Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rule of St Benedict Reading for May 12,2009

January 11, May 12, September 11

Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

Therefore, when anyone receives the name of Abbess,
she ought to govern her disciples with a twofold teaching.
That is to say,
she should show them all that is good and holy
by her deeds even more than by her words,
expounding the Lord's commandments in words
to the intelligent among her disciples,
but demonstrating the divine precepts by her actions
for those of harder hearts and ruder minds.
And whatever she has taught her disciples
to be contrary to God's law,
let her indicate by her example that it is not to be done,
lest, while preaching to others, she herself be found reprobate (1 Cor. 9:27),
and lest God one day say to her in her sin,
"Why do you declare My statutes
and profess My covenant with your lips,
whereas you hate discipline
and have cast My words behind you" (Ps. 49:16-17)?
And again,
"You were looking at the speck in your brother's eye,
and did not see the beam in your own" (Matt. 7:3).

Some thoughts:

I am much struck this morning by the phrase "she should show them all that is good and holy by her deeds even more than by her words". This is because I am Episcopalian in the USA and there have been a huge number of words spoken in TEC for the past 6 years or so.

I've been thinking for some time that a large number of resources have been consumed by these words: time, money, effort, energy, planning, travel, writing, arguing, research. If one follows the various blogs and email lists, loving is rather far done their lists. So far down that they have to remind themselves to do it.

There have been a number of studies quoted in these discussions which state that the fastest growing religion in the USA is "no religion". The reason cited against the various expressions of Christianity is that we Christians are perceived as unloving, uncaring, homophobic, argumentative and downright nasty and mean.

Wowza! Our words are powerful. But Benedict believes our actions speak louder than our words.

What say you?


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