Sunday, January 13, 2008

Reading for Jan 13, 2008

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

January 13, May 14, September 13
Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

In her teaching
the Abbess should always follow the Apostle's formula:
"Reprove, entreat, rebuke" (2 Tim. 4:2);
threatening at one time and coaxing at another
as the occasion may require,
showing now the stern countenance of a mistress,
now the loving affection of a mother.
That is to say,
it is the undisciplined and restless
whom she must reprove rather sharply;
it is the obedient, meek and patient
whom she must entreat to advance in virtue;
while as for the negligent and disdainful,
these we charge her to rebuke and correct.

And let her not shut her eyes to the faults of offenders;
but, since she has the authority,
let her cut out those faults by the roots
as soon as they begin to appear,
remembering the fate of Heli, the priest of Silo (1 Kings 2-4).
The well-disposed and those of good understanding
let her correct with verbal admonition the first and second time.
But bold, hard, proud and disobedient characters
she should curb at the very beginning of their ill-doing
by stripes and other bodily punishments,
knowing that it is written,
"the fool is not corrected with words" (Prov. 18:2; 29:19),
and again,
"Beat your son with the rod,
and you will deliver his soul from death"(Prov. 23:13-14).

Some thoughts:

What I like the most about this passage, is that it is the monastic superior whose job it is to identify sin and faults and not the job of anyone else. IMO the world is too entirely full of people who feel it is their business to comment negatively on the business of others. Granted we are not in a monastery, but I think I am too full of my own sin that I need to take to the Lord to dare to comment upon that of an other person's.

What do you think, please?

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