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Rule of St. Benedict


The Rule of Benedict has been guiding monastics and oblates for over 1500 years. Attributed to Benedict of Nursia (480-547?) scholars of the Rule believe it was developed over time. Perhaps begun at Subiaco and completed at Monte Cassino about 540, the Rule comes out of experience and reflection. About the size of the Gospel of Matthew, the Rule contains a Prologue and 73 chapters. Benedict uses scripture heavily as a basis of his teaching in the Rule. Much of the scripture comes from five sources:  Psalms, Wisdom literature, Gospel of Matthew, Letters of Paul, and Acts of the Apostles. Many are illusions to passages or images and a number are direct quotes. Prayer is the topic of many of the chapters and the chapter on humility is the longest chapter. 


Benedict gives us principles for living an intentional Christian life showing us how to turn our minds and hearts to God, and practical guidelines for how to live together in community. These principles and guidelines provide a framework for our life as vowed members of Our Lady of Grace Monastery and for the women and men who as Oblates of this community promise to live the Rule of Benedict in their daily lives. There are many individuals and groups today who are claiming the Rule of Benedict as a guide for living and who are seeking ways that Benedictine values can be the basis for a “new monasticism” that will carry Benedict’s Rule into the future.

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