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92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen!
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...
Published on 27 Dec 2005 by Kurt Messick

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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical book for today ?
Compact, neat little book - easy to keep in your pocket. Content - sometimes wise, sometimes alien.
Published on 8 Oct 2010 by Mrs. F. Rae


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92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen!, 27 Dec 2005
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rule of St. Benedict in English (RB1980) (Paperback)
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. While Benedict's Rule is decidedly Christocentric and hierarchical (though not as hierarchical as much popular ideas about monastic practice would have one think), it nonetheless can give value to any reader who is looking to construct a practice for oneself.
Benedict's establishment of a monastery was in fact the establishment of a school for spirituality. In his prologue to the Rule, Benedict even states this as his intention. 'In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome.' He sets forth in this brief rule a guide to individual life within community that will bring one ever closer to the divine.
Benedict explores the issues of charity, personality, integrity, and spirituality in all of his rules. From the clothing to the prayer cycle to the reception of guests, all have a purpose that fits into a larger whole, and all have positive charges and negative warnings. Benedict is especially mindful of the sin of pride, be it pride of possession, pride of person, pride of place -- he strives for equality in the community (as a recognition that all are equal before God).
Hundreds of thousands of pages have been written over the last millenium and a half on the Rule of St. Benedict, but it all comes down to this brief collection, which can be read easily in an hour, yet takes a lifetime (or perhaps more!) to master.
Open it for yourself to see what riches it may hold for you.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration for today from the Father of Western Monasticism, 21 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Rule of St. Benedict in English (RB1980) (Paperback)
"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
5.0 out of 5 stars *the* how to be a Christian book of the past two millennia, 19 Oct 2009
By 
Dr John N Sutherland (Skelmorlie, Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rule of St. Benedict in English (RB1980) (Paperback)
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
By 
Mr. P. J. Taylor (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rule of St. Benedict in English (RB1980) (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful to be sure of buying the right edition, 3 July 2013
Confusion is evident in the mixing of reviews, presently shown titles and listings for the full "Rule of St Benedict in English and Latin with notes (RB1980) Rule of St.Benedict and what might appear to be an identical but cheaper paperback deal which is really for the more compact and much handier "Rule of St Benedict in English (RB1980)" Rule of St.Benedict. I can recommend that edition for most people needing a straightforward copy of the Rule. Sadly at time of writing it is not available for Kindle, but one lives in hopes !

In the full edition the Latin and English are printed on facing pages to facilitate following along in either language. It also has an extensive Latin concordance, a thematic index, Biblical and Patristic texts cited index, and detailed study of the history of monasticism and several monastic topics. The full edition is for those looking for a more scholarly study of the text of the Rule of St. Benedict, for a greater understanding of how it came to be and how it has developed since its writing in the 6th century.

Unless one is interested in the more academic aspects of the text and of monasticism, it would be best to look elsewhere for an actual commentary on the Rule.
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5.0 out of 5 stars perfect size, 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Rule of St. Benedict in English (RB1980) (Paperback)
Just the right size to carry around and is a perfect aid for reflection and considerations in choices we make.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical book for today ?, 8 Oct 2010
By 
Mrs. F. Rae (England UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rule of St. Benedict in English (RB1980) (Paperback)
Compact, neat little book - easy to keep in your pocket. Content - sometimes wise, sometimes alien.
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Rule of St. Benedict in English (RB1980)
Rule of St. Benedict in English (RB1980) by Timothy Fry (Paperback - 1 Feb 1981)
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