CHAPTER 4 – How to Live Our Lives - Part 2

Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else. RB 4:20-21

Chapter 4, The Tools for Good Works, is a series of phrases that can become like mantras of Christian behavior. The goal envisioned by Benedict is that we become like Christ. The words of this chapter can help us to abandon self-love and move toward universal charity which is different from the world’s way of acting. Our life-goal, according to Benedict, is focused on union with Christ whose selfless gift reminds us over and over of just how much love Christ has for us.

The love of Christ underlies the whole Rule. Personal love for Christ is one of the most remarkable traits of early Christian monasticism, a tradition which Benedict often speaks of in the Rule. The tools found in Chapter 4 are to be fostered; they cultivate the practice of good works. It is Benedict’s hope that we grow more and more in union with Christ and thereby create harmony in our world.