The Rule of St Benedict

 

 

This is the beginning of the Rule of Saint Benedict:


Listen, my son, to the teaching of your master and turn your heart to hear; willingly accept and effectively carry out the advice given by a loving father, so that you may come back to him by the toil of obedience, from whom you had gone astray through the sloth of disobedience.
The Prologue

 


Prayer

 


At Colwich, the timetable includes every day two half-hours of mental prayer, the Community Mass and Divine Office. There is also Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament during the week.

Is it possible to pray without ceasing? Read what is said by Saint Augustine, one of Saint Benedict's sources:

 

In your longing is your prayer

 


Work and Reading

 

 

Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore the brethren ought to be occupied at definite times in the work of the hands, at other set times in holy reading.

Chapter 48


 

Novices are taught how to read the Bible in a prayerful way.

They also study, which is a different thing.
Work at Colwich consists mainly of cooking and cleaning, gardening, helping an old nun or welcoming visitors. Art and crafts are pursued when time allows.


St. Benedict's attitude is firm but kind.


Should anyone be so slack or lazy that he will not or cannot study or read, some work must be given him to do that he may not be idle. Sick or delicate brothers should be set to some craft or task such that they will not be idle, nor yet be overwhelmed by the heaviness of the work and so frightened off.
Chapter 48

 


The aim is the love of God

 

 

When all the steps of humility have been mounted, the monk will soon arrive at that love of God which casts out fear when it is perfect. Through this love, all that he used to observe with some degree of fear he will now keep without any effort, as if it were a habit of nature: no longer from fear of hell, but for the love of Christ, as the result of good habits and the delight that virtues bring. This the Lord will graciously bring to pass by the Holy Spirit in his workman, now cleansed from all vices and sins.

Chapter 7