Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Rule of St Benedict Reading for July 1, 2009

March 1, July 1, October 31

Chapter 24: What the Measure of Excommunication Should Be

The measure of excommunication or of chastisement
should correspond to the degree of fault,
which degree is estimated by the judgment of the Abbess.

If a sister is found guilty of lighter faults,
let her be excluded from the common table.
Now the program for one deprived of the company of the table
shall be as follows:
In the oratory she shall intone neither Psalm nor antiphon
nor shall she recite a lesson
until she has made satisfaction;
in the refectory she shall take her food alone
after the community meal,
so that if they eat at the sixth hour, for instance,
that sister shall eat at the ninth,
while if they eat at the ninth hour
she shall eat in the evening,
until by a suitable satisfaction she obtains pardon

Some thoughts

I have to chuckle. Yesterday I asked people to look for what was right in the reading, rather than what they think of as wrong and no one had anything to say!! Well, I am a tenacious woman and I still want us to look for what we find right about today's passage. To get the ball rolling here's my contribution.

Benedict expects Benedictines to take personal responsibility for their failings. As we would say today, he wants us to "own" them. He wants us to understand that our actions have logical consequences and if we don't like the consequences we can either 'fess up or not engage in the behavior that has those consequences.

What do you find worthwhile in this passage?



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