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The Structured Life Movement
A guide to using structures for your spiritual benefit

Why do we set up and observe structures? What are the good reasons for observing structures vs. the bad ones? How can structures help in our faith lives? And how can we tell whether structures are helping?


Adoremus Bulletin

Using the coronavirus pandemic as a lens, Abbot Austin writes about the importance of structures for living a fulfilled spiritual life.

American Benedictine Review

In this academic journal, Abbot Austin discusses the current cultural resistance to structures before setting out a template for how to use structures to become more virtuous.

Brief Essays on Structures

8 Principles about structures


About the

Abbot Austin G. Murphy, OSB is the 10th Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery of St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois.


The Structured Life Movement developed from his reflection on the value of monastic observances and research into how structures meet a genuine human need.





A rule of life, made up of structures, is a practical necessity for growing in the spiritual life.

A structure is a directive whose observance is externally verifiable.

The purpose of structures is to foster the virtues.

A virtue is a steadily ready ability to act in a way that contributes to genuine human fulfillment.





We should joyfully follow legitimate public structures, which are those structures required of us as members of a particular group.

We should prudently employ private structures, which are the structures we individually choose to follow.

We should use the private structures that especially help us to grow in the virtues needed at this point in our faith journey.

Balance is making prudential decisions about what private structures to employ and when

to dispense ourselves from structures, whether public or private.

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