Rules of the Community


In the sixth century Saint Benedict wrote a rule for his community of monks that has been fundamental to western monasticism over the centuries.  Reflecting biblical principles, the rule in most ways is applicable to the local congregation.  Chapter 4 gives a list of good works that are basic to the congregation and the individual Christian.  Among them are to love God and our neighbor; to follow the Ten Commandments, to care for the poor, sick, and dying; to avoid anger; not to return evil for evil; to love one’s enemies; to live a chaste life; to avoid excess in drinking and eating; to attribute to God what is good in oneself; to recognize the evil one does; to fear judgment; to yearn for eternal life; to guard one’s actions; to dash evil thoughts against the rock of Christ; to guard against evil speech; to listen to the Scriptures and to pray; to confess one’s sins daily; not to hate; to dislike contention, envy, and haughtiness; to make peace with a foe; and never to despair of the mercy of the Lord. Chapter 5 speaks of humility, a virtue of utmost importance in Christian community life.  Pride, its antagonist, is a foe of community peace and stability.  We are to keep the world from infecting our community life which unfortunately it often does.  It is the earthly part of this community still in pilgrimage that commits its life to these ethical mandates. These are scriptural principles and teachings of Christ in which we find the conduct worthy of citizens of the City of God.

Our following of the Law of God is grounded in justification by faith.  We are saved through Christ alone by faith alone.  Out of this gift of God’s mercy comes fidelity to the way of life He prescribes.  Those who fail to keep these commandments and repent when they break them are not faithful to Christ.  The church has provided regular confession, preaching of Law and Gospel, the Sacraments, and disciplinary measures to help believers live out the Christian life.

Let us celebrate our membership in the people of God and remain loyal to Christ’s teachings.  In this way we are light to the world so that others outside the community can give glory to the Father in heaven.  (Matthew 5: 16).


Michael G. Tavella

The Twelve Days of Christmas

December 29, 2023



The City of God and the City of Man
Mixed Together until the End