Christian Platonism

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Brief Rule of St. Romuald

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Brief Rule of St. Romuald

(b. 953 – d. June 19, 1027; founder of Camaldolese order of Benedctines )


Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish. The path you must follow is in the Psalms — never leave it.

romuald_bielanyIf you have just come to the monastery, and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want, take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart and to understand them with your mind.

And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up; hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.

Realize above all that you are in God’s presence, and stand there with the attitude of one who stands before the emperor.

Empty yourself completely and sit waiting, content with the grace of God, like the chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing but what his mother brings him.


  1. That there is much wisdom here is evidenced by the rule’s brevity.
  2. The watching of thoughts (learned from Eastern Christian monasticism) is given central importance; that is, our salvation is closely connected with a kind of psychological salvation.
  3. The rule implies that the Psalms supply a guide to this psychological salvation.

See also:  Psychological Interpretation of Psalm 1.


Written by John Uebersax

July 28, 2009 at 4:56 am