Benedictine Guidelines for Those Who Long for Good Days
Wil Derkse; Translated by Martin Kessler
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Numerous laypersons have experienced that the guidelines of Saint Benedict's Rule offer inspiring and realistic ways toward a blessed life, aiming at the growth and flourishing of persons and communities in which they live and work.
As in his previous and successful book, The Rule of Benedict for Beginners, Wil Derkse in this sequel is searching for those basic attitudes and virtues that characterize Benedictine spirituality, making them available for those living and working outside a monastery. The cultivation of silence and restrained speech; the dedication to work and study; the importance of humility (which is the courage to serve); the cultivation of hospitality, care, and stewardship; mutual respect and taking care of speaking "good words"—these are the book's main topics. All these attitudes are boundary conditions for a life on which God’s blessing is resting.
Wil Derkse is married and a father of two adult daughters. He is an oblate with the Benedictine St. Willibrord's Abbey in Doetinchem, The Netherlands. He has degrees in chemistry and philosophy and has taught at several institutions of secondary and higher education. Since 2001 he is a director responsible for the Soeterbeeck Program for Science, Society, and Worldviews at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, where he also holds the Andreas van Melsen Chair.
Derske's text provides a light read as well as careful scholarship for those curious about all things Benedictine.
This book shows, in a telling way, how various points made by Saint Benedict can be applied to the Oblate living the life of a normal lay person, whose life is centered on God, as all human life should be, whether within or outside a monastic context.
He is very worth reading.
Review for Religious
This book is applicable not only to oblates and lay people interested in Benedictine living, but also valuable to Benedictine religious themselves.
Benedictine spirituality is simple and down to earth. Not only does the Benedictine lifestyle fit well within the walls of the monastery, its interpretation of life is also suitable to other forms of society. In The Rule of Benedict for Beginners, Wi...