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The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  406 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Contains wisdom for addressing issues facing us - relationships, authority, community, balance, work, simplicity, prayer, and spiritual and psychological development.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published December 1st 1992 by Crossroad (first published October 25th 1992)
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The insights gained from this book are powerful, and derived from just a few minutes a day of reading. I highly recommend this book as a starting point for anyone with a busy schedule. After reading it, you will find, as I did, how much can be done in life to walk closer with Christ.
Dec 04, 2010 Claudine rated it liked it
Shelves: daily
My first four-month daily reading of the Rule of Benedict with Joan Chittister's commentary (which was getting repetitive).
May 04, 2011 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rule of Benedict is a simple rule book for monastic life that was written over 1500 years ago. In it one can learn about the importance of community life within the monastery. Each and every person is to submit to the rule, although all throughout there are exceptions because of unforeseen situations, and disobedience in regards to the rule will result in varying degrees of punishment. The rule speaks about all the various tasks that occur in a monastery whether the work of God or the work ...more
Nov 03, 2009 Mike rated it it was ok
The Rule of Benedict was originally written more than 1,500 years ago. Chittester's book reproduces the rule (73 rules actually)with commentary for the modern reader.

The material is good and I would have given the book five stars if not for Chittester's insistence on making everything "gender neutral." Replacing the word "abbot" with "prioress or abbot" makes parts of the book tedious to read.

I would still reccommend the book to anyone interested in Benedictine spiritually. Just be prepared to w
Mar 09, 2011 heardtheowl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not even Catholic but even I can get behind the Rules of Saint Benedict. I like this volume because it relates how people can apply to rule of St. Benedict everyday in their lives. I also love how the author incorporates the teachings of other religions into the book.
Donna, Walks In Spirit
I had to read chapters of this for my class. I ended up reading the entire book. Joan Chittister did a great job of explaining the rules, in the context of other religions.

Our assignment helped us to write our own rules of life.

A must read for those looking for structure & a deeper meaning.
Leah Colbeck
Not an easy read by any means but full of challenging, inspiring and centring wisdom. There is a lot to process here. I recommend more as a daily devotional than a read straight through book.
Devin McGinnis
It's as if she interprets St. Benedict's rule through eastern (tao te ching) eyes. Not exactly what I want...
Sep 14, 2012 Barry rated it it was amazing

Over the past several years, my friendship with Brother Cassian, one of the monks at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA, has been a special blessing. I visit him occasionally, usually arriving at the monastery in time to join the community for Vespers, singing the Psalms set to Gregorian Chants, which is done antiphonally from choir stalls facing each other across the nave of the monastery church. Cassian was our prayer partner this past week because on Wednesday, after his first fi
Bob Price
Dec 31, 2013 Bob Price rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking for a 'good' devotional? Then look no further, the Rule of Benedict is here!

Joan Chittister has done the Church a great favor by taking Benedict's Rule and arranging it for daily reading.

The Rule is good enough to stand on it's own, but Chittster has added daily thoughts to help the reader understand it and apply it to their lives in the 21st Century. She has taken a perfect text for because Benedict, while being strict to modern standards, is very adaptable for modern life. While it be
Jun 28, 2013 Elaine rated it it was amazing
I am currently on my second reading of this fine little book, and fully expect to begin reading it again upon completion. "The Rule" is intended as part of daily reading of the Benedictine monastic tradition. Sr. Joan provides commentary that breathes life into the ancient text, giving reverence to Benedict's wisdom and providing a life-affirming understanding of the rule as it applies to life today.

This volume is intended to be read as part of a daily routine. Each day provides wisdom to savor
James Andersen
Aug 19, 2011 James Andersen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a helpful and insightful book. With a book like this it certainly does seem possible that one could treat their own life as ones monastery. These seemingly monastic rules have been given a contemporary "living in the world" understanding as well and I think people would benefit from reading this book, it is somewhat simplistic making it easy for people to read. Nonetheless, I feel that this book reminds me of the scene in the New Testament when Jesus was asked what is The Greatest ...more
Jan 22, 2015 Elisabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reading
This is a day by day read, cycled through x 3 in calendar year -- the first time through, as part of a Lay Chaplaincy class, I was unimpressed but for a few comments noted in yellow marker -- being me, I had to go the distance -- second time through, huh, starting to hear some bells of spiritual sense -- liking her use of the Tao, and Jewish wisdom inserted - more markings in black ink ... Third time through, red ink and folded corners -- it's now among my possible re-reads .. took a while, but ...more
Pam I.
Aug 02, 2011 Pam I. rated it really liked it
This book offers much to ponder on humility, obedience, community, balance, leadership and simplicity. The commentary is alternated with Benedict's text to give insight for application in the contemporary non-monastic Christian life. The book is arranged by date for three reading cycles per year, and I am trying to read a section each day. This has become a grounding experience for me as I face the daily struggles of this world.
Sep 19, 2016 Kenneth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author, Joan Chittister, is herself a Benedictine Sister, and in this book she provides extensive commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict which the Saint himself composed some 1,500 years ago. She shows how the Rule has relevance today for anyone seeking after God in today's world. Excellent for either individual reading or for a group study.
Jan 21, 2014 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wishing to deepen his or her spirituality and especially Oblate novices
Shelves: spiritual
A Benedictine Oblate is to read part of the Rule each day, reading the whole Rule three times a year. this book follows that recommendation, each day providing clarification of the Rule in today's world. Sister Joan provides so much spiritual insight. I highly recommend this book for Oblate novices and even into one's second year.

I shall certainly read it again.
Apr 21, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing
As a Benedictine Oblate reading and reflecting on the Rule is a daily ritual. This rendering takes the Rule into the 21st Century with thought provoking reflections. Sr. Joan's often used references to non-Christian ancient wisdom is refreshing and helps keeps meditations on a global perspective.
Kevin Orth
Oct 05, 2016 Kevin Orth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful interpretation - in that it is gender neutral, appreciative of Taoist and Jewish awareness of Source while remaining true to the nature, meaning, and purpose of the The Rule of Benedict. Coming from a mystical Christian perspective, these elements ring true and make the text much more in line with my experience of the Divine. Highly recommend!
Bernard Glover
Mar 19, 2015 Bernard Glover rated it it was amazing
Sr. Joan has a way of delving into the depths of even the most obscure texts of the rule and finding wisdom for the ages. She shows how Benedict's wisdom has value for everyone in today's at times negative culture. I have read it many times as it forms an important part of one's daily reading from the rule.
Elizabeth Andrew
Sep 11, 2012 Elizabeth Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
A thorough introduction to Benedictine spirituality. Chittister is thoughtful and accessible, if a bit dry. She examines the Rule paragraph by paragraph, interpreting it and giving contemporary applications for Christians today.
Aug 23, 2007 Aggie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: innerwork
Joan Chittister...what can I say... she renders this ancient document to us in a very accessible way. Whether you agree with the path of monasticism or not, there is much wisdom here for consideration.
Laura Callanan
Feb 12, 2013 Laura Callanan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
I read this in anticipation of a retreat I'm going on at the Erie Benedictine community. I find many overlaps with my own Quaker values and love the ways in which common sense, compassion, and simplicity blend here. Sr. Joan Chittister's commentary is wonderful spiritual reading in itself.
Erin Nieves
Jul 01, 2012 Erin Nieves rated it it was amazing
Daily readings for the Rule of St. Benedict with reflections to match each day's reading. Benedictines read the Rule three times each year, looking at a piece of it each day. It takes a lifetime to figure out how to live it. Part of it is the daily reading and praying that informs one's heart.
May 21, 2015 Greg rated it it was amazing
An inspirational read that takes the Rule of Benedict and gives a modern understanding of a spiritual way of life. While you could read it straight through, the best way is to take a few pages at a time, and then reflect.
Apr 03, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it
I read this little book every day. It is divided up so you could read it 3 times in one year, with daily readings. Benedict was so practical. His advice is great for parents, leaders, each of us in our role in life. What a way to keep ourselves on track!
Ann M
Dec 06, 2007 Ann M rated it liked it
Recommended to Ann M by: curiosity
A straightforward presentation of Benedict's rule for communal living. It's not a literary masterpiece, but an interesting approach to a democratic, simple, sustainable life. If you are interested, I recommend it. It won't appeal to everyone.
Apr 30, 2007 catherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
I return to this again and again, or rather I would if I hadn't lent it to someone and not got it back! It's one to read, and re-read, and read again.
Jul 14, 2009 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
The author does a great job of discussing the philosophical and religious bases of St. Benedict's rule for his monks. Much to learn and admire!
Gregory Soderberg
Excellent, but could use more references to Christ. The author was a bit too concerned to show parallels with other religions.
Dawn Shepler-Hamilton
I read this every day and have since this new edition came out. I began with the older "Insights" version about five years ago. Yes, I read it everyday.
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