Monday, July 06, 2009

Rule of St Benedict Reading for July 6, 2009

March 6, July 6, November 5

Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be Received Again

If a brother
who through his own fault leaves the monastery
should wish to return,
let him first promise full reparation for his having gone away;
and then let him be received in the lowest place,
as a test of his humility.
And if he should leave again,
let him be taken back again,
and so a third time;
but he should understand that after this
all way of return is denied him.

Some thoughts:

No one can say that Benedict wasn't willing to give a person a chance. Would the gentle readers of this list agree with me that even if there are bits we don't like in these chapters of dealing with the recalcitrant monastic, that over all the impression we are left with is one of caring, compassion and maybe even tenderness?

It's easy to always point as I do, that the good Saint was concerned with what was best for the community. But it is also apparent that he also cared about the individual. I read this particular passage to mean that he cared for the individual for that person's own self, and not just whether that person fit into monastic life.

What do you think, please?



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