punishment.
Worship - seven times a day, the community prays and chants Scripture together. Tardiness or error in recitation means punishment. All 150 Psalms are sung every week. "Monks who in a week's time say less than the full psalter... betray extreme indolence and lack of devotion in their service. We read, after all, that our holy Father, energetic as they were, did all this in a single day."
Spiritual leadership of the abbot -
- help the monks, not yourself
- hate faults but love the brothers
- don't crush bruised reeds
- "strive to be loved rather than feared"
- "arrange everything that the strong have something to yearn for and the weak nothing to run from."
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