Around the year 500 St Benedict wrote a short guide for a small community who wanted to live together the balanced life of body, mind and spirit. The Rule of St Benedict became not only the foundational guide for monastic life in the West, but remains a potent spiritual resource that speaks authentically to countless individuals today. Fr Laurence Freeman OSB has described the text as the most important document for Christian living after the Bible.
In this reflective commentary, Esther de Waal recognises the profoundly scriptural emphasis of St Benedict’s writings. She shows how his Rule may be read personally and prayerfully by people such as herself seeking practical encouragement and support in their following of Christ.
Esther De Waal
Esther de Waal is a well-known author whose interests lie particularly in monastic and Celtic spirituality. Her first book, Seeking God: The Way of St Benedict, continues to be a bestseller and has been widely translated world-wide. It was followed by Living with Contradiction: Further Reflections of the Rule and, most recently, A World Made Whole: Rediscovering the Celtic Tradition and A Seven Day Journey with Thomas Merton. She is married with four grown-up sons and lives in the Welsh Borders.
Esther de Waal reminds us that St Benedict was, in fact, a lay person. So the value of this book is that Esther is a lay person writing for lay people about what is the core of Benedictine spirituality. I believe she has done something very important for all of us.
-Cardinal Basil Hume
This new edition brings out the overall shape of Benedict's Rule with refreshing clarity. Monks, nuns and laity will all enjoy the insights of this thoughtful commentary.