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The Rule of the Order of St. Columba


  1.   I develop and guard my spiritual life, my soul, and my body

  2.   I maintain a deep spirituality and sense of meaning about my call.

  3.   I perform all my duties and activities with deliberate intentionality.

  4.   I love God with all my heart and with all my strength.

  5.   I love my neighbor as I love myself.

  6.   I am constantly aware of God’s presence

  7.   I am filled with God’s eternal light.

  8.   I remain in contact with a few devout persons who discuss God and the scriptures with me. I visit them and      let them visit me frequently so that they may strengthen my devotion to the words and precepts of God.

  9.   I am persevering and steadfast for the white martyrdom (the abandonment of everything for the sake of   Christ).

  10.   I am ready in mind for the red martyrdom (shedding my blood for Christ’s sake).

  11.   Above and before all else practice almsgiving.

  12.   I frequently take time for solitary retreat.

  13.   I cherish every practice of devotion greatly, determinate in my spiritual disciplines, never letting them       become a mere habit.

  14.   I am a moral and virtuous person and wholesome in my actions.

  15.   I am faithful to the commands of God at all times and show respect to elders and those in authority over me.

  16.   I am truthful in all things

  17.   I do not covet.

  18.   I forgive every person from my heart.

  19.   I pray constantly for those who annoy me and those who quarrel with me.

  20.   I do not lose my temper or harbor hatred or resentment.

  21.   I am a patient person.

  22.   I am pure and respectful in my speech.

  23.   I avoid converse with anyone who gossips or grumbles about what he may neither prevent nor rectify,   simply giving him my blessing and sending him off about his business.

  24.   I care for the poor and the needy.

  25.   Out of compassion I fast regularly, doing without my due allowance of food and clothing so that I may     share with those in greater need.

  26.   I do not speak until necessity demands

  27.   I honor and respect God’s creation.

  28.   I keep my dwelling and the places for which I am responsible secure.

  29.   Knowing that we contend not only with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers in heavenly   places I persevere in personal spiritual warfare through prayer and blessings.

  30.   I am fully aware of my own soul, the beautiful features as well as the primitive impulses, instinctual   tendencies, and the darker aspects.

  31.   I conform my soul to the destiny God intends for it.

  32.   I am fully aware and live in the present moment.

  33.   I am vigilant being constantly aware of my surroundings.

  34.   I treat all things as new knowing that familiarity is the enemy of awareness.

  35.   Let your life be completely detached from the world and follow the teaching of Christ and the gospels.

  36.   I protect my soul from disturbance and worry.

  37.   I practice detachment, observing my emotions and not controlled by them.

  38.   I am not led by my own opinion but submit to God’s view alone.

  39.   I am aware of the lightness and beauty as well as the ugliness and darkness of human nature and creation.

  40.   I believe that I am the determiner of my fate and never a victim of fate.

  41.   I maintain both humility and confidence in my abilities.

  42.   I keep myself healthy and fit in body.

  43.   I live a healthy and regulated life, following a regular work and rest schedule.

  44.   My daily occupation is threefold: prayer, labor, and lectio.

  45.   With respect to clothing, food, and property, I live in moderation with no great attachment to these in   physical need or personal identity.

  46.   I do not eat until I am hungry and I stop eating before I am full.

  47.   I do not sleep until it is the true time for sleep.

  48.   I only sleep as long as I need to be fully rested.

  49.   I am sober. If I drink alcohol I only do so to the point it does not impair my awareness nor inhibit my ability   to function soberly.

The Historical Rule of St. Columcille

1.   If your conscience does not allow you to live among men, then live alone in the vicinity of a parish church. (lit., in the vicinity of a great city or the seat of the bishop.)

2.   Let your life be completely detached from the world, and follow the teaching of Christ and the gospels.

3.   Whether you possess much or little in the way of food, drink or clothing, let it be retained with the permission of a senior. Let him have control of its disposition, for it is not becoming for a follower of Christ to be in any way superior to the people with property.

4.  Let your dwelling be a secure place. (lit. Let your hermitage be a very secure place with only one door.)

5.  Have a few devout men who will discuss God and the scriptures with you.  Let them visit you on great feast-days, that so they may strengthen your devotion to the words and precepts of God.

6.   Hold no converse with anyone who is given to idle or worldly gossip, or with anyone who grumbles about what he neither prevent nor rectify.  All the more should you have no dealings with a tattler carrying tales from friend to foe; simply give him your blessing and send him off about his business.

7.   Let your servant be a God-fearing and discreet man who will always attend to your needs in a constant but restrained manner.

8.   Cherish every practice of devotion greatly.

9.   Be ready in mind for the red martyrdom (shedding one=s blood for Christ=s sake). 

10.   Be persevering and steadfast for white martyrdom (the abandonment of everything for the sake of Christ).

11.   Forgive every person from your heart.

12.   Pray constantly for those who annoy you (those who quarrel with you).

13.   Be very constant in your prayers for the faithful departed, as if each dead person were a personal friend of yours.

14.   The litanies should be sung standing.

15.   Let your vigils be constant day by day, but always under the direction of another.

16.   Your daily occupation should be threefold, namely, prayer, manual labor, and lectio.

17.   Your manual labor should have a three-fold division. First, fill your own needs and those of the place where you live. Secondly, do your share of your brothers work (or the work of the community). Thirdly, help your neighbors by instruction, by writing, by making garments, or by providing for any other need of theirs that may arise.  As the Lord says, >No one should come before me empty-handed.=

18.   Let everything be done in proper order for >no one can win a crown without keeping all the rules of combat. (see 1 Cor 9:24, 2 Tim 2:5)

19.   Above and before all else practice almsgiving.

20.   Do not eat until you are hungry.

21.   Do not sleep unless it is necessary (or timely).

22.   Do not speak until necessity demands.

23.   Out of compassion you should do without your due allowance of food and clothing so that you may share with your less fortunate brothers and with the poor in general.

24.   Love God with all your heart and with all your strength.

25.   Love your neighbor as you would yourself.

26.   Be faithful to the commands of God at all times.

27.   The extant of your prayer should be until tears come.

28.   The measure of your work should be to labor until tears of exhaustion come.

29.   The limit of your labor or of your genuflections, in the event that tears do not come, should be perspiration. (Note: to genuflect here is from the Irish slechtain meaning to genuflect, bow down, and prostrate oneself.)

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