Discipling individuals, small groups, and congregations in the life-giving ways of Jesus
Benedictine life was monastic and lay, not diocesan and clerical. Its role was not to serve parishes or to develop dioceses but to create a way of life immersed in the Scriptures, devoted to the common life, and dedicated to the development of human community. It was simple, regular, and total, a way of living, not a way of serving; it was an attitude toward life, not a church ministry. Benedict, in other words, is not trying to create a clerical system. He is trying to create a human family. He is not out trying to collect priests, though he does recognize that a priest may well have a monastic vocation.
The Rule of Benedict, Joan Chittister, page 257