Today’s Reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Reading for: June, 30

Chapter 23: On Excommunication for Faults

“If a brother is found to be obstinate, or disobedient, or proud, or murmuring, or habitually transgressing the Holy Rule in any point and contemptuous of the orders of his seniors, the latter shall admonish him secretly a first and a second time, as Our Lord commands (Matt. 18:15). If he fails to amend, let him be given a public rebuke in front of the whole community. But if even then he does not reform, let him be placed under excommunication, provided that he understands the seriousness of that penalty; if he is perverse, however, let him undergo corporal punishment.”

Reading for: July, 30

Chapter 48: On the Daily Manual Labor

“On Sundays, let all occupy themselves in reading, except those who have been appointed to various duties. But if anyone should be so negligent and shiftless that she will not or cannot study or read, let her be given some work to do so that she will not be idle.

Weak or sickly sisters should be assigned a task or craft of such a nature as to keep them from idleness and at the same time not to overburden them or drive them away with excessive toil. Their weakness must be taken into consideration by the Abbess.”



Note:  To be inclusive, the even-numbered chapters below have been adapted for a women’s community and the odd-numbered chapters are for a men’s community.

Selections above from Saint Benedict’s Rule for Monasteries, translated from the Latin by Leonard J. Doyle OblSB, of Saint John’s Abbey, (© Copyright 1948, 2001, by the Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, MN 56321). Adapted for use here with the division into sense lines of the first edition that was republished in 2001 to mark the 75th anniversary of Liturgical Press. Doyle’s translation is available in both hardcover and paperback editions.

Benedict’s Rule: A Translation and Commentary by Terrence G. Kardong, O.S.B. is the first line-by-line exegesis of the entire Rule of Benedict written originally in English. This full commentary — predominately literary and historical criticism — is based on and includes a Latin text of Regula Benedicti (Liturgical Press).

RB 1980 in Latin and English with Notes is a modern, scholarly translation ed. by Timothy Fry, OSB (Liturgical Press, 1981), 672 p. The translation by itself is also available in paperback.