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Sep 14

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 14, 2002
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      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.

      REFLECTION

      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 chapters 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 and plod.

      Finally, since the majority of us will never be Abbots, read these
      portions of the Rule to see how you measure up. 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 who thinks it ALL
      devolves on parents hasn't read the Commandments past number three.
      There are responsibilities both parties must uphold.

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