The Rule in Bits and Pieces

The Rule in Bits and Pieces:
with contributions from the monks and oblates of Saint Vincent Archabbey

The Rule in Bits and Pieces is a collection of over 140 reflections covering every chapter of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict. In this collection, Father Donald Raila, O.S.B. has brought together a diversity of contributions from the Benedictine monks and Oblates of Saint Vincent Archabbey. Each contributor expresses his or her unique understanding of the power of the Rule as a tool for directing our daily, 21st century lives towards balance and fullness in Christ. Through these reflections, we see the inspiration and genius of St. Benedict in creating a daily rigor of prayer and work that supports our physical and emotional needs and furthers us along the path of spiritual development.

Three dozen monks affiliated with Saint Vincent Archabbey, and 45 Oblates—lay persons who strive to live a similar life—contributed to this book of commentaries on the Rule of Saint Benedict, founder of western monasticism. The Rule of Saint Benedict is a guide written in the sixth century that contains instructions for living in a monastery, spiritual wisdom on the basic monastic virtues of humility, silence, and obedience, as well as directives for daily living. Newly-released, The Rule in Bits and Pieces addresses how to apply these tenets to modern-day life.

Through this diversity of writings, Abbott Jerome Kodell, O.S.B. of Subiaco Abbey believes that readers “will be impressed at the way the Rule can speak to various ways of life.”

The Rule is traditionally read in 122 sections; thus, a monastic community or an Oblate works through the small book three times a year, reflecting on one small segment of the book. It is “a book of Christian wisdom, based largely on Scripture as well as on several centuries of monastic tradition,” said Father Donald. “It is to be savored, prayed over, and lived out.

“Indeed, there are many regulations,” Father Donald said. “But these are not generally followed literally today; many of them could not be. However beneath the regulations and beneath all the passages of the Rule are underlying values which remain relevant for monks and Oblates today. The purpose of reading the Rule is not so much to establish rules for oneself (although in some cases that may be a praiseworthy outcome) as to encounter God, to listen to God, and to participate in his loving plan wholeheartedly.”

Father Donald S. Raila, O.S.B., is a Benedictine monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He has been the Director of Oblates since 1988, and during that time has written quarterly letters to the community of Oblates and friends of Saint Vincent Archabbey.


  • Print Length: 268 pages
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches

Hardcover: $31.95 available at Amazon, the Book Depository, and on order at most independent bookstores.

Paperback: $19.95 available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and on order at most independent bookstores.

eBook: $9.99 available at Amazon.