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RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict [Paperback]

St.Benedict , Timothy Fry
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press; Unabridged edition (1 Aug 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814612202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814612200
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,416,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
By the time St. Benedict wrote his rule for monasteries in the sixth century, the monastic movement had existed within Christianity for over two centuries, a period fully as long as the United States has existed as a nation. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen! 27 Dec 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
The Rule of St. Benedict is a fairly short book, pocket-sized, and only 96 pages long. It is a good example of the statement, 'good things come in small packages'. Father Timothy Fry, OSB (which stands for 'Order of St. Benedict', and is used by monastics and oblates) wrote a brief preface to the book, in which he explains that the rule is a guide of life, but not 'a rigid, brutal structure imposed legalistically'. Benedict was fully aware of human frailty, as true 1500 years ago as it is today. This frailty requires much to be done to give the person strength, and so Benedict's Rule is designed for an ever-increasing self-discipline which is supported by community worship and practice.
Benedict's Rule for life includes worship, work, study, prayer, and relaxation. Benedict's Rule requires community -- even for those who become hermits or solitaries, there is a link to the community through worship and through the Rule. No one is alone. This is an important part of the relationship of God to the world, so it is an integral part of the Rule.
Benedict's Rule was set out first in a world that was torn with warfare, economic and political upheaval, and a generally harsh physical environment. This Rule was set out to bring order to a general chaos in which people lived. This is still true today, and men and women all over the world use Benedict's 'little rule for beginners' as a basic structure for their lives.
The first word of the rule is Listen. This is perhaps the best advice for anyone looking for any guidance or rule of life.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"Listen!" begins Benedict, writing in the 6th century to those who wish to be bound together in Christian community under his Rule, which he calls a little rule for beginners. He invites the monk to be renewed daily by the call of God to live in community, faithfully obedient to God and to abbot (who in turn must reflect he humility and self-sacrifice of Christ's leadership), seeking always a "conversatio morum", a conversion of life. Benedict's Rule formed the guidelines for western monastic life, but it speaks to us today with remarkable freshness and candour, of a way of life centred on Christ and on Biblical teaching, with a humanity that recognizes human weakness and the challenges of community life. His Rule today inspires not only monastic communities but also the Benedictine oblates, who pattern their lives on Benedict's rich wisdom as they live, attached to a monastic community, but out in the world. Parts of the Rule, dealing with matters such as the cycle of daily prayer, may be less obviously appealing, but in every chapter there is something that speaks to our own communities, whether at home, school, work or elsewhere, and which inspires us to live with renewed commitment and vigour. The Rule is truly a spiritual masterpiece and jewel.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
You can only give this book 5 stars because, if the proof of the Christian pudding is indeed in its eating, then a rule followed successfully by millions, from simple laymen to popes, for the past one and a half millennia cannot be wrong. This rule has become for me, a charismatic evangelical protestant, the mainstay of my guide to being a Christian. In this I join with people from every denomination and walk of life, from Cape Town north to Stockholm, from Tokyo west to Los Angeles.

The translation is clear and pure. You might need, if you wish, a slightly deeper guide to the underlying Latin of the text, but you cannot fail to understand the English!

There are parts of the rule that are obscure and difficult to apply, but Benedict knew this would be so, so he allows us to bend the rule to fit our lifestyles. But without compromising the underlying message and required lifestyle. How utterly brilliant; no wonder so many have and still follow it.

For the serious reader, every verse can be found in several places in scripture. And scripture abounds in the rule. This is a rule to being a Christian, following The LORD Jesus Christ, in a blblical manner, in a real life personal walk with Him every day, in community. If you find, as many of us do, this hard to put into practice, then read this short, simple rule and see how it works in practice.

As a taster, think on the opening word, 'Listen ...'
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXACTLY AS THE TITLE STATES 2 Sep 2009
This book was first class value, and it is simply a translation of the original rule of St Benedict written, in Latin, close to 1500 years ago. Thus it is brief and to the point, no additional commentary on either the translation or the content in the body of the book. Excellent as a reference for those who are reading other books about St. Benedict or his rule.
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