Prologue 9

This 1996 translation of the Rule of St. Benedict, by Brother Luke Dysinger, gets it right.

“Prologue 9”? What does that mean, pray tell?It’s an allusion to the Rule of Saint Benedict, and — by a sort of happy coincidence — also to the Gospel of Saint John. Both the Rule and John are documents renowned for their prologue — and in both documents, verse 9 of the prologue is packed with meaning.The Prologue to Saint Benedict’s Rule is itself a renowned spiritual document, a stirring cry to holiness and fervor for anyone who might seek to follow the way of Christ without compromise. … [Read more...]

This Weekend: from the Mountains to the Inner City

If you live in North Georgia, I hope I'll see you at one or both of these events this weekend.Saturday I'll be leading a day-retreat at Holy Family Episcopal Church in Jasper, Georgia, in the beautiful north Georgia mountains. Our theme is Contemplation and Emergence. I'm very excited about the combination of poetry, storytelling, lectio, silence and sharing that will encompass our time together as we explore how an ancient practice (contemplation) remains relevant today (emergence). We gather … [Read more...]


Michael Casey, a wonderful Trappist author from Australia, has begun a podcast on the Prologue of the Rule of St. Benedict. If you're interested in checking out what contemporary monastics have to say about this ancient document, visit this page:iMonk: Reflections on the Prologue of Saint Benedict's Rule for Monasteries … [Read more...]

Tools and Clothes

One of my favorite lines in the Rule of St. Benedict comes from chapter 31, describing the function of the monastic cellarer (business manager): "Let him regard all the vessels of the monastery and all its substance, as if they were sacred vessels of the altar." In other words, the guy in charge of the monastery's mundane tools and equipment needs to regard those items as if they were as sacred and precious as the chalice and paten used on the altar to hold the bread and wine that will be … [Read more...]

The Feast of St. Benedict: Ad Deificum Lumen

Today is the feast of St. Benedict.This morning at mass, Fr. Tom Francis (who works with me at the Abbey Store) preached on the Rule and on his life experience as a Trappist monk for over 50 years now. During the sermon, he mentioned a conversation that he and I and another Lay-Cistercian had a while back about a phrase in the prologue to the Holy Rule of St. Benedict: et apertis oculis nostris ad deificum lumen, which is often translated as "Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from … [Read more...]


LaserMonks: The Business Story Nine Hundred Years in the Making By Sarah Caniglia and Cindy Griffith New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanSome years ago, the management world discovered Sun-Tzu's The Art of War. This sixth-century Chinese treatise on military strategy considers not only the logistics of conflict, but also the psychology of winning; as such, it has transcended its soldierly origins to become a classic source of inspiration for the corporate boardroom as well as … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Do not aspire to be called holy before you really are, but first be holy that you may more truly be called so. — The Rule of St Benedict, ed. Timothy Fry, O.S.B. … [Read more...]