Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rule of St Benedict Reading for August 13, 2009

April 13, August 13, December 13

Chapter 59: On the Sons of Nobles and of the Poor Who Are Offered

If anyone of the nobility
offers his son to God in the monastery
and the boy is very young,
let his parents draw up the document which we mentioned above;
and at the oblation
let them wrap the document itself and the boy's hand in the altar cloth.
That is how they offer him.

As regards their property,
they shall promise in the same petition under oath
that they will never of themselves, or through an intermediary,
or in any way whatever,
give him anything
or provide him with the opportunity of owning anything.
Or else,
if they are unwilling to do this,
and if they want to offer something as an alms to the monastery
for their advantage,
let them make a donation
of the property they wish to give to the monastery,
reserving the income to themselves if they wish.
And in this way let everything be barred,
so that the boy may have no expectations
whereby (which God forbid) he might be deceived and ruined,
as we have learned by experience.

Let those who are less well-to-do make a similar offering.
But those who have nothing at all
shall simply draw up the document
and offer their son before witnesses at the oblation.

Some thoughts:

Some thoughts:

It's hard to think of anything to say about this passage. It seems so
archaic, so out of it's place in time. How can this possibly apply to us
living in the 21st century?

What it does remind of, though, is baptism. Those of us who were baptized
as infants had certain promises made for us. How often do we baptize a
baby? The godparents and parents pledge a whole bunch stuff on
Little Whosis behalf. It is up not only to the 4 of them but to everyone
who witnessed the vows, to help Little Whosis to grow up into the Baptismal Covenant.

So perhaps the modern day application of this passage is Christian formation
of our children and our neighbors' children. Which of course is only
possible if we ourselves have attended to our own Christian formation. What
are your thoughts, please?

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