Fort Augustus Abbey closed to the public in 1998 after more than one hundred years as a Benedictine Community. This is the latter part of that story.

A School of the Lord's Service

This is an historical section of the website. The monastery is no longer open. Please read the INTRODUCTION page. The photograph shows the Court of Arches in the monastery.

The life of all men and women in a religious order is based on the "Rule" compiled by their founder. Benedictines follow the Rule of St Benedict for monasteries. Benedict, an Italian abbot, who lived in the sixth century, wrote what he called "a small rule for beginners" in the spiritual life.cloist02.jpg - 22.0 K

For St Benedict, the monastery is a "school of the Lord's service". Until death, a monk is engaged in learning how to serve God. This he does in the same monastery under the guidance of an abbot to whom he owes prompt and loyal obedience. The abbot is looked upon as being Christ's representative in the monastery. Fellow pupils in this "school of the Lord's service" are one's brethren. With them the monk aims at seeking God and following Christ as single-mindedly and as radically as he can. With his fellow monks he shares his life of obedience, prayer, silence and work. In this way, he not only grows in his spiritual life, but helps to support himself and the community in which he lives. The Rule of St Benedict is firmly based on the teaching of Christ, which is summarised in the Sermon on the Mount.

There are about 9,000 monks and twice as many nuns and sisters following the Rule of St Benedict all over the world.

Dom Paul Bonnici OSB

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