Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Jan. 11

Expand Messages
  • russophile2002
    +PAX January 11, May 12, September 11 Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be Therefore, when anyone receives the name of Abbess, she ought to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2004

      January 11, May 12, September 11
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

      Therefore, when anyone receives the name of Abbess,
      she ought to govern her disciples with a twofold teaching.
      That is to say,
      she should show them all that is good and holy
      by her deeds even more than by her words,
      expounding the Lord's commandments in words
      to the intelligent among her disciples,
      but demonstrating the divine precepts by her actions
      for those of harder hearts and ruder minds.
      And whatever she has taught her disciples
      to be contrary to God's law,
      let her indicate by her example that it is not to be done,
      lest, while preaching to others, she herself be found reprobate (1
      Cor. 9:27),
      and lest God one day say to her in her sin,
      "Why do you declare My statutes
      and profess My covenant with your lips,
      whereas you hate discipline
      and have cast My words behind you" (Ps. 49:16-17)?
      And again,
      "You were looking at the speck in your brother's eye,
      and did not see the beam in your own" (Matt. 7:3).


      This isn't just for abbots and parents, this is for all of us.
      Example is put forward as the primary means of teaching, even before
      words. All of us must "walk the talk" and practice what we preach.
      Everyone of us is obliged to somehow uncover the splendor of the City
      of God in our lives, to show it to others. Mere verbal description
      will be of little help in comparison to actually living out the

      I remember many of my parents' words, we all do. When I am really
      trying to gauge my behavior according to their standards, however, it
      is not usually words that I hear in my mind. I see how they would
      have acted in a given situation. A little video clip plays in my mind
      of Dad or Mom in my shoes. If their behavior shames me at my own
      planned response, I usually try to follow their plan of action, not
      mine. Like everyone, however, I am not perfect and do not always
      choose the higher road that imaginary video shows me. Sad...

      All of us put forward an image of who we are in words, one way or
      another. As years go by, we usually get a more or less complete
      picture of who we are and of the self we wish to present to the
      world. This is where family, community and marriage can be so
      important. The people who live with us see right through the flaws
      in our verbal picture.

      It is less easy for us to believe in our grand and false images of
      ourselves when we are rubbing shoulders with one or more reality
      checks all the time! These reality checks can point out genuine
      greatness in areas we might not have expected, but they can also
      underscore the pathetic comedy of our pretensions. Both are useful
      for humility, both lead to truth. Those pointing out our flaws are no
      more infallible than we are, but they can often be a lot more

      Ever watch a foreign film with the audio badly dubbed into another
      language? It is jarring and annoying. What St. Benedict is saying to
      all of us here is to get the picture and the sound into synchronized
      form. For all Christians, all Benedictines, there should be no
      disparity between video and audio! Lofty ideal that!

      St. Benedict knew that loftiness would be hard for us to reach, too.
      He knew there would be beams in our eyes, specks in others'. Hence, a
      lot of this boils down to approach and attitude. Come on to others
      from a position of "I'm OK and you are not," and see where it gets

      You might make a temporary dent. You might even change a few of
      the really less than bright. Most wise people, however, will give you
      a lot of room. They see the mask, the falsity there, and it inhibits
      much else from getting through to them. It's like really competent
      actors being cast in a role that does not fit them at all. One sits
      through the whole movie thinking: "No way can I believe that she is
      so-and-so!" "Great play, nice plot, but I didn't find the male lead

      Hopefully, at that final Awards night, there will be Tony's, Emmies
      and Oscars for all of us, with maybe a Golden Globe or two thrown
      into our totals!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.