St. Benedict


Today is the memorial of St. Benedict, patriarch of Western monasticism. Benedict and his followers formed a religious order dedicated “to prefer nothing to Christ.” Although we don’t think of monasticism as a lay movement, Benedict was a layman and his famous Rule (the Holy Rule of St. Benedict) was intended to be capable of being followed by laypeople.

Benedict’s Rule has been described as having “the moderation and compassion of the Gospel itself and it also has the urgency and the fire and passion of the Gospel.” It offers a “middle way” path to holiness such that “the strong would have something to strive after and the weak would not be driven away.”

Although some of the language may sound strange to our ears today, here is a translation of the Rule you may want to take a look at. It may prompt you to examine your own “middle way.”