"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
From the time it was first promulgated in the sixth century, "The Rule of St. Benedict "has been one of the most influential, enduring documents of Western civilization. Composed for the guidance of his own monks at Monte Cassino, St. Benedict's "Rule" has become the basis for the rules of practically every Christian monastic community in the West. In it are the guidelines for living the spiritual life -- through work, prayer, study, obedience, community, and moderate asceticism. This acclaimed edition of "The Rule of St. Benedict" is a highly accessible modern translation that conveys the spirit and logic of the original text. It contains an invaluable in-depth Introduction that explores the development and spread of Christian monasticism; a biographical sketch of St. Benedict; a discussion of the structure and implementation of his "Rule"; its value and impact on religious orders from the Middle Ages down through history; its tremendous influence on Western culture and civilization; and, finally, various texts of the "Rule."