The parchment held by St. Brocard (illustration 22) is depicted employing the technology of ceramics, which is why, after the enlargement, we can clearly read on it the Latin citation from the Rule. In English translation, it sounds like the following: “In many and varied ways our holy forefathers taught that everyone, regardless of their state and chosen way of life, should live in obedience to Jesus Christ (in Latin: in obsequio Iesu Christi vivere) and serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and upright conscience.”
These first directives of the Rule indicate its universal scope, thanks to which it can inspire everyone with the words of St. Albert: “whatever his station and chosen way of life,” and this is why, to this very day, so many religious orders, associations, and communities have based their spirituality on it. To imitate Christ with Mary as our model means, above all, concern for remaining in God’s presence at all times and fulfilling His will. It means to live in constant prayer, which is nourished by God’s word, and, like Mary, “to ponder it day and night” in our hearts.
Without question, the majority of the Rule is a compi-lation of texts from Holy Scripture. A perfect example of this is the section entitled “The Spiritual Battle,” in which St. Albert encourages his brothers in this way:
“Because man’s life on earth is fraught with temptation, and those who wish to live devoutly in Christ encounter persecution, while the devil, for his part, as your adver-sary, prowls about like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour, therefore clothe yourself in God’s armor, so that you may be able to withstand all the deceitful promptings of the enemy.
Gird your loins with the belt of chastity. Strengthen your hearts by holy meditation, for it is written: holy meditation will protect you. Place on yourself the mantle of justice, so that you may love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself.
In every circumstance, take faith as your shield, thanks to which you can repel all the deadly arrows of the Evil one. Without faith, after all, you cannot be pleasing to God. Wear also on your head the helmet of salvation, so that you may await salvation from the Savior, who saves His people from their sins. The sword of the spirit, moreover, is the Word of God, which should abide abundantly on your lips and in your hearts. In all that you do, therefore, do it in accord with the Lord’s Word.”