But for those who would hasten to the perfection of that life there are the teaching of the holy Fathers, the observance of which leads to the height of perfection. For what page or what utterance of the divinely inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not a most unerring rule for human life? Or what book of the holy Catholic Fathers does not loudly proclaim how we may come by a straight course to our Creator? Then the Conferences and the Institutes and the Lives of the Fathers, as also the Rule of our holy Father Basil -- what else are they but tools of virtue for right-living and obedient monks? But for us who are lazy and ill-living and negligent they are a source of shame and confusion.
Whoever you are, therefore, who are hastening to the heavenly homeland, fulfill with the help of Christ this minimum Rule which we have written for beginners; and then at length under God's protection you will attain to the loftier heights of doctrine and virtue which we have mentioned above.”- Rule of St Benedict, Chapter 73.
Many outside of any connection to the Benedictine order think that the Rule is considered, by Benedictines, to be divinely inspired. They believe Benedictines live a life which is completely guided by the words St. Benedict has written.
But St. Benedict did not believe the Rule to be inspired. Instead, he compiled it from around 600 sources. His genius was not as an author, but as an editor. He wrote a book, considered by no one, to be divinely inspired. He does go on to refer the reader to some other sources, but he adds, “But for us who are lazy, ill-living and negligent,they are a source of shame and confusion.”
Benedict wrote the Rule as s little guide for beginners in following Christ. I should also note that the Rule has never been followed literally by anyone. Thank you Father Benedict for giving us this little rule for beginners.
Off the subject, my wife is nearing the end of her radiation treatments so her condition will be, by the end of the first week of October, no longer an impediment for my seeking a call.
Brother Oscar Romero