Prayers, please, for the employment future of Fran, also for Scott
Polski and his parents. His Mom and Dad died 6 weeks apart. God's
will be done! Thanks! NRN JL
March 5, July 5, November 4
Chapter 28: On Those Who Will Not Amend after Repeated Corrections
If a sister who has been frequently corrected for some fault,
and even excommunicated,
does not amend,
let a harsher correction be applied,
that is, let the punishment of the rod be administered.
But if she still does not reform
or perhaps (which God forbid)
even rises up in pride and wants to defend her conduct,
then let the Abbess do what a wise physician would do.
Having used applications,
the ointments of exhortation,
the medicines of the Holy Scriptures,
finally the cautery of excommunication
and of the strokes of the rod,
if she sees that her efforts are of no avail,
let her apply a still greater remedy,
her own prayers and those of all the others,
that the Lord, who can do all things
may restore health to the sister who is sick.
But if she is not healed even in this way,
then let the Abbess use the knife of amputation,
according to the Apostle's words,
"Expel the evil one from your midst" (1 Cor. 5:13),
"If the faithless one departs, let her depart" (1 Cor. 7:15)
lest one diseased sheep contaminate the whole flock.
Want a good application of this principle for life OUTSIDE the
monastery? When I was a party-hearty youth in the very wild 1970's, I
had a friend at work who drank, sold grass, loved to party and was
one of my favorite people. I moved up North and didn't see him for
several years, though I often remembered him and his wife fondly.
When I was home on a visit, I looked him up. He had joined AA. I was
still drinking and partying. He wasn't rude, but he scarcely had the
time of day for me before getting out of my way. At the time, I was
very hurt and didn't know why I'd been rejected so. Now I know. He
had found a new life and feared that I would try to pull him back
into his old one. He had found something new and terribly worthwhile
and he had to protect it and his fragile self from harm.
It doesn't matter whether we get sober, get converted or just get a
little wiser or less messed up, we OFTEN have to choose out of
people, places and situations that might harm our new found lives.
Like my friend, we don't have to be rude or mean, but we dare not
take too many chances, either. Saying yes to one thing really is
saying no to everything that is not that one thing!
So, yeah, this is about abbots and monastics, but it is about all of
us, too. Always be saddened if you have to exclude, to cut out
another, always use that as a last resort. But if you have to do so,
do it with as much grace and mercy as possible.
Love and prayers,
jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA