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Page 4.1 Links to
Benedictine Oblate Resources

First Book to Read (Page 1)

What's an oblate? (Page 2)

Becoming an Oblate (Page 3)

Links to Oblate Resources (Page 4)

Index (Page 5) to: 
Mini Index
Expanded Index

What's New (Page 6)





Internet resources for Benedictine oblates








On page 4 and 4.1 you will find: [Reformatted]

Websites Four of the best overall websites for Benedictine oblates

Commentary — on the Rule of St. Benedict for Benedictine oblates

Encyclopedia —  Monastic articles

Message board and Online Forums Monastic and Benedictine oblates

Podcasts — online daily office, beautiful

Retreats Find one near you   

Monastery — Find one near you

Benedictine Spirituality and St. Benedict biography — Overview of key facts and history.

Oblate Guides and Manuals — In-depth foundational documents for Benedictine oblates

Early Desert and Monastic Fathers — Ancient authors you should know

Vatican — Monastic documents from recent Popes 

Books — A basic Benedictine library  (on page 4.1)

Books A list of Benedictine book lists and where to buy (on page 4.1)

Books Most influential books in my oblate growth (on page 4.1)

Rule of St. Benedict — My favorite translation (on page 4.1)

Books for the divine office — My favorites (on page 4.1)


Benedictine books and list of lists A Basic Benedictine Library
There are also many recommendations for the first Benedictine book a person interested in St. Benedict and the monastic life should buy, many people recommend "The Rule of Benedict for Beginners," by Wil Derkse, Liturgical Press, 2003. There is another book that is often recommended as your first book to get.  The other first book is "How to Be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job: An Invitation to Oblate Life,"  by Brother Benet Tvedten, Paraclete Press, 2006 
If the spirit of the monastic life as an oblate interests you after reading either or both of the above first books named above, AND you want to dive into to deep end of pool immediately, I recommend is "RB 1980" Unabridged Edition, Timothy Fry, Liturgical Press, 1981, 627 pages, $40.00.  Although it is a big book, it is jam-packed with the most concentrated essential history, spirituality, Notes on the Rule, and explanations of the Liturgy of the Hours, you will find anywhere.    

● The Benedictine Handbook -  Excellent, comprehensive introduction to all things Benedictine.

Benedictine Daily Prayer (BDP) — Tabs & Guide: How to use this popular book for praying the Benedictine divine office.

Materials for making tabs

Basic Tabs & Guide for using 

These are the tabs I use and have found to be helpful


Here are links to the Benedictine sections and Benedictine booklists at these publishers:   

Liturgical Press, St. John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota

Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, Berks, RG7 5TQ, England

Paraclete Press, Brewster, Massachusetts, USA
Paraclete Press (for Oblate Books), Brewster, Massachusetts, USA
Monastery Greetings

The Abbey Shop. List of monastic books.  Excellent list, very complete.

Need more lists of Benedictine books?  Try the lists at:

Monastery of St. Benedict, Arcadia, New South Wales, Australia
Order of Saint Benedict book list (Item 5 is "Expositions and Commentaries," which lists books published prior to 2001 and consists mainly of entries from the libraries at College of St. Scholastica, College of St. Benedict, and St. John's University). 
Everyone has different tastes and styles.  That is one of the historical strengths of the Benedictine Balance, there is room for all, yet all are inclined to monastic spirituality and prayerful communion with God.
So, the following books probably will not make your personal "monastic bestseller list."  But these are the books that have been most influential on me.  In other words, the books I recommend above I think might have the widest appeal to people as they first start to learn about the Rule of St. Benedict.  Many people will recommend those books when you are just starting out.
But after you move beyond the stage of wanting to know what the Rule of St. Benedict is all about, you will want to find and take your own gentle path.
The books that have helped me the most in following the monastic life in my current state (yes, I have a day job like everyone else and a mortgage!) are the following:
“RB 1980,” by Timothy Fry, OSB Editor,  The Rule of St. Benedict in Latin and English with Notes, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1981.
“Benedictine Monachism: Studies in Benedictine Life and Rule,” by Cuthbert Butler, OSB, (First ed., London & New York : Longmans, Green, 1919; 2d ed., 1924; Cambridge : Speculum Historiale; New York : Barnes & Noble, repr. 1961).  I used Interlibrary Loan to get this book from a Florida University.  It can be purchased on line at used-book web sites.

"The Benedictines,” by Dom David Knowles, Monk of Downside Abbey, MacMillan Company, New York, 1930. It can be purchased on line at used-book web sites. 

Online version of this great book (but this online version omits chapters 5 and 6, the last two chapters).

Perspectives on the Rule of Saint Benedict,” Expanding Our Hearts in Christ," by Aquinata Böckmann, O.S.B. , Matilda Handl, O.S.B., and Marianne Burkhard, O.S.B., Translators; Marianne Burkhard, O.S.B., Editor, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 2005.
Leonard J. Doyle, Translator; David W. Cotter, O.S.B., Editor “The Rule of Saint Benedict,” Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 2001. This edition of The Rule of Saint Benedict was published in conjunction with the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of The Liturgical Press.  Simple beauty is commonly found along the Benedictine way.  We might even say that such unpretentious beauty is part of the way itself.  This is a beautiful book, it feels and looks just how St. Benedict would have wanted it --- in my opinion!  :)
Here is the opening line of the Prologue of the Rule in Doyle's translation:
" Listen, my son, to your master's precepts,

and incline the ear of your heart."

It has never been said better. 
Doyle's translation is used in many books, including a small pocket-sized paperback one that I carry with me for convenience.

Here are examples of several translations of the Prologue of the Rule of St. Benedict:


" Listen, my son, to your master's precepts,
and incline the ear of your heart."

Patrick Barry, OSB:

“Listen, child of God, to the guidance of your teacher. Attend to the message you hear and make sure that it pierces to your heart ....”

Terrence G. Carding:

“Listen, O my son, to the teachings of your master, and turn to them with the ear of your heart.”

RB 1980:

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Joan Chittister, O.S.B.:

Listen carefully, my child, to my instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Anthony C. Meisel and M.L. del Mastro:

“Listen, my son, and with your heart hear the principles of your Master.”

Everyone can use many translations and benefit from them all and still have that personal favorite we take along to read at the park on Saturday afternoon — and then go to the ice cream parlor for our favorite ice cream flavor and chat with a friend about why strawberry is the best. :)

MY FAVORITE DIVINE OFFICE BOOKS (In order of when I acquired them)

"Benedictine Daily Prayer,” (BDP) Maxwell E. Johnson, Editor, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 2005. I think most people who use this book develop and use their own system for accommodating the flipping and flipping that must be done if you use this book.  Some people have extra sheets, others put in more ribbons, I read it on a lap book-stand (so it is easier to hold) and have tabbed card-stock inserts with common texts.

"The Benedictine Handbook” has the Rule of St. Benedict (it’s not in the translation I use, but it’s a fine translation). I like Doyle’s translation of the Rule in this beautiful publication of the Rule. The divine office in “The Benedictine Handbook” is a simple version spanning two weeks for morning and evening offices and there are separate and very simple daytime and compline prayers. There is no vigils.  The Benedictine Handbook is packed with essential Benedictine information as you would expect in a 350-page book bearing the title “handbook.”

Of the features everyone who does not own this book will enjoy is “A Benedictine Who’s Who.” This chapter contains half page biographies of the great Benedictines throughout history — very handy.

"Benedictine Weekly Psalter," by Scott Knitter, Lulu.com.  Dollar for dollar, the best divine office book I own. 

"The psalms and canticles in order throughout the week, for the praying of the Divine Office according to the current guidelines for Benedictine communities (Thesaurus Liturgiae Horarum Monasticae), Schema A2 (psalms of Prime distributed over the other Little Hours). The psalter translation used is that of The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (Episcopal Church, USA)."

"Monastic Diurnal"  from The Catholic Truth Society.

Here is the bookseller’s description of the Monastic Diurnal published by St. Michael's Abbey, Farnborough, England:

“This Benedictine breviary in parallel Latin and English is a exacting reprint of the 1963 edition. It includes the hours, as well as the feasts and seasons in the Benedictine calendar, with an updated table of moveable feasts. Gilt-edged and leather bound, this lightweight yet sturdy book was designed for traveling priests and monks. This truly beautiful book is for readers who want to draw on the inexhaustible riches of the monastic tradition. It is especially useful for those who wish to immerse themselves in rhythms of the liturgical year.”

Go to Page 5 Index to locate additional information

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