For all who are on a spiritual journey or starting out on a search for meaning in their lives, there is a vast array of competing belief systems, therapies, and guides available. Above the noise and clamor of this busy marketplace, a centuries-old voice speaks words of invitation:
Who is there with a love of true life and a longing for days of real fulfillment? If you should hear that call and answer ‘I,’ this is the answer that you will receive from God. . . .
So begins the ancient Rule of St. Benedict, written fifteen hundred years ago as a simple manual for monks living in community together. Because of its gentle wisdom, realism, and depth, the Rule has always stretched beyond the walls of monasteries. Today, growing numbers of men and women are discovering that it can teach them something invaluable about themselves and how to live meaningful lives.
Wisdom from the Monastery contains a contemporary translation of the Rule of St. Benedict and short reflections on the seven basic elements of Benedictine spirituality that are a tried and true recipe for healthy, balanced, and purposeful living.
An ideal place to begin a lifetime of exploration and discovery, Wisdom from the Monastery is an excerpt from The Benedictine Handbook, also available from Liturgical Press.
Patrick Barry was formerly Abbot of Ampleforth and now resides in the United States.
Richard Yeo is Abbot of Downside and Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation, England.
Kathleen Norris wrote the bestselling Dakota and A Cloister Walk. She is a Benedictine oblate.