The Order of Saint Benedict

These two examples illustrate the idea of simplicity. The choices for food and clothing are kept to a bare minimum in order to ensure that a monk is able to keep his mind on spiritual matters. Rules and simplicity also apply to the matter of sleeping: “They shall sleep separately in separate bed…a candle shall always be burning…they shall sleep clothed…they shall not have their knives at their sides while they sleep”(“The Rules of St. Benedict”).
It is fair to assume that St. Benedict decided on this type of orderly and simple life for the monks because it proved to be the most effective way of keeping a person dedicated to their spirituality. Having freedom and choices can open the door to temptations and a focus on worldly things. By creating a certain set of rules and by creating a very simple existence, the monks are better able to grow and maintain their spiritual lives which, as monks, is meant to be their focus in the first place. St Benedict realized, however, that monks were human and that, in being human, there was the possibility for failure, so these rules were meant to make their life somewhat easier and less complicated.