This handy little paperback, which is small and slender enough to fit in a purse or a pocket, contains Joan Chittister's seasoned commentary on the values, visions, revelations, and insights of Benedict of Nusia. The Rule of Benedict from the sixth century has been followed for 1500 years, Chittister explains, because it shows us how to live an ordinary life extraordinarily well. It offers "a timeless spirituality that is applicable to the issues of any age, including and perhaps, most especially our own with its urgent need for inclusive community, empowering leadership, stewardship of creation, good work and holy leisure, nonviolence, and a sense of meaning and purpose."

Benedict's wise counsel is found in passages dealing with the twelve steps of humility as an invitation to freedom; the courage to constantly start over in life; the ability to treat everyone in the ways which bring out the best in them; the habit of treating nature, animals and objects with reverence; encouragement to cherish every moment in community as a spiritual teacher with many lessons to share with us; and much more.

A Little Rule for Beginners shines a wonderful and edifying light on the essence of Benedictine spirituality, and the nimble artwork by Marcy Hall is enchanting.