Today’s Reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Reading for: April, 6

Chapter 54: Whether a Monastic Should Receive Letters or Anything Else

“On no account shall a monastic be allowed to receive letters, blessed tokens or any little gift whatsoever from parents or anyone else, or from her sisters, or to give the same, without the Abbess’s permission. But if anything is sent her even by her parents, let her not presume to take it before it has been shown to the Abbess. And it shall be in the Abbess’s power to decide to whom it shall be given, if she allows it to be received; and the sister to whom it was sent should not be grieved, lest occasion be given to the devil.

Should anyone presume to act otherwise, let her undergo the discipline of the Rule.



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.