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Mar 3

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  • russophile2002 <jeromeleo@earthlink.net>
    +PAX March 3, July 3, November 2 Chapter 26: On Those Who Without an Order Associate with the Excommunicated If any sister presumes without an order from the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2003
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      March 3, July 3, November 2
      Chapter 26: On Those Who Without an Order Associate with the
      Excommunicated

      If any sister presumes
      without an order from the Abbess
      to associate in any way with an excommunicated sister,
      or to speak with her,
      or to send her a message,
      let her incur a similar punishment of excommunication.

      REFLECTION


      Two things are going on here and the first of them is unity. If any
      censure were allowed to become a partisan issue, some with the
      accused and others against, the punishment would be thwarted. No good
      would come to the one corrected, nor to the gallery of supporters she
      was busy recruiting to her "cause." Even more, the community would be
      divided, perhaps even permanently. Community doesn't work in an "us-
      and-them" mode; there are times when, to be healthy, it has to be
      simply "us."

      Correcting the spiritual health of an ailing member is one of those
      important times for a united front and calling for same is entirely
      in order. Bear in mind that, if the Abbess is truly wrong, there are
      ways provided in the Rule to approach her privately. These are the
      way to go, not factionalist murmuring.

      The second important point here is going to be a lot less palatable
      to 21st century ears. We are not to do our own thing. (Gasp! Posters
      from the 70's are peeling themselves off the walls in horror...)
      There is a definite place and role for a certain autonomy in every
      Christian life, but it is not nearly so high as we may have supposed.
      The Holy Rule reminds us in other places that we are to have not even
      our own bodies in our keeping, much less our wills. We can easily
      rationalize our own agendas, make them imperatives of honesty that
      must be expressed, while neatly forgetting that there is a big
      difference between the virtue of honesty and the vice of brutal
      frankness.

      The other message in this reading is that we must remember when we
      are not in charge, which, for most of us, is most of the time! We are
      participants, but we are usually not commanders. There are roles
      provided for us to have input, but the Rule provides no individual
      member without an official authority from the Abbot to ultimately
      decide anything. Other than the decision to leave, no decision is
      completely one's own, not even to join: that is up to Abbess and
      Chapter.

      Now, hang in there, folks! The gentle part of this practice comes in
      tomorrow's chapter!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@...
      Petersham, MA
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