Holy Rule Of Saint Benedict
Of This, that Not the Whole Observance of Righteousness Is Laid Down in this Rule
Now, we have written this Rule that, observing it in monasteries, we
may show that we have acquired at least some moral righteousness, or a
beginning of the monastic life.
On the other hand, he that hasteneth on to the perfection of the
religious life, hath at hand the teachings of the holy Fathers, the
observance of which leadeth a man to the height of perfection. For what
page or what utterance of the divinely inspired books of the Old and
the New Testament is not a most exact rule of human life? Or, what book
of the holy Catholic Fathers doth not loudly proclaim how we may go
straight to our Creator? So, too, the collations of the Fathers, and
their institutes and lives, and the rule of our holy Father,
Basil--what are they but the monuments of the virtues of exemplary and
obedient monks? But for us slothful, disedifying, and negligent monks
they are a source for shame and confusion.
Thou, therefore, who hastenest to the heavenly home, with the help of
Christ fulfil this least rule written for a beginning; and then thou
shalt with God's help attain at last to the greater heights of
knowledge and virtue which we have mentioned above.