The wisdom of St. Benedict, the eponymous founder of the order that would bear his name, comes vividly to life in this new and sparkling, contemporary English translation of and introduction to Benedict's "Rule, the seminal guide for life in Christian monastic community. Benedict of Nursia (c. 480-543), born into nobility, renounced his life of privilege to live an eremitic life of extreme asceticism. He became Abbot of the monastic community of Monte Cassino, where he wrote the "Rule, acknowledged as his masterpiece. Modestly referring to the work that would chart the course of Western monasticism as "a little rule for beginners," in 73 brief, intensely focused and sympathetically written treatises and prologue, Benedict prescribed for his monastics a religious life in community with other Christians predicated upon mutual support, obedience, hospitality, tolerance and moderation. The "Rule concerns practical matters--the types and characteristics of monastics and their vows, the rules and regulations governing authority, administration and ownership, detailed descriptions of the rights and duties given the entire community. Practical themes, however, remain secondary to its primary focus, the beating heart of the "Rule, Jesus and His teachings: Jesus in loving obedience to His father, and Jesus in His message of love for and hospitality toward all. It is upon this bedrock that the Benedictine order is and remains anchored.