Before he died in 2005, Pennington, a Cistercian monk and abbot, had talked of writing a commentary on the sixth-century guide for monastic life known as the Rule of Benedict. Though Pennington never achieved his goal, his secretary saw that the abbot's talks to monks at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Ga., formed a partial commentary on the rule. He subsequently transcribed and posted the talks on the community's Web site, leading to this publication in book form. Those who take up this collection of reflections will need to consider that they were designed not for readers but for listeners, and read them as if they were being spoken. Readers who can thus "hear" the talks, which also are available on CD, will discover in them the rule's enduring wisdom. Although these talks are directed at monks, their content is readily applicable outside monasteries, especially in the areas of prayer and living in harmony with others. Pennington, for example, observes that even when Benedict is describing the four different types of monks, he is merely identifying human tendencies found in all people, such as instability, singularity and self-will. This is recommended reading for disciples of Benedict and newcomers to the Rule. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.