Not to kill? Or commit adultery? A Tool?

Then, not to kill,  not to commit adultery. (Rule of Benedict 4.3-4)

In Egypt, Joseph resisted temptation to adulte...

Joseph resists temptation to adultery in Egypt, goes to prison. Vienna Bible 1743 (Photo: Wikipedia)

Doesn’t love of neighbor already forbid killing and adultery?

Passion moves faster than reason. Untamed words, swift rage, an upsurge of desire lead to heedless action.

A married woman told some Sisters: “Marriage is no different from celibacy. Of the millions of attractive men, I guard my desires with just one fewer than you.  Chastity is a practice too.”

Does anyone set out to commit murder or adultery? Our passions are treacherous, able to energize good deeds or tempt us astray.  StBenedict sees the commandments through a monastic lens: a tool to train and protect our hearts for good.


Tooling Through Lent is a series of brief reflections on Chapter 4 of the Rule of BenedictThe Tools for Good Works.

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About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota
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