Analysis of Benedict’s Rule

Consider living in a society that is completely isolated from an everyday materialistic world which we live in, where very strict guidelines and regulations must be followed. For monks, this was the lifestyle that they were demanded and instructed to follow.

Although the lifestyle of monks is quite diverse and different from that of any other human beings, the strict rules which they had to follow helped them affirm and maintain a strong relationship with God.These ideas and ways of living for monks were developed by Benedict of Nursia around 530 A.D. By developing these different beliefs of monasticism, Benedict wrote his Rule, which detailed the way of life for a monk. Benedict’s Rule is centered around the idea of submission to the Abbot as the spiritual leader in the monastery, as well as constant prayer and work. By writing his set of rules, Benedict can establish his main philosophy regarding monks, in which he believes that all monks must prepare themselves for salvation and a life with God by adhering to a strict practice of living (provided in his rules) away from the evils of the world.

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Benedict initiates his argument in his Rule by discussing the importance for a monk to possess the quality of humility. He lays out twelve distinct steps in which one can attain humility. By laying out the steps in achieving humility, Benedict infers that obtaining humility will help to create a better life. Not only that, but it will help strengthen our relationship with God, which in turn, will also give us complete happiness in all that we do. This importance of humility is shown when Benedict states, “if we want to reach the highest summit of humility, if we desire to attain speedily that exaltation in heaven to which we climb by the humility of this present life, then we must set up that ladder” (32). Benedict repeatedly emphasizes the importance of humility because it coincides with obtaining a certain reverence and fear of God, .

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