St. Benedict’s Rule was and is a book that has deeper spiritual meanings designed to bring himself as well as others into a deeper spiritual communion with God. This book was designed to fit the character and personality of St. Benedict, to help those who wanted to attain the monastic life, to warn about the outside world, and to make sure that human nature never got in the way of service to the Lord. The character and personality of St. Benedict has been shown through his writings about humility, wholesome talk, and practical advice. Benedict demonstrated the character of an older brother who was offering practical advice for those who were still struggling. He argued that the way to end temptation was to discipline one’s body, by fasting and obedience. Obeying the orders of the Abbot best demonstrated humility, but it will only be acceptable if it is not half hearted or not cringing and free from grumbling and selfishness. Benedict’s personality was reflected in his insistence on monastic obedience. It revealed a humble personality that always obeyed and wanted to do good works for God in order to draw closer to him. Benedict’s next piece of advice was how influential speech is. He stated that silence is more important than talk, even uplifting talk. A disciple should rarely be granted permission to speak because of the power of words and the evil behind them. Gossip, vulgarity, and laughter were also kinds of talk that a monk should never engage in. Benedict’s personality was reflected in the way he described languages. His words were few but always encouraging the spirit into a more Godly life and communion with him. Not only must they attain humility by their lack of words but also by their actions as well. They were to act in such a way as to please God. They were given to God so much that it was forbidden to do their own will. Benedict’s personality reflected that to live a life of communion with God one must give everything of themselves for God, for God is always with one in a time of trouble. Finally, Benedict stated that no monk should give or receive anything from the outside world, so that there are no distractions from growing closer to God. Benedict advised monks not to complain about the fabric of their clothing because that was what was available to them. This Rule was used as a beginning source for those who wanted the monastic life. This rule, although not as deep spiritually as one could good, led anyone through the basics to a deeper spiritual communion with God. The deepest spiritual life that one could go was the hermits. They had gone through the monastic life and were ready to into the single combat of the desert. They were ready to fight one on one with the devil.
A monk’s main goal was to achieve the strict denial of self in order to obtain a deeper communion with God. Monks slept in separate beds so as not to disturb each other and to avoid sexual tendencies. A monk’s first priority was to control his thoughts and his tongue. The best way to achieve that was to separate them when temptation was the greatest. Monks slept clothed so that they were ready to rise when the signal was given. They would hasten to the work of God but with all dignity and decorum. They were always to be ready, never considering anything else for a moment lest they be late. A monk’s first consideration was never himself but was always the Lord’s work. To Benedict there was one bad habit that needed to be eliminated because the most important facet of monastic life was that nothing belonged to anyone: not a book, not a writing tablet or stylus, not even his own body. They were to look to the abbot for everything and were not allowed anything he had not permitted. This was how they denied themselves, by doing as the abbot requested. A monk’s main duty was to give everything of himself so that he could grow closer to God. The world outside the monastery was viewed as an imperfect world full of evil. When a brother went on a journey he was to ask all the brothers to pray for him. When a brother returned from a trip he was not to speak about anything he saw or heard to anyone because that would have caused great harm. The world was full of temptations, the brothers who saw these worldly temptations did not speak of them in order to not cause sinful thoughts in their brother’s minds. There was tension and conflict because human nature got in the way of communion with God. The abbot needed always to remember what his title meant and he should act as his title meant in order to be considered worthy of running the monastery. Since the abbot is believed to hold the place of Christ, he should not command anything that strayed from the Lord’s instructions. This rule was designed to temper the spirituality of all that wanted the monastic life. St. Benedict’s most important point was that he wanted to have written a book with deeper spiritual meanings to bring people in closer communion with God.