The Rule of Benedict; A Spirituality for the 21st Century

Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2010-08-01
Publisher(s): Ingram Book Co
List Price: $21.28

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Customer Reviews

Amazing book  March 20, 2011
Rating StarRating StarRating StarRating StarRating Star

The author shows us that we don't have to be a nun or a monk to adopt the Rule of St. Benedict in our lives. She offers concrete and timely examples of how to apply the rule as she covers each chapter of the rule. She does an excellent job of presenting the Rule of St. Benedict to 21st century Christians. This is indeed truly a great and a very necessary book. It is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to apply the Rule of St. Benedict, written in the 6th century, to today.

The Rule of Benedict; A Spirituality for the 21st Century: 4 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


This new edition of a classic religious text combines the timeless wisdom of Benedict of Nursia's Rule with the perceptive commentary of a renowned Benedictine mystic and scholar. In her new introduction to the Rule, the author boldly claims that Benedict's sixth-century text is the only one of great traditions that directly touches the contemporary issues facing the human community—stewardship, conversion, communication, reflection, contemplation, humility, and equality.

Tracing Benedict's original Rule paragraph by paragraph, it expands its principles into the larger context of spiritual living in a secular world and makes the seemingly archaic instructions relevant for a contemporary audience. A new foreword, updated content, an appendix, and a recommended calendar for reading the entries and commentaries make this an invaluable resource for solitary or communal contemplation.

The Benedictine Way, the author contends, is the spirituality of the twenty-first century because it deals with issues facing us now stewardship, relationships, and spiritual and psychological development. Joan Chittister's commentary is brilliant, as always with her writing. This relates the timeless rule to the timeliness of the world today. This is an excellent resource, and an excellent guide.

Author Biography

Joan Chittister is the executive director of the company Benetvision, which serves as a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality; a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie; and a former past president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. She writes "From Where I Stand," a weekly column in the National Catholic Reporter, and is the author of many books, including The Friendship of Women, The Gift of Years, In Search of Belief, In the Heart of the Temple, and Wisdom Distilled from the Daily. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

An Invitationp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Prologuep. 3
The Kinds of Monasticsp. 25
Qualities of the Abbot or Prioressp. 33
Summoning the Community for Counselp. 51
The Tools for Good Worksp. 56
Obediencep. 67
Restraint of Speechp. 73
Humilityp. 76
The Divine Office at Nightp. 100
The Number of Psalms at the Night Officep. 103
The Arrangement of the Night Office in Summerp. 106
The Celebration of Vigils on Sundayp. 107
The Celebration of the Solemnity of Laudsp. 110
The Celebration of Lauds on Ordinary Daysp. 111
The Celebration of Vigils on the Anniversaries of Saintsp. 116
The Times for Saying Alleluiap. 117
The Celebration of the Divine Office During the Dayp. 119
The Number of Psalms to be Sung at These Hoursp. 121
The Order of the Psalmodyp. 124
The Discipline of Psalmodyp. 130
Reverence in Prayerp. 132
The Deans of the Monasteryp. 134
The Sleeping Arrangements of Monasticsp. 138
Excommunication for Faultsp. 141
Degrees of Excommunicationp. 144
Serious Faultsp. 146
Unauthorized Association with the Excommunicatedp. 148
The Concern of the Abbot and Prioress for the Excommunicatedp. 149
Those Who Refuse to Amend after Frequent Reproofsp. 152
Readmission of Members Who Leave the Monasteryp. 155
The Manner of Reproving the Youngp. 156
Qualifications of the Monastery Cellarerp. 158
The Tools and Goods of the Monasteryp. 163
Monastics and Private Ownershipp. 165
Distribution of Goods According to Needp. 167
Kitchen Servers of the Weekp. 169
The Sickp. 174
The Elderly and the Youngp. 177
The Reader for the Weekp. 178
The Proper Amount of Foodp. 184
The Proper Amount of Drinkp. 187
The Times for Mealsp. 191
Silence after Complinep. 194
Tardiness at the Opus Dei or at Tablep. 197
Satisfaction by the Excommunicatedp. 202
Mistakes in the Oratoryp. 204
Faults Committed in Other Mattersp. 205
Announcing the Hours for the Opus Deip. 209
The Daily Manual Laborp. 211
The Observance of Lentp. 218
Members Working at a Distance or Travelingp. 222
Members on a Short Journeyp. 224
The Oratory of the Monasteryp. 225
The Reception of Guestsp. 227
Letters or Giftsp. 234
Clothing and Footwearp. 235
The Prioress's or Abbot's Tablep. 241
The Artisans of the Monasteryp. 243
The Procedure for Receiving Membersp. 246
The Offering of Children by Nobles or by the Poorp. 253
The Admission of Priests to the Monasteryp. 256
The Reception of Visiting Monasticsp. 259
The Priests of the Monasteryp. 263
Community Rankp. 265
The Election of a Prioress or Abbotp. 270
The Prior and Subprioress of the Monasteryp. 277
The Porter of the Monasteryp. 282
Members Sent on a Journeyp. 286
Assignment of Impossible Tasksp. 290
The Presumption of Defending Another in the Monasteryp. 292
The Presumption of Striking Another Monastic at Willp. 294
Mutual Obediencep. 295
The Good Zeal of Monasticsp. 298
This Rule only a Beginning of Perfectionp. 301
Acknowledgmentsp. 304
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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