Reading for: April, 14
Chapter 60: On Priests Who May Wish to Live in the Monastery
“If any ordained priest should ask to be received into the monastery, permission shall not be granted too readily. But if he is quite persistent in his request, let him know that he will have to observe the whole discipline of the Rule and that nothing will be relaxed in his favor, that it may be as it is written: “Friend, for what have you come (Matt. 26:50)?”
It shall be granted him, however, to stand next after the Abbot and to give blessings and to celebrate Mass, but only by order of the Abbot. Without such order let him not make any exceptions for himself, knowing that he is subject to the discipline of the Rule; but rather let him give an example of humility to all.
If there happens to be question of an appointment or of some business in the monastery, let him expect the rank due him according to the date of his entrance into the monastery, and not the place granted him out of reverence for the priesthood.
If any clerics, moved by the same desire, should wish to join the monastery, let them be placed in a middle rank. But they too are to be admitted only if they promise observance of the Rule and stability.”
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).