"Listen carefully, my son, to the master's instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart."--Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict
"The Rule is always more than a code of life or a manual of doctrine, although it is both of these. It is above all a resumé of a spiritual experience that lies at the heart of the monastic life. The principles of doctrines it evokes, or the details of obedience which are recommended or even imposed by it, have an inner power. This power is an experience of the very life of God in Christ Jesus and his Holy Spirit. The letter of the Rule contains life within itself, and this life can be awakened in the heart of the disciple. hence the importance of the very opening words of the Rule: "Listen, my son." --Dom André Louf, The Cistercian Way
The Rule of St. Benedict, full of wisdom and moderation and deeply rooted in the Gospels, seeks to balance the daily life of the monks between the practice of liturgical prayer, or Opus Dei, as St. Benedict called it; the private, prayerful reading of the Scriptures and the Fathers; manual labor to support the monastic community; and physical rest.