Question: As a Community whose life is so rooted in the Gospel according to John, SSJE’s “canon within a canon” of Scripture, is there a similar canon within the canon of the Rule, some chapter or chapters which define the Community more than others?
Br. David Vryhof: For me, it’s the chapters on prayer (21, 22, 23, 24, 25). I can’t imagine a better summary of our life. They’re endlessly rich. I never tire of hearing them in the Chapter Office when we read them, and I’m always surprised by how fresh and current they seem. I often give them to retreatants or suggest that a man who is considering a vocation to this life read them first when he first encounters the Rule.
Br. Mark Brown: The chapters on prayer are by far among the most nuanced, subtle, dense, rich, theologically complex, and yet utterly simple statements of our raison d’être. It would be hard to imagine writing—or even needing to write—something better. There is always something to be gleaned from these chapters, the subject is so densely and elegantly compressed!