Click here for pdf of whole Rule: RB37

Between May and September 2018 the reflections on the Rule are by Christine Pritchard. Mother, grandmother, and retired French teacher, Chris has been an oblate of Stanbrook for ten years. In the reflections she considers how the Rule might be translated into a family setting.
Scroll down below the booklist and introduction to find the reflections.
Comments are welcome via

Further Reading:
If you have enjoyed looking at words and patterns in the Rule you will probably benefit from Sr Aquinata Boeckmann's approach, eg in her Perspectives on the Rule of St Benedict (2005), pub. Collegeville.
Dom Hugh Gilbert's books: Unfolding the Mystery (2007) and Living the Mystery (2008) and The Tale of Quisquis, published since he has become a bishop.
Gregory Collins OSB: Meeting Christ in his Mysteries (2010) pub. Columba.
Maria Boulding OSB: Gateway to Resurrection (2010) pub. Continuum, is shot through with the Paschal dimension of Benedictine life.
Anything by Michael Casey OCSO!

Reflections on the Rule of St Benedict: Introduction

We wanted the Rule of St Benedict (RB) to pulse through the website as it does through our life, hence the decision that the daily portion of the Rule, read in most Benedictine monasteries and by many individuals, should feature on the Home Page. The version selected is that of Dom Justin McCann OSB published by the Stanbrook Abbey Press in 1937 and used here by kind permission of the Ampleforth Abbey Trust. There are several reasons for this choice: first of all, we feel it still reads as an elegant translation, then we wish to celebrate cooperation between the Ampleforth and Stanbrook communities over many years, and thirdly, perhaps the old-fashioned thees and thous can actually help us approach the Rule of St Benedict thoughtfully. For all its relevance, RB remains an ancient text which needs careful unpacking.

To accompany the extracts of the Rule we hope to post reflections, initially from members of the Stanbrook Community. These do not aim to be scholarly commentaries of which there are many excellent editions available. Rather, the reflections allow us to re-visit the Rule, to try to listen to its familiar voice anew, and to share thoughts via this forum.

Your comments are welcome via

19 Of the Order of the Community 2

Courtesy, and consideration of each other should be intrinsic to family life.  In the final sentence Benedict acknowledges that at different stages of growing up children need varying levels of supervision and rules, together with opportunity to develop and grow.


20 August Chapter 64      On the Appointment of the Abbot 1

At first sight this has little relevance to family life. And yet … someone has to take charge of things. Gradually the young will gain more responsibilities, and the example they have been given will be important. We have the charge of ‘bringing up’ the children, not allowing weeds to grow unchecked.


21 August On the Appointment of the Abbot 2

Abbot – Abba – Father – Dad.   Everything in this chapter, which is full of wisdom, can be seen as advice to the father or mother of the children.


22 August Chapter65       Of the Prior of the Monastery 1

‘Wait till your father gets home’. ‘Don’t ask me, that’s your mother’s department’.  It is important that children see their parents as united, working as a unit. Each member of the family has a different part to play, but as part of a common enterprise.


23 August Of the Prior of the Monastery 2

Does this apply to the family?  We are constantly delegating, and in doing so reacting to the development of each person. We need to be aware that we shall have to give an account to God of our judgments and leadership.


24 August Chapter 66      Of the Porters of the Monastery

For ‘Porter’ let us read ‘Welcomer’. Whether it is to open the front door, answer the phone, entertain visitors, the family is the ‘domestic church’, and the children will learn by example how to set people at ease, how to care for others. The family should not be a sealed unit so much as a welcoming centre.