LIFE IN COMMUNITY
LIVING ACCORDING TO THE RULE OF SAINT BENEDICT
‘Let them strive to be the first to honour one another. They should bear with one another’s weaknesses of both body and character with the utmost patience. They must compete with one another in obedience.’
(Rule of St Benedict, Ch 72)
St Benedict took the very best of the ancient monastic tradition and used it to draw up a short and practical rule for Christian living. St Gregory the Great compliments Benedict on his ‘discretion’. His Rule is marked by real understanding of, and compassion for, human nature. He offers wisdom and encouragement to those who are seeking God. He realised that seeking God is a communal as well as a personal experience. As we seek God in the monastery we can rely on the experience, guidance and wisdom of others as we strive together to become less self-centred and more loving.
St Benedict says that he wishes to lay down ‘nothing harsh, nothing burdensome’ in his Rule. In the monastery we begin to learn the practical lessons of loving others. We learn to see and serve Christ as we strive to meet the daily needs of those we live with, and those who come to us as guests.