Skip to comments.The Rule of St. Benedict, (St. Benedict of Nursia) [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 07/10/2012 8:24:32 PM PDT by Salvation
Hearken O my son, to the precepts of thy master, and incline the ear of thy heart; willingly receive and faithfully comply with the admonition of thy loving father, that thou mayest return by the labor of obedience to Him from Whom thou hast departed by the sloth of disobedience.
To thee, therefore, my words are now addressed, whoever thou art, who, renouncing thy own will, takest up the most powerful and brilliant armor of obedience in order to fight for the Lord Christ, our true King.
First of all, when beginning any good work, beg of Him, with most earnest prayer to perfect it, so that He Who has now deigned to number us among His children may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds. For we ought at all times so to serve Him by means of the gifts He has entrusted to us that He may neither, as an angry Father, at any time disinherit His children, nor, as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil deeds, deliver us as most wicked servants to everlasting punishment for refusing to follow Him to glory.
Wherefore, let us at length arise, since the Scripture stirs us up, saying: "It is now the hour for us to rise from sleep." And our eyes being now open to the Divine Light, let us listen with reverent awe to what the Divine Voice admonishes us, as it cries out daily and says: "Today if you shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts." And again: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches." And what does He say? "Come, children, hearken to Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord." "Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you."
And the Lord, seeking His own laborer in the multitude of the people to whom He addresses the foregoing admonitions, says again: "Who is the man that loves life, who desires length of days" in order to enjoy good things? Shouldst thou, hearing this, make answer, "I am he," God says to thee, "if thou wilt have true and everlasting life, keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips from words of deceit. Forsake evil and do good; seek after peace and pursue it." And when you shall have done these things, Mine eyes shall be upon you and Mine ears shall be open to your prayers. And before you shall call upon Me, I will say, "Lo, here I am."
What can be sweeter to us, beloved brethren, than this voice of the Lord inviting us? Behold, in His loving kindness the Lord points out to us the way of life.
Having, therefore, our "loins girt about with truth" and the observance of good works, let us, with the Gospel as our guide, go forward on His paths, that we may deserve to see in His kingdom Him Who hath called us. And if we wish to dwell in the tabernacle of His kingdom, we can never attain to it unless we run thither by the practice of good works. But let us ask the Lord with the Prophet, saying to Him: "Lord, who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle; or who shall live on Thy holy mountain ?" After this interrogation, brethren, let us hear the Lord making answer and saying: "He who walks without sin, who acts with justice, who thinks truth in his heart, and slanders not with his tongue; who does no evil to his neighbor, nor casts slurs upon his neighbor"; he who hath brought to naught the malignant evil one with all his temptations, and hath repelled him together with his suggestions from his heart, and hath taken hold of his evil thoughts in the very beginning and dashed them against the Rock, which is Christ. These are they who, fearing the Lord, are not puffed up with their own good works, but knowing that the good that is in them is not of themselves, but from the Lord, they magnify the Lord working in them, saying with the Prophet: "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy name give glory." Thus it was that the Apostle Paul imputed nothing of his preaching to himself, saying: "By the grace of God I am what I am." And again he says: "He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord." Hence also the Lord says in the Gospel: "Everyone, therefore, who hears these My words and acts upon them, shall be likened to a wise man who built his house on rock. And the rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not fall, because it was founded on rock." And the Lord, in fulfillment of these His words, daily waits for us to respond by our deeds to His holy admonitions. Therefore are the days of our life lengthened for the amendment of our evil deeds, according to that saying of the Apostle: "Dost thou not know that the goodness of God is meant to lead thee to repentance?" For the loving Lord says: "I desire not the death of the sinner, but that he should be converted and live."
Having then, brethren, asked the Lord who it is that shall dwell in His tabernacle, we have heard what He commands to those who wish to dwell there; and if we fulfill those commands, we shall be heirs of the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, our hearts and our bodies must be prepared to fight under holy obedience to His commands; and let us beg of God to supply by the help of His grace that which by nature is lacking to us. And if we desire to escape the pains of hell and to attain to life everlasting, let us, whilst there is yet time, and we abide in this body, and are able to fulfill all these things by this way of light, let us, I say, do with speed now that which will profit us for all eternity.
We have, therefore, to establish a school of the Lord's service, in the institution of which we hope to ordain nothing that is harsh or difficult. But if anything somewhat severe be laid down, as reason may dictate, in order to amend faults or preserve charity, do not straightway depart full of fear from the way of salvation, which way cannot be entered upon except by beginnings which are difficult. But when one shall have advanced in this manner of life and in faith, he shall run with his heart enlarged and with an unspeakable sweetness of love on the way of God's commandments. Thus, never departing from His guidance, but persevering in His teaching in the monastery until death, we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ, that we may merit to be partakers of His kingdom
Please click on the links in the initial post for details.
St. Benedict Ping!
The Holy Rule of St. Benedict
St. Benedict and St. Scholastica (Twins)
Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}
On St. Benedict of Norcia
St.Benedict And His Order: A Brief History
Today's the Feast of St. Benedict
Applying St. Benedict's Rule to Fatherhood and Family Life - Using 6th-Century Wisdom Today
Saint Benedict-Abbot, Founder of Western Monasticism-480-550 AD
The Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict
Moritur et Ridet
Free Republic could benefit from a huge dose of Chapter 53.
He wanted to re-evangelize Europe and recognized the monastics role in that throughout the centuries. There is a very interesting book entitled “Medieval Monasticism” by C.H Lawrence (ISBN 0582404274) that will help to understand the monastic movement and all its reformers from Benedict through Francis and Dominic. If you have any interest in this topic, I would highly recommend it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.