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Rule of Life

Members of Religious Communities have Rules of Life which set out their daily patterns of living.  

The most famous is probably the Rule of St Benedict, from which most Communities Rules take their inspiration.

Despite it's name, a Rule is not just a set of rules and regulations; it is a pointer to living the Gospel in community and the every day.  Though some Rules are hundreds of years old, the spiritual values, wisdom and discretion they contain still show us the path of life.

Some people outside religious Communities also choose to follow a Rule of Life.  You might like to try this as part of your thinking about your vocation.

A Rule can be very simple, resolving to spend a quiet ten minutes every day in prayer, or reading the Bible each day for a set period of time.  It can cover many aspects of your life such as prayer, fasting, attending church, reading, care for the environment, how you use your money or your spare time or going on retreat.

It needs to be sensible and manageable to fit your lifestyle.  Don't set yourself up to fail.  it is best to start simply; it's not about constructing strict and severe rules but about making space and time for God to be in your life more fully.

It's a good idea to check your Rule out with someone else to see that it's not over the top, and it is a good idea to review it regularly.

Many Communities will happily give you advice and help on putting together a Rule of Life.

"[We] intend to establish a school of the Lord's service.  In drawing up its regulations, we hope to lay down nothing that is harsh or burdensome.  The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to  safeguard love."

Prologue to the Rule of St Benedict

Translated by Abbot Stuart Burns, Mucknell Abbey

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