In the 6th century, the lay founder of a small monastic community in Italy wrote a short, practical guide for his fellow monks on how to live together in such a way that their lives would reflect the gospel. The Rule of St Benedict became not only the foundational guide for monastic life in the West, but remains a potent spiritual resource that speaks authentically to countless individuals today. Laurence Freeman has called it 'the decisive document for Christian living after the Bible'. In this reflective commentary on the Rule itself, Esther de Waal explores its Prologue and 73 chapters from the perspective of someone whose life and faith has been shaped by its gentle wisdom and realism. Her approach is personal and contemplative; it is written for all who seek to deepen their Christian understanding and discipleship.