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What is a Rule of Life?

What is a Rule of Life?

Rule of LifeA Rule of Life is like a framework, a scaffolding, or a trellis over which a plant grows – something which gives support to us as we lead our Christian lives.

An analogy might be a pair of glasses: we don’t actually look at our glasses; we look through them, and in doing so, everything becomes clearer. When we look through the lens of our Rule at our everyday lives, things come into better focus. It helps us get our lives in balance, and makes us more intentional about what we do and how we choose to do it.  

‘Although it’s a Rule, there’s lots of room to expand within it and be flexible and individual’
 member of Gloucester Cathedral Community

The Latin root for the word Rule is regula – literally meaning ‘regular’ or rhythm. This is the sense in which we understand the concept of Rule – a rhythm which supports and helps us as we try to live a Christian life. Not a set of rules and regulations to put us in a straightjacket!

Writing about the Benedictine Rule, Sister Joan Chittister says, ‘it offers a template of what it is to lead an ordinary life extraordinarily well.’