St. Benedict’s Rule and the Anglican Patrimony


Blessings on this feast of St. Benedict!

Thanks to Father Matthew Dallman for sending the following:

“A blessed feast day of Saint Benedict!

“This morning I shared on social media the following bits from Martin Thornton:

“’Saint Benedict’s most vital message to the Church today: that loyalty to the basic threefold Rule—Mass-Office-Devotion—is always the prior ascetical discipline. It is the foundation of all Christian life, the essential work of the Church, the supreme intercession, the power of evangelism. It is of incalculably greater importance than all fasts, mortifications, and works whatsoever; the only function of which is to support it, without it all is a sham. As spiritual guides we must insist upon it; if we are true to the primitive Church, we must insist upon it; if we are true to our medieval heritage, we must insist upon it. If we think of Anglicanism in a narrower sense, let it be remembered that the seventeenth-century battles between Puritan and Caroline churchmen were fought over the Prayer Book, especially over ‘set prayers’. They were battles for and against Benedictine principles.’ (English Spirituality, chap. 6)

“’It is plain that the freedom inherent in the English domestic ethos, the ‘homeliness’ of Julian and Margery, the pastoral warmth of George Herbert, John Donne, and Nicholas Ferrar: all this is no watered-down mediocrity, no pastoral amateurishness, but a deep-rooted characteristic of Benedictine orthodoxy, springing from the doctrine of the church. This characteristic strain of thought, beginning with the *Regula*, is still worthy of our serious study. We neglect it at our peril.’ (English Spirituality, chap. 6)

“All of chapter 6 of ES is devoted to Saint Benedict and worthy indeed of continued serious study (but I am biased to say the least). In Christ, frMCD”


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