Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER LXXIII: CONCERNING THIS, NAMELY THAT NOT EVERY OBSERVANCE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS LAID DOWN IN THIS RULE - The Rule of St. Benedict
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CHAPTER LXXIII: CONCERNING THIS, NAMELY THAT NOT EVERY OBSERVANCE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS LAID DOWN IN THIS RULE - Saint Benedict, The Rule of St. Benedict 
The Rule of St. Benedict, translated into English. A Pax Book, preface by W.K. Lowther Clarke (London: S.P.C.K., 1931).
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The reader is referred to The Cambridge Medieval History* for a brief but comprehensive survey of early monasticism, together with a suggestive explanation of how and why St. Benedict became the father of Western monasticism; and for a bibliography† that would prove a useful guide to a comprehensive study of the life of St. Benedict and of the circumstances in which he compiled the holy rule.
St. Benedict wrote his rule, as Dom Cuthbert Butler observes,* “in the language of the people, in a Latin already decadent and slipping into new forms: whence it appears that exact constructions of words and grammatical concordances were little observed.” Any treatise so written in the mid-sixth century would certainly have been copied with emendations by scribes desiring to adorn as well as transcribe the text on which they were engaged. If this was the case with treatises meant for individual study, much more was it the case when the text in question was a rule to be read aloud daily in chapter house and refectory, where the “solecisms” and “barbarisms” of a fluid Latin would be likely to strike the ear. Hence, as a matter of fact, there soon arose a textus reseptus of the rule of St. Benedict, from which the early printed editions were drawn later. This has continued in use to the present day; and that although early manuscripts afforded texts whose relationship with St. Benedict’s own words was much closer.
CONCERNING THIS, NAMELY THAT NOT EVERY OBSERVANCE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS LAID DOWN IN THIS RULE
Now we have written out this rule in order that by observing it in our monasteries we may show ourselves to have, to some degree, integrity of life, or the beginning at least of conversion. For the rest, for those who hasten to the perfection of conversion, there are the teachings of the holy fathers, the observing of which brings a man to the height of perfection: and indeed what page or what text of the divine authority of the Old and the New Testament is not an unerring rule of human life? Or what book of the holy catholic fathers does not re-echo this, that by a straight course we may come to our Creator? Moreover also the conferences of the fathers and their institutes and their lives and also the rule of our holy father Basil, what else are they but store houses of the virtues of good-living and obedient monks? But to us, indolent, ill-living and negligent, belong shame and confusion. Whosoever therefore thou art who dost hasten to the heavenly country, fully carry out, Christ helping thee, this most elementary rule that we have written out; and then at last thou shalt come, God protecting thee, to the loftier heights of doctrine and of virtue which we have mentioned above.
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[* ] Vol. i., cap. xviii.
[† ] At the end of that vol.
[* ]Sancti Benedicti Regula Monasteriorum, Editionem Critico-Practicam adornavit D. Cuthbertus Butler. Friburgi Brisgoviæ. 1927. Herder and Co.