The Rule of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

We Brothers welcome you to a share one of our daily practices: listening to and reflecting on a chapter of our Rule of Life.

In addition the Brothers have a series of other resources that we hope might be helpful to you in exploring living with a Rule.

Living Intentionally: Creating a Rule of Life

We invite you to download our Living Intentionally Workbook for Creating a Personal Rule of Life. Walk with Br. David Vryhof step-by-step through the process of writing your own Rule.

A Framework for Freedom:

We invite you to discover the freedom that comes from living by a rule of life, by journeying through “A Framework for Freedom,” a 7-week self-guided video course to help you say “Yes” to your life.  Watch the series now.  Subscribe to a daily email.

In Lent 2012, we preached a series on the challenges and rewards of living by a rule of life. Drawing on chapters from SSJE’s Rule. Read and listen to the sermons.

A Living Tradition:

Each day of Lent 2011, we posted a short “living commentary” on our Rule, with a Brother or two offering his unique perspective on the document which shapes and forms our prayer and practice more than any other apart from Scripture and The Book of Common PrayerTo read that conversation, click here.


The Rule of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

We Brothers welcome you to a share one of our daily practices: listening to and reflecting on a chapter of our Rule of Life.

  • To listen to the SSJE Rule of Life, read aloud by a brother, click on the chapters to the left.
  • To read a Guide to Personal Reflection, click here
  • To Subscribe to the SSJE Rule of Life, click the subscribe buttons on the left.
  • We welcome comments on each chapter.
  • To purchase a copy of the book The Rule of Life, click here


The audio book, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is read by Br. Curtis Almquist and accompanied by carols sung by the Brothers.

The Twelve Days of Christmas follow from December 25 until January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, the traditional date when the Magi arrived to present gifts to infant Jesus. For many, the meaning of these days is lost. By Christmas night we are saturated with the holiday hype, overfed by music and food, and may already be disappointed that the presents received are not enough. This audio book is not a bah humbug about Christmas customs and presents.

This is simply an invitation to go deeper than the tinsel and wrappings, beyond the presents given and received, to the source of all the good gifts in life. Readers are invited to unwrap gifts that will last, praying the twelve days of Christmas.


For some of us, the love of our enemies needs to begin with our making a truce with ourselves, meeting and accepting ourselves as Christ does: some­one deeply understood, eternally loved, in desperate need to be saved… maybe even saved from our own selves. Our role is to cooperate with God with what God is up to.

Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE
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As those who are sealed as Christ’s own in baptism, we are committed to seeking a balance that will require us to push against dominant social expectations. Without some empty space, there will be no room for God to abide.

Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE
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When we awaken and are able to recall who we are and to whom we belong, when we stand up and dust ourselves off and begin the journey home, God comes running to meet us. God offers us forgiveness even though we don’t deserve it. God offers us pardon even though we haven’t earned it. God offers us a home even though we chose to leave it.

Br. David Vryhof, SSJE
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Today we have the opportunity to encounter Christ once again. We have the opportunity to respond to the invitation of God to follow him, and to discover for ourselves the riches of heaven. Or we can turn away, sad and grieving, believing that God is asking too much, or that the cost is too great. In either case, the result is the same: we will be changed.

Br. James Koester, SSJE
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Blind See – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

John 9:1-41

One of my friends sees as I don’t. He walks into a room and immediately senses things in others and in me to which I’m oblivious. Sometimes he says: “Don’t you see?” and I reply: “No, you’ve got to tell me. I can’t see.” That’s hard to say, to realize being in the dark while another can clearly see, to discover and experience limitation in the light of another’s ability.

In today’s gospel story, Jesus walks along and sees a person who is blind and who doesn’t ask for help. Jesus doesn’t ask what he wants. Jesus comes and opens his eyes. In response, a flurry of questions by the neighbors and the leaders: How did this happen? Was he really blind before? Who is Jesus? They struggle with question upon question, arguing, accusing, reprimanding, and rejecting. This community is stumbling, groping in the dark, trying to escape the truth that one born blind now sees because of Jesus.

As the community struggles and stumbles, this person grows to see even more. He is honest about limits: “I don’t know where Jesus is. I don’t know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” He also comes to know Jesus. First, he says “the man called Jesus” touched me. Then “he is a prophet.” A bit later “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” Finally, again face to face “Lord, I believe.” First, he receives literal sight, and second, insight, awakened to Jesus. Read More

Insight – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

Luke 18:9-14

The tax collector, a well-known sinner who knows his own need, stands far off asking for mercy. The Pharisee, a religious leader, forgets his own need, stands tall, boasts of his good deeds and takes pride in being better than others like the tax collector. What hypocrisy.[i] The leader’s behavior doesn’t match our belief that we all are lost and need God.

The Pharisee and those who trust in themselves for whom Jesus tells this parable are probably unaware that they are so off track and don’t intend to be here. Eugene Peterson wrote: Hypocrisy is slow-growing. In its early stages it is difficult to detect. And that is why no one is conscious of becoming a hypocrite. … Distraction from intended good ends up as hypocrisy.[ii]

Distraction. Distractions can be good, bad, or just busy. Distractions untethered can take us far afield such that we forget where we are and where we meant to be. We can end up trusting in ourselves rather than trusting God. We get overly self-confident and have contempt for others. It’s not intentional. Distracted, we can get so lost we think we are ok and in no need of help. Read More


We have been deceived into believing that we are not enough and are unworthy of God’s love. Jesus is calling us all home, to lay aside our projections of hurt, shame, and blame. By the gift of God’s grace, we are all truly blessed and are called to be arbiters of that same blessing to others.

Br. Jim Woodrum, SSJE
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Slow down

If there is ever a time to refresh and renew our prayer it is now, in the holy season of Lent. If our primary experience with the Lord’s Prayer is in corporate worship, we would do well to set aside time to reconnect with it. To slow down. To take in each word and phrase, to lovingly abide and allow it to shine once more lighting our path.

Br. Todd Blackham, SSJE
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Lent invites more than simply tidying up. We wash ourselves from evil. From denying goodness in ourselves and in the world. From all our actions and inaction – including allowing others and systems to act on our behalf – that degrade, oppress, shame, and enslave.

Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE
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