Synopses & Reviews
There is more in Benedict’s Rule than meets the eye. Based on the rules of life of John Cassian and Saint Basil, Benedict invites us to go further back to the scriptural basis of all Christian and monastic living and pursue our spiritual journey by the guidance of the Gospel.This book of reflections on the tools for good living is intended to be read very slowly, one section at a time. In addition to communicating reflections on each verse of chapter 4, Casey invites readers to:· continue the process of reflection for themselves· apply what is written to their own lives· draw on their own wisdom and insight· and, ultimately, broaden their experience of monastic spirituality
“Ancient monastic authors often stressed their wish to be of useto readers. Like them, Michael Casey has written a useful
volume, a volume to live by. Drawing on a wealth of sources, and reading deeply in the book of experience, he shows what a vast perspective is indicated in the ‘little Rule’ of Benedict, what fullness of life is in store for those who follow it with courage and coherence.” Eric Varden, OCSO Mount Saint Bernard Abbey
(pick up this book) if you want a sustained conversation with a master teacher of the Rule of Benedict. I am shocked how superficially I habitually read chapter 4 of the Rule of Benedict. Those seventy-four tools are no longer a list but a loving invitation.” Meg Funk, OSB Our Lady of Grace Monastery
“Michael Casey brings a deep lived knowledge of the monastic tradition to this splendid set of reflections on Benedict's Rule. He manages to marry faith commitment to pastoral common sense in such a manner that monks and laity as well can find answers to that request made to the old desert dwellers: Give me a good word. Casey, in fact, gives us many good words.”Lawrence S. CunninghamJohn A. O'Brien Professor of Theology (Emeritus)The University of Notre Dame
“In my regular university course on the Rule of St. Benedict as a mirror to present-day culture there is close reading of some chapters of the Rule. To my shame I tended to neglect chapter four a bit. Michael Casey’s deep reflections in this remarkable book are nourished by a half century of monastic reading and deep psychological and existential insight. I can now draw from nearly 300 pages of wisdom on the fourth chapter of Benedict’s Rule. Just to quote from Fr. Michael’s preface: ‘There is much more in Benedict’s Rule than meets the superficial eye.’” Wil Derkse
Andreas van Melsen Chair for Science, Society and Worldviews (retired)
Catholic Radboud University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands
This book is not an exegetical study; one goes elsewhere for such. Rather this is a wisdom text, exploring each tool in a search to comprehend these pithy sayings for good living. . . . It is his own lived experience that brightens up the text. Casey's years of cenobitic living, coupled with his perceptive eye and peppered wit give life to the seventy-four tools.
Timothy Joyce, OSB, Glastonbury Abbey, Hingham, MA, American Benedictine Review
About the Author
Michael Casey, OCSO, has been a monk of Tarrawarra Abbey (Australia) since 1960. After completing a degree in Scripture at Leuven, he received his doctorate from Melbourne College of Divinity for a study of desire for God in the writings of Bernard of Clairvaux. For the past decades he has been engaged in exploring different aspects of monastic spirituality, writing, and giving conferences throughout the English-speaking monastic world. His books include The Road to Eternal Life: Reflections on the Prologue of Benedict’s Rule (Liturgical Press, 2011), Strangers to the City (Paraclete Press, 2005), and A Guide to Living in the Truth (Liguori, 2001).