Prayers, please for Margie, no brain activity and family signed a do
not resuscitate, for God's mercy and her release, and for her
husband, Jon, and son Gary and all her family, especially that this
may lead them to Christ. Yesterday I asked prayers for Audrey and her
abusive relationship, today I ask prayers for her abuser, too.
Remember that God can work a problem from any angle!!! Prayers, too,
for Cindy and her job search. God's will is best. All is mercy and
grace. Thanks so much. JL
April 18, August 18, December 18
Chapter 63: On the Order of the Community
Let all keep their places in the monastery
established by the time of their entrance,
the merit of their lives and the decision of the Abbot.
Yet the Abbot must not disturb the flock committed to him,
nor by an arbitrary use of his power ordain anything unjustly;
but let him always think
of the account he will have to render to God
for all his decisions and his deeds.
Therefore in that order which he has established
or which they already had,
let the brethren approach to receive the kiss of peace and Communion,
intone the Psalms and stand in choir.
And in no place whatever should age decide the order
or be prejudicial to it;
for Samuel and Daniel as mere boys judged priests.
Except for those already mentioned, therefore,
whom the Abbot has promoted by a special decision
or demoted for definite reasons,
all the rest shall take their order
according to the time of their entrance.
Thus, for example,
he who came to the monastery at the second hour of the day,
whatever be his age or his dignity,
must know that he is junior
to one who came at the first hour of the day.
Boys, however, are to be kept under discipline
in all matters and by everyone.
St. Benedict, who has stressed fairness in so many ways, even
equality, also insists on order, hence the title of this chapter. But
it is an order which is largely established by God: the time of
entrance. God calls when He chooses, whomever He chooses. When that
person responds, that, for the most part, is going to determine their
place in community.
Families, too, need order. Yes, fairness and equality are important,
but every child is not the equal of their siblings: anarchy would
result. Imagine a teenager exactly equal to a toddler sibling, unable
to interfere at all in the baby's whims to destroy its nursery or
We are used to hearing sibling rivalry horror stories that traipse
far into adult life as psychological baggage. How many of them might
have been avoided if, as St. Benedict prescribed for his family,
order was never decided by capriciousness and affection was equal.
Children cannot understand favoritism and rightly so. But a child
could be a bit more comfortable with rewards for good behavior "the
merit of" their siblings lives. That might annoy them, true, but at
least it is something they, too, can work towards. Arbitrary
affectional preference is not.
Note that St. Benedict leaves the Abbot free to advance anyone for
his own reasons, but immediately tacks on a warning that the Abbot
must not disturb his flock and that he must give an account of his
stewardship. Abbots are human, not infallible. Human affection can
enter into their choices and St. Benedict warns them against that.
(PS: They have not always listened, but he did warn them...LOL!)
Love and prayers,