Monk vocations, part 3

The Benedictine Life

Are you called to be a monk?

Regula et Traditio -- The Rule and the Tradition

The Rule of Benedict is a written document, and most communities have a written statement that defines their identity and purpose and order. Nations have constitutions. Religions have scriptures. Many institutions today have mission statements. The written document typically defines the core values and processes for the group. In Latin, this is the regula.

The tradition is the living memory of how the written document has been interpreted and adapted over time to different situations. The Latin word traditio means that which is "given or handed over." Often the tradition is captured by stories. Both the written document and the living memory are needed for the ongoing life of a community.

One can neither understand nor create a monastic community only by reading the Rule, the written document. Every book needs a community of interpreters to understand and live the written text. Without a text, a community is left to the whim of the present. Both the written text and the tradition embodied in a living community are necessary. Tradition, then, is very important to us at Saint Meinrad.

The following Come and See dates are scheduled:

August 1-5, 2008
December 27, 2008 - January 1, 2009
August 1-5, 2009
December 27, 2009 - January 1, 2010

Contact us at the Office of Monastery Vocations: vocations at

100 Hill Drive
St. Meinrad, IN 47577
(812) 357-6318

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