The Society of Catholic Priests

Our Rule of Life

 

What is a rule of life?

Have you ever heard of a gyrovague? In his great monastic Rule, St Benedict describes such people as ones who, “Spend their whole lives tramping from province to province, staying as guests in different monasteries for three or four days at a time. Always on the move, with no stability, they indulge their own wills and succumb to the allurements of gluttony.” It’s a delicious term, implying a combination of restlessness and hazy motives!

A Rule of Life is the antidote to the gyrovague: it provides a way of living with intention and stability. It helps us to tell our story; to articulate what kind of life it is that God is calling us to. It also helps us to live in faithfulness to one another; to be accountable to one another and to God for our witness to what God is doing in the world.

We should not equate a Rule with rules: it does not seek to restrict or to deny. Instead, it gives us a framework for modelling our lives after Christ and gives us something to rest upon it, allowing us to live more freely. St Benedict sums up the purpose or a Rule of Life rather well: “It is simply a handbook to make the very radical demands of the gospel a practical reality in daily life.”

Click on the buttons to the left to access our Manual and Constitution in PDF format.

“No-one should pursue what seems better for himself but what seems better for the other instead.”   - The Rule of St Benedict 72.7

“No-one should pursue what seems better for himself but what seems better for the other instead.”

- The Rule of St Benedict 72.7

 

The Society Prayer

Father, we thank you that you have called us to your service,
to feed your people by word and sacrament.
By the power of your Spirit,
keep us faithful to you and to those in our care.
Keep united in the bonds of peace and love the members of our Society,
that by sharing in Christ’s priesthood here on earth,
we may come to share in the joys of his eternal kingdom,
where he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.
Amen.