St Romuald’s Brief Rule

  • Sit in your cell as in paradise;St Romuald
    put the whole world behind you and forget it;
    like a skilled angler on the lookout for a catch, keep a careful eye on your thoughts.
  • The path you must follow is in the psalms – don’t leave it. If you’ve come with a novice’s enthusiasm and can’t accomplish everything you want, take every chance you can find to sing the psalms in your heart and to understand them in your head; if your mind wanders as you read, don’t give up but hurry back and try again.
  • Above all realize that you are in God’s presence, like a little chick tasting and eating nothing but what its mother brings.

St Romuald’s Brief Rule is taken from St Bruno of Querfurt’s ‘Lives of the Five Brothers’ in chapter 19. It was written around AD 1006 – about twenty years before St Romuald’s death – and is based on reports from St John, on of the five brothers, who like St Bruno knew the Saint well. We can then be certain it is an authentic version of the Saint’s teaching and spirit.


The contemporary painting above right is by Jane Cardinal. The motto in Latin at the base of the painting can be translated as: I with (or “for” or even “in”) you, you with (or “for”, or even “ in”) Me. It sums up biblical Covenant faith and love. The text around the painting is the first line of St. Romuald’s Brief Rule. To sit in one’s place in authentic prayer is as if being in paradise, because it is communion with God. – Fr. Robert Hale, New Camaldoli Hermitage.