Rule of Benedict Verses 1 – 13

January 22, 2008


Prologue Section 1 Verses 1 – 13 Listen & Arise!

L I S T E N carefully, my child, to your master’s precepts, and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20). Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father’s advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.

To you, therefore, my words are now addressed, whoever you may be, who are renouncing your own will to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King, and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience

And first of all, whatever good work you begin to do, beg of Him with most earnest prayer to perfect it, that He who has now deigned to count us among His children may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds. For we must always so serve Him with the good things He has given us, that He will never as an angry Father disinherit His children, nor ever as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil actions, deliver us to everlasting punishment as wicked servants who would not follow Him to glory.

Let us arise, then, at last, for the Scripture stirs us up, saying, “Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep” (Rom. 18:11). Let us open our eyes to the deifying light, let us hear with attentive ears the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us, “Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Ps. 94:8). And again, “Whoever has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Matt. 11-15; Apoc. 2:7). And what does He say? “Come, My children, listen to Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). “Run while you have the light of life, lest the darkness of death overtake you” (John 12:35).


Related Scripture

John 12: 35- 36 Run while you have the light

Ps 94 (95) Listen to his voice (Invitatory)

Ps 33 (34) I will teach you the fear of the Lord

Rom 13:11-14 Arise from sleep

Rev 2 & 3 What the spirit says to the churches


References to other resources

Norvene Vest – Preferring Christ pages 5 – 7

Esther de Vaal Seeking God Chapter 2

Eric Dean Saint – Benedict for the Laity pages 13 & 14

Will Derske The Rule of Benedict for Beginners pages 15 & 16


Initial thoughts of person/group

The first section of the prologue demand action – to listen, to pray, to obey & to act. All of the commentaries explain that in the original Latin the first word denotes a particular kind of listening, listening attentively. Benedict goes on to explain why we should listen (out of love for God) and that this itself should stir us to respond. An appropriate call for us as we look at renewing our community!

What you might do to consider this part of the Rule

Who do we listen to, why, and what response is expected from us? How does this compare to the call at the start of the prologue?

Look at ‘what the Spirit says to the churches’ – which of these are issues for us?

Every day – how do we listen to God? How do we ask Him to bring our work to perfection?

The last section, as much of the Rule, is a string of Biblical quotes strung together by a person who knew the Bible intimately. In ‘The Street bible’ Rob Lacey translates some of these as: ‘Wake up … it’s almost sunrise on the New day: the dew is settling nicely & I am your alarm clock. … If you’ve got a brain & a heart, work it out! What’s the Spirit saying to the JLM’s (churches)?’ How would you update this section of the prologue?