Prayers, please for Mary Crilly and her parents, Jack and Lisa. Mary
had a rare genetic brain disorder and died at only 5 years of age.
Her parents especially need your prayers. NRN Thanks so much! JL
January 13, May 14, September 13
Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be
In her teaching
the Abbess should always follow the Apostle's formula:
"Reprove, entreat, rebuke" (2 Tim. 4:2);
threatening at one time and coaxing at another
as the occasion may require,
showing now the stern countenance of a mistress,
now the loving affection of a mother.
That is to say,
it is the undisciplined and restless
whom she must reprove rather sharply;
it is the obedient, meek and patient
whom she must entreat to advance in virtue;
while as for the negligent and disdainful,
these we charge her to rebuke and correct.
And let her not shut her eyes to the faults of offenders;
but, since she has the authority,
let her cut out those faults by the roots
as soon as they begin to appear,
remembering the fate of Heli, the priest of Silo (1 Kings 2-4).
The well-disposed and those of good understanding
let her correct with verbal admonition the first and second time.
But bold, hard, proud and disobedient characters
she should curb at the very beginning of their ill-doing
by stripes and other bodily punishments,
knowing that it is written,
"the fool is not corrected with words" (Prov. 18:2; 29:19),
"Beat your son with the rod,
and you will deliver his soul from death"(Prov. 23:13-14).
Every Benedictine in charge of everything must remember that there is
NOT just one type of person. Hence, having only one style of using
authority will be woefully inadequate. Being a one-trick pony doesn't
work terribly well anywhere, but it doesn't work at all in authority
positions. We are called by the Holy Spirit "to be all things to
Too much laid-back, care-free authority really *IS* care-free: it
doesn't care in the sense of loving. Those under such a program will
be stunted by one's negligence and laxity. On the other hand, a
control freak's stringency will also stunt people, and probably
inspire them with some residual hatred of authority as well! Neither
course is a real hot ticket... But either course may be perfectly
right for some individuals and some occasions, both of which are
changing all the time. We must be careful to see how those people and
events change, be careful not to administer yesterday's severity when
today's meekness might be best!
Here, as always, balance, balance and always balance! It's one of
*THE* Benedictine hallmarks! And, if you are one in authority,
please, please, always remember that it's not about you, it's about
them. It must serve their good or it will serve your harm.
Love and prayers,
jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA