The Rule of St Benedict, just 9000 words long and written 1500 years ago, has proved to be one of the most timeless, influential and lasting of all texts. Its realism about human character, its extraordinary practical wisdom and its original recipe for creating a work/life balance have made it famous way beyond the monastic communities whose lives it has shaped for centuries.
Today many secular people are finding that the Rule makes sense of their lives too. This book simply consists of the Rule in a modern language and an introduction to the seven basic elements of Benedictine spirituality.
We should be grateful to Patrick Barry, a former Abbot of Ampleforth, for making this new translation of the Rule of St Benedict available to us, and to the publishers for its attractive presentation. Instead of the traditional numbering of each sentence, the text is presented in paragraphs meant, in the words of the short introduction, to encourage it to "be read holistically, as an experience of sacred reading which is close to prayer or meditation".
New readers will find this style accessible and discover that we can still learn much from St Benedict's grasp of the human psyche. Those familiar with earlier translations will be grateful for the freshness of the language found here." Esther De Waal, TLS, 13 January 2006.
"A useful Book for Readers leading study groups." Christine McMullen, The Reader, Winter 2006, Vol.103, N°4.