The Book of Pastoral Rule

The Book of Pastoral Rule Recognized as the most thorough pastoral treatise of the patristic era this sixth century work by St Gregory the Great carefully details the duties and obligations of the clergy concerning the spirit

  • Title: The Book of Pastoral Rule
  • Author: Pope Gregory I John Behr George E. Demacopoulos
  • ISBN: 9780881419078
  • Page: 486
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Recognized as the most thorough pastoral treatise of the patristic era, this sixth century work by St Gregory the Great carefully details the duties and obligations of the clergy concerning the spiritual formation of their flock Pastoral Rule has served for generations of Christian readers in East and West as a moving, comprehensive description of ministry in the Church.Recognized as the most thorough pastoral treatise of the patristic era, this sixth century work by St Gregory the Great carefully details the duties and obligations of the clergy concerning the spiritual formation of their flock Pastoral Rule has served for generations of Christian readers in East and West as a moving, comprehensive description of ministry in the Church This new translation by George Demacopoulos the first in English in than fifty years is lively and accurate, and makes this early Christian classic once again available to us all Required reading for all pastors Brian Daley, SJ Pope St Gregory the Great is among the Latin fathers perhaps the closest to the Greeks, and his Pastoral Rule brings out this affinity and shows us Gregory as a true pontifex, that is, bridge builder, between East and West Andrew Louth

    One thought on “The Book of Pastoral Rule”

    1. My March pick for my Ancient Mentors reading series was Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care. Gregory's is considered early Medieval, so I chose him as an influential figure of the period.F.H. Dudden (1905) says that Gregory's maxims in Pastoral Care were what "made the bishops who made modern nations." The ideal Gregory upheld was for centuries the ideal of the West's clergy. Pastoral Care (or Regula Pastoralis) was originally written in 590 CE as an apology for Gregory's wish to escape the office [...]

    2. Gregory the Great, along with Augustine, is one of the few medieval writers who you can read today and occasionally forget that they were writing their works about 1500 years ago. Of course, it's substantially different - there are not a huge number of best-sellers today that will ramble at length about the symbolic significance of Old Testament priestly robes - but the core of the Pastoral Rule is really accessible. It reads a bit like a self-help book (though Gregory envisioned it as a book on [...]

    3. While the Patristic writers have some great insights into the Scriptures and the Christian life, the ones who are rhetoricians require reading a lot to come to the gems. Gregory the Great relies heavily on a particular kind of allegorical interpretation of Scriptures that does little for me. His "proof texts" supporting the points he is making often appear to me to be totally random choices of most obscure passages. His insights are often right on, and surprisingly apropos by modern psychologica [...]

    4. Excellent handbook for pastors. There are numerous comments and interpretations that are outdated, but if you take into account that this was written around 590, this is to be expected. Lots of helpful encouragements and challenges to those in ministry. I would consider this the early church's version of "The Reformed Pastor" by Richard Baxter.

    5. Very readable and useful. The translation of "rector" as "spiritual director" throughout was weak sauce though.This is a great series from St. Vladimir's Press.Here are some quotes:“For it is very often the case that the discipline of good works, which was maintained in a time of tranquility, is ruined in the assumption of leadership. For an inexperienced sailor can steer a ship in calm waters, but even an experienced seaman is disordered by a storm. For what, indeed, is a position of spiritua [...]

    6. I was assigned to read this book for Church History and it has been my favorite book thus far on the subject of requirements and generic duties of the Pastoral Office. It's amazing to see the similarities in the objective of preaching God's Word to people from the 6th-7th century to now! Pope Gregory was a remarkable man and pastor and has delicately written to pastors all over the world a wonderful description of Biblical Shepherding. A must read for pastors!

    7. I was glad to read this book, since I had heard of its importance as one of the most complete and influential books from the early church on pastoral ministry. For example, King Alfred so valued it that he translated it into Anglo-Saxon for the leaders of his people in church and state.Gregory seeks to bring together devotional piety from the monastery and the engaged public life of the pastor. He exhorts those who would rather remain in a monastery that they should use their gifts for the sake [...]

    8. This is an amazingly practical book that provides profound insights into spiritual direction and pastoral care. Gregory the Great, a pope admired even by John Calvin, begins by laying out the qualifications needed for those seeking spiritual leadership before proceeding to discuss the life of a pastor. The majority of the book is concerned with providing direction in dealing with various personal and spiritual maladies that afflict believers. Gregory does not institute a sweeping, universal pros [...]

    9. St. Gregory the Great by Paulist Press St. Gregory the Great: Pastoral Care (Review)I hear this book used to be given to new pastors in ancient times. Sometimes the new pastor would receive the previous pastor’s copy, and perhaps told, “Read this to become what God desires.” That’s how I imagine it, anyway.Gregory’s book came as a sideline recommendation in a seminary class, not part of the curriculum. I was intrigued — always have been by the ancient Christians. What I found was a d [...]

    10. This book has taken an unusually long time for me to read, largely because I had kept it for breakfast table reading which is slow by definition and doubly so because the times the I have quiet time for breakfast with two active sons who love to hang with dad at breakfast is pretty small. It is also a bit dense, but I'm used to dealing with that when reading a patristic author. This book represents one of the earliest attempts to define good pastoral practice, mostly for priests. It takes the 's [...]

    11. Not only a huge landmark of a book historically in the Church, but unique as well as a pastorly handbook for priests. It addresses the priest in his role of spiritual director, mandating that the priest must practice the spiritual life before he can direct anyone in it. The book is chock full of pastorly wisdom, most particularly in his analysis of different personality tendencies. He presents 72 contrasting personality traits with their inclinations to sin and the way to counsel them. It is fil [...]

    12. The Book of Pastoral Rule is a beautiful book about qualifying your abilities as a leader, both spiritual and political. In it he inspires many to seek ordination, how should the character of a good pastor be, how to counsel and to mentor others to counsel their people, how a pastor ought to govern his life and finally, how to resolve the difference between the active life versus the contemplative life. He states that both sides are needed as a follower of Jesus Christ--we need both the monks an [...]

    13. For a book written around 590 AD, I think it is interesting for learning the mindset of the period and in particular St. Gregory the Great. It is divided into four sections. It is advice for a priest and/or bishop. St. Gregory started it while he was monk at St. Andrew's Monastery and a deacon. I think he was originally writing it as a defense for not becoming a priest. Then he was proclaimed Pope of Rome, and he completed it as both an ordained priest and bishop. The 3rd section is a long but i [...]

    14. This classic guide to pastoral care remains relevant for 21st century pastors. Gregory's book was the textbook on "the cure of souls" for centuries of Medieval clergy. True, the allegorical Scripture readings seem foreign and potentially off-putting to readers but they sometimes contain homiletical insights and analogies that still carry weight. Gregory essentially has two goals. First, he urges clergy to care for their own souls. His sage advice is far more potent than the modern banalities of [...]

    15. This book should be required reading for all pastors and spiritual directors. In it, Gregory the Great gave to the Church the go-to manual for pastoral practice for 1500 years and more. His ancient insights remain applicable to today, and it reminds the modern reader of the incalculable value of a well-balanced pastoral life (balanced, that is, between personal spiritual well-being and the "stuff" of pastoral ministry).

    16. I've been drawn to the tomb of St. Gregory the Great on each of my visits to Rome, and figured it was time to read more of his writings than those that are use in the liturgy of the hours. Even though he lived centuries ago his words are truthful and challenging. This book is directed to priests but are pertinent to anyone committed to living a christian life. I'm am enjoying getting to know him better.

    17. Great book concerning dealing with people in different situations. The lazy and the expedient must be exhorted in 2 different ways.The section referring to each of these pairs can be read more for reference than casual reading.I'd give this 3.5/5 stars. Its useful, just not a book that you sit down and read for fun.

    18. Gregory the Great, pope from 590-604, wrote this wonderful book that was used for centuries to educate priests in caring for their flocks. Today, his words seem remarkably timeless. I heartily recommend this classic.

    19. If you feel called to pastoral ministry, you will want to read this book. You will quickly discover that Gregory was a true pastor of pastors. His words will challenge you, wound you, exhort you and encourage you.

    20. Timeless counsel from one of the great pastoral leaders in history. Should be required reading for anyone considering a call to ministry.

    21. A great deal of psychological insight and valuable spiritual advice, though the spiritualized delicacies of an Alexandrian type of biblical exegesis become quite tedious after a while.

    22. 5 stars = Yearly re-read4 stars = Re-read eventually3 stars = Very Good2 stars = OK1 stars = Pass on this one.0 stars = Couldn't finish it.

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