It turns out that I am a Rule 73 Benedictine. I had never heard of Rule 73 Benedictinism before, but I have it on the good authority of Andrew Louth, who, as all my readers know, has near infallible status on this blog. Last week I received Father Louth’s Greek East and Latin West. The Church AD 681-1071 as a belated profession gift. I regret that I am not going to get to reading it seriously for quite a while, but have been dipping into it now and then, hence the discovery that I’m a Rule 73 Benedictine. This was a movement that preceded the Cistercian Reform in which
chapter 73, the last chapter of the Rule, came to be regarded as a signpost to the real purpose of the Rule – to lead the monk to “the loftier heights of wisdom and virtue,” doctinae virtutumque culmina. It was such an understanding of the Benedictine Rule that would inspire the reform of the Cistercians. (278)
No doubt I will discover many other things of which I am profoundly ignorant when I eventually get to reading this book!