We have therefore, to establish a school of the Lord’s service. In the institution of it we hope to establish nothing that is harsh or oppressive. But if anything is somewhat strictly laid down, according to the dictates of equity and for the amendment of vices, or for the preservation of love; do not therefore flee in dismay from the way of salvation, which cannot be other than narrow at the beginning.
For as we progress in this our way of life and in faith, our hearts shall expand, and we shall run the way of God’s commandments with the unspeakable sweetness of love. So that , never departing from his guidance, but persevering in his teaching in the monastery until death, we may by patience participate in the sufferings of Christ; that we may deserve also to be partakers of his kingdom. Amen.
Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue v. 45-50