The Rule of Benedict

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The Rule of Benedict

A Spirituality for the 21st Century

Joan Chittister, an award-winning author and world-renown spiritual leader, shares Benedict’s extraordinary vision in this daily reader. Volume includes the complete Rule of Benedict as well as ample commentary to reveal the relevance of the ancient wisdom to our lives.

The Rule of Benedict, written over 1,500 years ago, provides vital guidelines for living. Joan Chittister brings more than 50 years of monastic life and decades as a prioress and counselor to her discussion of the simple and profound words that have provided a lifeline for faith and guide for common sense for religious communities throughout the ages.

In these times of disposability and emphasis on progress, thousands are turning to the ancient wisdom of the Rule of Benedict for a sense of direction and clarity. Broken down into individual sections that can be read according to Benedict’s instruction, this timeless text, supplemented with explanations and anecdotes, will be sure to bring meaning and insight to your spiritual journey.

Reviews and endorsements

“By offering informed commentary that links St. Benedict’s Rule with contemporary questions (stewardship, relationships, authority, community, balance, work, simplicity, prayer, and spiritual and psychological development), Sr. Joan succeeds in her task of making an ancient document accessible to a modern reading public.”
New Oxford Review


“Chittister's interpretation . . . arranged according to the three-cycle reading Benedictines accomplish each year, is one of the best I have seen. Her commentary is itself a modern reworking of the Rule for contemporary Christians.”
The Episcopal New Yorker


“Any religious or lay person will welcome and identify with her book's universal themes and concrete examples. Its message is profound and yet accessible to those ‘beginners’ for whom Benedict intended his Rule in the first place.”
Review for Religious


Plenty of books exist to help you understand the Rule of Saint Benedict, or to encourage a daily study/devotional reading of this foundational monastic text. But there are good reasons to start with this one. Chittister, who is herself a Benedictine Sister, offers an honest and thoughtful consideration of how a text that is some 1500 years old continues to be relevant today — not only to monastics, but for anyone who is seeking an authentic spirituality in our chaotic age. Like Benedict himself, Chittister is down-to-earth (humble) and practical in her insightful reflections. Like many Rule devotionals, this is arranged to be read daily over a four month cycle, thereby making it an ideal text for your regular morning or evening practice.

—Carl McColman Review

"A prophetic voice that is desperately needed in our troubled time." 
Karen Armstrong, author, The Great Transformation

Paperback / 328 pages
Dimensions: 5.375 x 8.25