Without a shadow of doubt, Saint Benedict’s (c. 480-547) Rule influenced considerably the medieval catholic spirituality of the Western world. In particular, it provided the backbone for the subsequent Benedictine spirituality. And even today, although it was written about fifteen centuries ago, The Rule remains an important pattern for living among Benedictine monks and nuns. Its popularity, however, goes beyond the fence of the Benedictine community. Outsiders of this community have also come to appreciate Benedict’s Rule, perhaps because of its timeless moral dictums. As Timothy Fry, editor of The Rule of Saint Benedict in English, remarks: “He wrote his Rule primarily for monks, but its sound principles for working together and living together have proved relevant to people of all classes of society through fifteen hundred years” (xxvii). Although Fry is biased in his remark because he himself is Benedictine, there is an element of truth in his statement that is worth considering.
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