May 02, 12
Read from September 15, 2011 to May 02, 2012, read count: 3
Not necessarily the most enjoyable nor immediately applicable read, but there is much of interest and encouragement, as well as entertainment, to be found here.
Was inspired to take it back up after a personal retreat to a semi-local Benedictine Monastery, and it was very informative for getting a better understanding of the many inspiring and foreign things I encountered in my brief time there.
The preface by Thomas Moore in this edition is excellent, and (though I unfortunately read it after The Rule itself) it, along with the rest of the introductory material included, probably really is best read first. It gives a helpful general grid through which we modern readers might best filter our reading of The Rule.
An excerpt from Moore's preface puts it best (emphasis mine):
"The monk is not an anachronism, nor is The Rule of St. Benedict antique and irrelevant. It is modern life, rather, that is not in accord with the fundamental needs of the human heart. From the viewpoint of the human soul, our modern style of living is the irrelevancy. By not enjoying a genuine common life and by not giving ourselves a degree of contemplation, we wound our need for emotional quiet and for meaning. And so it is appropriate to return to this ancient sketch of an alternative life, to reread it and discuss it, and, with imagination and reflection, bring its spirit into the workplace, the home, and the city, where it could transform a culture of anxiety into a community of peace and mutual regard."