Christians of all denominations are looking today to the ancient discipline of a rule of life to strengthen their sense of living in Christ and participating in a wider community. For the first time the brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist are making their rule-completely rewritten and revised-available to the church at large. The book is composed of 49 short chapters that develop classical monastic themes of hospitality, poverty, celibacy, and obedience, exploring what these might mean to men and women living at the end of the millennium. And because this is a modern rule, it provides guidance and reflection in less traditional areas, too-leadership, conflict, the use and abuse of authority, work, the need for rest and silence, vocation, and fellowship with the poor. Therefore it has much to teach Christians in other kinds of communities, including the family, the parish, and the workplace. Concluding chapters give suggestions for meditating on the Rule and for its use as an aid to discernment and spiritual growth for prayer groups and parish life committees.
After eight years of collective effort, the SSJE produced a comprehensive document, solidly scripturally-based, that sets out a bold definition of their current lifestyle. Their Rule is both profound and forthright... Part of the impressive nature of this Rule is the care with which it is crafted and presented. Each sentence carries weight, as the end product of much careful labor and thinking... [The] remarkable concluding section ... offers six pages of guidance for Christians outside the monastic tradition who may wish to use the Rule in their own personal reflection on the Christian life... (and) gives many recommendations for study and prayer, suggesting specific chapters that may be helpful in discerning one's own gifts and ministry. News From Celebration