selections on Lectio Divina
Chapters 4, 8, 38, 48, 49



 [Engl. tr. L. Dysinger, O.S.B. In this bilingual edition black typeface indicates text unique to Benedict:  brown type indicates text common to both the Rule of Benedict and the Rule of the Master



Jan 20;  May 21;  Sept 20

(RM 3:50-67)





  44TO fear the day of judgment, 45 to dread hell;  46 to desire eternal life with all spiritual ardent yearning, 47 to daily keep death before one’s eyes.  48 To keep custody at every hour over the actions of one’s life, 49 to know with certainty that God sees one in every place.  50 To instantly hurl the evil thoughts of one’s heart against Christ (Ps. 136:9) and to lay them open to one’s spiritual father; 51 to keep custody of one’s mouth against depraved speech, 52 not to love excessive speaking.  53 not to speak words that are vain or apt to provoke laughter (cf. 2 Tim 2:16), 54 not to love frequent or raucous laughter (cf. Sir 21:23;).

44 Diem iudicii timere, 45 gehennam expavescere, 46 vitam aeternam omni concupiscentia spiritali desiderare, 47 mortem cotidie ante oculos suspectam habere. 48 Actus vitae suae omni hora custodire, 49 in omni loco Deum se respicere pro certo scire. 50 Cogitationes malas cordi suo advenientes mox ad Christum allidere et seniori spiritali patefacere, 51 Os suum a malo vel pravo eloquio custodire, 52 multum loqui non amare, 53 verba vana aut risui apta non loqui, 54 risum multum aut excussum non amare.

   55 To listen willingly to holy readings, 56 to prostrate frequently in prayer; 57 to daily confess one’s past faults to God in prayer with tears and sighs, 58 to amend these faults for the future.

55 Lectiones sanctas libenter audire, 56 orationi frequenter incumbere, 57 mala sua praeterita cum lacrimis vel gemitu cotidie in oratione Deo confiteri, 58 de ipsis malis de cetero emendare.





Feb 10;  June 11;  Oct 11

RM 33:3, 10 15-21,35; 44:12-14)





 1 IN the winter season, that is from November first until Easter, we consider it reasonable to arise at the eighth hour of the night, 2 so that having rested a little past midnight they may arise with their food fully digested. 3 The time that remains after Vigils should be spent in meditation by those brothers who still need to memorize some part of the psalter or readings.

 l Hiemis tempore, id est a kalendas Novembres usque in Pascha, iuxta considerationem rationis, octava hora noctis surgendum est, 2 ut modice amplius de media nocte pausetur et iam digesti surgant. 3 Quod vero restat post vigilias a fratribus qui psalterii vel lectionum aliquid indigent meditationi inserviatur.

 4 From Easter to the aforementioned first of November the hour of Vigils should be so arranged that after a very short interval, during which the brothers may go out for the necessities of nature, Lauds (which are to begin at first light) may follow without delay.  

 4 A Pascha autem usque ad supradictas Novembres, sic temperetur hora ut vigiliarum agenda parvissimo intervallo, quo fratres ad necessaria naturae exeant, mox matutini, qui incipiente luce agendi sunt, subsequantur.





in the
of the





Mar 17;  July 17;  Nov 16

(RM 24:14, 30, 40)





1 AT the brothers’ table there should always be reading, but this is not to be done carelessly by one who simply grabs for the book and reads; rather let the reader is to begin a whole week’s service  on Sunday. 2 The one who begins his service is to ask after Mass and Communion that all pray for him, that God may protect him from the spirit of pride: 3 and this verse is to be said three times in the oratory by all after the reader begins it:  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise (Ps 51:17); 4 and thus receiving the blessing he begins his service of reading.

1 Mensis fratrum lectio deesse non debet, nec fortuito casu qui arripuerit codicem legere ibi, sed lecturus tota hebdomada dominica ingrediatur. 2 Qui ingrediens post missas et communionem petat ab omnibus pro se orari, ut avertat ab ipso Deus spiritum elationis, 3 et dicatur hic versus in oratorio tertio ab omnibus, ipso tamen incipiente: Domine, labia mea aperies, et os meum adnuntiabit laudem tuam; 4 et sic accepta benedictione ingrediatur ad legendum.






Mar 28;  July 28;  Nov 27

(RM 50:1, 7, 39-42, 53-56, 62-64)





1IDLENESS is the enemy of the soul; and therefore the brothers should be occupied at certain times in manual labour, and at certain other hours in sacred reading.

1 Otiositas inimica est animae, et ideo certis temporibus occupari debent fratres in labore manuum, certis iterum horis in lectione divina.

2 We therefore believe that the times for each may be ordered thus: 3 from Easter to the first of October, on coming out after Prime they are labor at whatever is necessary from the first until about the fourth hour; 3 from the fourth hour until about the time they say Sext they are to devote themselves to reading; 5  after Sext upon arising from from table they are to rest on their beds in complete silence, or if anyone wishes to read to himself he may read, but without disturbing the others; 6 and None is to be performed rather early at the middle of the eighth hour; then they are again to work at whatever needs to be done until Vespers. 

2 Ideoque hac dispositione credimus utraque tempore ordinari: 3 id est ut a Pascha usque kalendas Octobres a mane exeuntes a prima usque hora paene quarta laborent quod necessarium fuerit; 4 ab hora autem quarta usque hora qua sextam agent lectioni vacent; 5 post sextam autem surgentes a mensa pausent in lecta sua cum omni silentio, aut forte qui voluerit legere sibi sic legat ut alium non inquietet; 6 et agatur nona temperius mediante octava hora, et iterum quod faciendum est operentur usque ad vesperam.

7 If, however, local necessity or poverty require that they themselves are occupied with gathering the harvest, they should not be saddened; 8 for they are then truly monks when they live by the labor of their hands, as did our fathers and the apostles. 9 But everything is to be done with proper measure on account of the fainthearted.

7 Si autem necessitas loci aut paupertas exegerit ut ad fruges recolligendas per se occupentur, non contristentur, 8 quia tunc vere monachi sunt si labore manuum suarum vivunt, sicut et patres nostri et apostoli. 9 Omnia tamen mensurate fiant propter pusillanimes.

Mar 29;  July 29;  Nov 28

(RM 50:10, 14-15)

10 From the first of October until the beginning of Lent they are to devote themselves to reading until the end of the second hour:11 at the second hour Terce is to be said, and until None all are to labor at their appointed work. 12 But at the first signal for the hour of None all are to cease from their work, and prepare for the sounding of the second signal. 13 After the meal they are to devote themselves to their reading or to the psalms.

10 A kalendas autem Octobres usque caput quadragesimae, usque in hora secunda plena lectioni vacent; 11 hora secunda agatur tertia, et usque nona omnes in opus suum laborent quod eis iniungitur; 12 facto autem primo signo nonae horae, deiungant ab opera sua singuli et sint parati dum secundum signum pulsaverit. 13 Post refectionem autem vacent lectionibus suis aut psalmis.

        14 In the days of Lent, however, from morning until the end of the third hour they should devote themselves to their reading, and afterwards work until the end of the tenth hour at their assigned tasks 15 In these days of Lent each is to receive a book from the library, to be completely read straight through:. 16 these books are to be given out at the beginning of Lent.

14 In quadragesimae vero diebus, a mane usque tertia plena vacent lectionibus suis, et usque decima hora plena operentur quod eis iniungitur. 15 In quibus diebus quadragesimae accipiant omnes singulos codices de bibliotheca, quos per ordinem ex integro legant; 16 qui codices in caput quadragesimae dandi sunt.

  17 Above all, one or two seniors should be deputed to make the rounds of monastery at the hours when the brothers are devoted to reading; 18 and they are to see that there is not found any brother giving in to acedia, who devotes himself to idleness or idle story-telling, and does not apply himself to his reading: he is thus not only useless to himself, but a distraction to others. 19 If one is found (may it not happen!) he is to be corrected once and then a second time, 20 and if he does not amend he is to be subjected to the chastisement of the Rule, in such a way as to inspire fear in the rest. 21 And no brother may associate with another brother at inappropriate hours.

17 Ante omnia sane deputentur unus aut duo seniores qui circumeant monasterium horis quibus vacant fratres lectioni, 18 et videant ne forte inveniatur frater acediosus qui vacat otio aut fabulis et non est intentus lectioni, et non solum sibi inutilis est, sed etiam alios distollit: 19 hic talis si ‑‑ quod absit ‑‑ repertus fuerit, corripiatur semel et secundo; 20 si non emendaverit, correptioni regulari subiaceat taliter ut ceteri timeant. 21 Neque frater ad fratrem iungatur horis incompetentibus.

in the
of the

[ and





Mar 30;  July 30;  Nov 29

(RM 50:75-78)

        22 On Sunday all are to devote themselves to reading except those assigned various duties. 23 But if anyone is so negligent and lazy as to be unwilling or unable to meditate or read, he is to be given work to do so that he is not idle.

22 Dominico item die lectioni vacent omnes, excepto his qui variis officiis deputati sunt. 23 Si quis vero ita neglegens et desidiosus fuerit ut non velit aut non possit meditare aut legere, iniungatur ei opus quod faciat, ut non vacet.

        24 Brothers who are sick or weak are to be assigned such work or crafts that they will not be idle, and yet will not be oppressed by heavy labor and so driven away. 25 Such infirmities are to be taken into consideration by the abbot.

             24 Fratribus infirmis aut delicatis talis opera aut ars iniungatur ut nec otiosi sint nec violentia laboris opprimantur aut effugentur. 25 Quorum imbecillitas ab abbate consideranda est.






Mar 31;  July 31;  Nov 30

(RM 51:1-3; 52:1-2, 6; 53:12-15)





1ALTHOUGH at all times the life of a monk to be a Lenten observance, 2 yet since few have the strength for this we encourage all during these days of Lent to keep themselves in all purity of life, 3 and to wash away the negligences of other times during these holy days. 4 This we will do worthily do if we abstain from all vices and give ourselves to prayer with tears, reading, compunction of heart, and abstinence. 5 Therefore during these days let us augment somewhat our usual quota of service through private prayers and abstinence from food and drink, 6 so that each may offer, above his appointed measure and of his own free will, something to God in the joy of the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 1:6): that is, by withholding from his body something of food, drink, sleep, excessive talking, ridiculing; and thus awaiting holy Easter with the joy of spiritual desire. (cf. Lk. 22:15)

1 Licet omni tempore vita monachi quadragesimae debet observationem habere, 2 tamen, quia paucorum est ista virtus, ideo suademus istis diebus quadragesimae omni puritate vitam suam custodire omnes pariter, 3 et neglegentias aliorum temporum his diebus sanctis diluere. 4 Quod tunc digne fit si ab omnibus vitiis temperamus, orationi cum fletibus, lectioni et compunctioni cordis atque abstinentiae operam damus. 5 Ergo his diebus augeamus nobis aliquid solito pensu servitutis nostrae, orationes peculiares, ciborum et potus abstinentiam, 6 ut unusquisque super mensuram sibi indictam aliquid propria voluntate cum gaudio Sancti Spiritus offerat Deo, 7 id est subtrahat corpori suo de cibo, de potu, de somno, de loquacitate, de scurrilitate, et cum spiritalis desiderii gaudio sanctum Pascha exspectet.

        8 Everyone is, however, is to make known to his abbot what he offers, and do it with his prayer and according to his will, 9 because what is done without permission of the spiritual father will be attributed to presumption and vainglory, and will merit no reward. 10 Therefore everything is to be according to the will of the abbot.

8 Hoc ipsud tamen quod unusquisque offerit abbati suo suggerat, et cum eius fiat oratione et voluntate, 9 quia quod sine permissione patris spiritalis fit, praesumptioni deputabitur et vanae gloriae, non mercedi. 10 Ergo cum voluntate abbatis omnia agenda sunt.