Prayers, please, for Mary Smith, Sr. Lany Jo's Mother, who went to
God on Friday, and for Lany and all her family. Prayers, too, for
Hazel, for whom we also prayed, and for her family. She, too, has
gone to God.
Jane's Dad, Antonio, continues in serious condition after the drag-
racing accident that killed his wife and the racer. Prayers for them
all! God's will is best. All is mercy and grace! Thanks so much. JL
January 14, May 15, September 14
Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be
The Abbess should always remember what she is
and what she is called,
and should know that to whom more is committed,
from her more is required (Luke 12:48).
Let her understand also
what a difficult and arduous task she has undertaken:
ruling souls and adapting herself to a variety of characters.
One she must coax, another scold, another persuade,
according to each one's character and understanding.
Thus she must adjust and adapt herself to all
in such a way that she may not only suffer no loss
in the flock committed to her care,
but may even rejoice in the increase of a good flock.
When we read these portions of the Holy Rule which deal with the
Abbot or other officials a very handy suggestion is in order. Read
them to see what the Abbess DOES comply with, not what you feel she
misses, because no one I have ever known in the abbacy is perfect
enough to fulfill them all at all times. Read them with one eye on
who the Abbot really is as a frail human being, what sort of person
he is, and the other eye focused on what is demanded of him by the
Holy Rule. Chapters such as this one will give you a really valuable
insight into what those officials are wrestling with, a glimpse of
how tough it can be to tread the very fine line.
Parents, fear not! I'll bet Mother Teresa of Calcutta couldn't read
this chapter without cringing a little, maybe even a lot. If your
eyes are even half open, you will see the areas of failure every time
you read them. (If, by some odd oversight, you have missed one or
two, your children are quite likely to point them out to you the next
time they get mad!!)
Use those areas as goals to work on, but don't beat yourself up on
them too badly. Not only does no one ever get there all at once, but,
frankly, I don't think anyone ever gets there all the way period. It
is death and heaven which finally perfect us. Meanwhile, we struggle
Finally, since the majority of us will never be Abbots, and some will
never be parents, teachers or bosses, either, read these portions of
the Rule to see how you measure up. For every use of "Abbess" just
substitute "Christian" and don't forget to add "Benedictine", too!
This is the standard for any follower of the merciful Jesus!
How many of these qualities do you have? When one of the things
demanded of the Abbess is exercised in your regard, how gracefully,
even gratefully, do you receive it? Authority is a two-way street.
Any kid or monastic or employee who thinks it ALL devolves on parents
or other authority hasn't read the Commandments past number three.
There are responsibilities both parties must uphold.
Love and prayers,