31 August – Daily Reading of the Rule of St. Benedict

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May 1, August 31, December 31

Chapter 73: On the Fact That the Full Observance of Justice Is Not Established in This Rule

Now we have written this Rule 
in order that by its observance in monasteries
 
we may show that we have attained some degree of virtue
 
and the rudiments of the religious life.

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.

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