top of page
Search

The Tools for Creating a Good Life (from the Rule of St. Benedict)


In the first place to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Then, your neighbor as yourself.


Then, to not kill, to not commit adultery, to not steal, to not desire to possess something that you do not have.


To not give false testimony, to honor all men and women, and to not do to another what you would not have done to yourself, and to turn away from yourself in order to follow Christ.


To keep your body in check, not seeking after pleasures.


To love fasting, to restore the poor to good condition, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick, to bury the dead.


To help those in trouble, to console the sorrowing, to keep yourself a stranger to the ways of this passing age, and to prefer nothing to the love of Christ.


To not give way to wrath, to not hold a grudge, to not hold deceit in your heart, to not make a false peace, to not neglect charity.


To not make an oath, lest you commit perjury, but to speak the truth with both heart and tongue.


To not return evil for evil, to do no harm but even bear patiently the harm done to you.


To love your enemies, to not curse those who curse you, but rather to bless them, ant to bear persecution for the sake of justice.


To not be proud, nor an alcoholic, nor an over-eater.


To not be sleepy, to not be lazy, to not be a grumbler, to not be a detractor.


To put your trust in God, to attribute to God, rather than to yourself, the good you see in yourself, but to recognize that any evil is your own doing and take responsibility for it.


To hold in fear and awe the day of judgment, to dread Gehenna, to desire eternal life with all the longing of your spirit.


To keep death daily before your eyes, to keep watch at all times over the actions of your life, to know for certain that God gazes upon you in every place.


To dash at once against Christ the evil thoughts that come into your heart, and to disclose them to your spiritual advisor.


To keep your tongue from wicked and perverse speech, to not love a lot of speaking, to not utter empty words or those fit for laughter, nor to love excessive or boisterous laughter.


To listen eagerly to the holy readings, to lean frequently on prayer.


To confess your past sins with sighs and tears daily to God in prayer, and to correct them for the future.


To not carry out the desires of the flesh, and to be averse to your own whims.


To obey the orders of the legitimate authority in all things, even though they themselves might act otherwise, mindful of the Lord’s admonition: “What they say, do ye; but what they do, do ye not.”


To not desire to be called holy before you really are; but to actually be holy first, so that you can truly be called holy.


To fulfill the commandments of God in your daily action, to love chastity, to hate no one, to not have jealousy, to not exercise envy, to not love contention, and to flee from flattery.


To honor your elders and to love your juniors.


To pray for your enemies in the love of Christ, to make peace with someone whom you’ve quarreled with before the setting of the sun, and to never despair of the mercy of God.


BEHOLD, THESE ARE THE TOOLS OF THE CRAFT OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH, IF THEY HAVE BEEN APPLIED UNCEASINGLY DAY AND NIGHT, AND ARE RESUBMITTED TO THE MASTER ON JUDGMENT DAY, WILL MERIT FOR US FROM THE LORD THE REWARD HE PROMISED:

“WHAT EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR THE EAR HEARD, THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

21 views0 comments
bottom of page