Nearly fifteen centuries ago, Benedict of Nursia wrote a rule for Christians who wanted to live, work and pray together in community. With its core values of contemplation, hospitality, and simplicity, the rule remains as useful and fresh today as it was when Benedict created it in Italy those many centuries ago. But the Rule is not without its difficulties in contemporary practice. Author Laura Swan, a Benedictine Sister, looks at the Rule with a critical eye, seeking to unpack those parts that are problematic and to uncover gems that support the yearnings of today's seekers. She takes the obstacles that women and young people find in the Rule, and offers them insights that resonate with their experience and are still faithful to the challenge of the Rule. Readers will discover that Benedict's wisdom can shed much light on their own lives. By wrestling with the Rule, and hence taking it seriously, Laura Swan offers readers guidance on many difficult and painful questions.
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Laura Swan, O.S.B., writer and spiritual director, holds graduate degrees in theology and spirituality. She is a member and former prioress of Saint Placid Priory in Lacey, Washington, and is the author of Engaging Benedict: What the Rule Can Teach Us Today (Christian Classics, 2005).
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