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A Little Rule For Beginners: Insights into Benedictine Spirituality

From the Introduction

I entered the Benedictine Sisters of Erie at the age of 16 and every day since then I have had the Rule of Saint Benedict read aloud to me. The text is divided into dated reading segments to allow for the complete Rule to be read aloud, at prayer, three times a year. This is a practice in our community that dates from the earliest days of Benedictine life. For this book I chose one phrase or line from each Chapter of the Rule that revealed a new understanding or raised a new question about God in my life. I recorded my brief reflection and invite you to do the same.

Most of all I invite you, as Benedict did, not to be content with simply reading and studying this “little Rule for beginners,” but to keeping it—its values, its concepts, its insights. It is not what we read, Benedict tells us, it is what we become that counts. And we become that by every day making a new beginning. —Joan Chittister

Chapter 4:

The Tools for Good Works

“First, love God
with your whole heart...” RB


is a thing of the heart.
And once the heart
is centered on God
all the other facets of life,
the tools by which we ascend to God—
mercy, goodness, love, justice, and peace—
become the rudder of the soul
set on the prize to lead us home.

—from A Little Rule for Beginners: Insights into Benedictine Spirituality by Joan Chittister. Art by Marcy Hall (Benetvision)