Saturday, August 27, 2016


I have been asked to do a presentation on “the Rule of Benedict for Teachers.”I’d like to share with
you some of the worksheet questions I’ll be using, asking teachers and staff to look at ways that the citations might apply to them in the classroom or office. I believe that the citations can make a good meditation on the exercise of power for anyone.

(1)  Chapter 2  "The Qualities of  the Abbot"  

           (a)"He must point out to them all that is good and holy more by example than by words."
(b)  The abbot should avoid all favoritism in the monastery.     
(c) In his teaching… he must vary with the circumstances, threatening and coaxing by turns, stern as a taskmaster, devoted and tender as only a father can be.  With the undisciplined and restless, he will use firm argument; with the obedient and docile and patient , he will appeal for greater virtue…"  
He must accommodate and adapt  to each one's character and intelligence.  

(2)  Chapter 31 "On the Cellerar"  (the one who is in charge of ordering the supplies, and giving out things, seeing that they are kept in good order.)  
(a) “…He should not annoy (contristet) the brothers.  If any brother happens to make an unreasonable demand of him, he should not reject him with disdain and cause him distress, but reasonably and humbly deny the improper request. Let him keep watch over his own soul, ever mindful of the saying of the apostle, ‘he who serves well secures a good standing for himself.  He must show every care and concern for the sick, children, guests and the poor,. 31:8-13

(3) Chapter 63   "On community rank"
(a) “The monks keep their rank in the monastery according to the date of their entry, the virtue of their lives, and the decision of the Abbot.  The Abbot is not to disturb the flock entrusted to him, nor make any unjust arrangements, as though he had the power to do whatever he wished. Therefore, when the monks come for the kiss of peace during Mass or for Communion,  when they lead psalms or stand in choir, they do so in the order decided by the Abbot or already existing among them.” 63:1-4

           (b) "… When an older monk comes by, the younger rises and offers him a seat and does not presume to sit down unless the older bids him.  In this way, they do what the Word of Scripture says.  They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other. 63: 17

(4.)  Ch. 64 "The Election of an Abbot"

         (a)“He should always let mercy triumph over judgment, so that he too may win mercy.  He must hate faults, but love the brothers.  When he must punish them he should use prudence and avoid extremes.  Otherwise, by rubbing too hard to remove the rust, he may break the vessel. He is to distrust his own frailty, and remember not to crush the bruised reed."  64:9
 (5.)   Chapter 27  “The Abbot’s concern for the excommunicated.”

The Abbot is to imitate the loving example of the Good Shepherd, who left the ninety-nine sheep in the mountains and went in search of the one sheep that had strayed.  So great was his compassion for its weakness, that he mercifully placed it on his sacred shoulders, and so carried it back to the flock.”  (8-9)

(6.)  a.) Ch 35:9 "Kitchen Servers of the Week."
"Both the one who is ending his service as kitchen server and the one who is about to begin are to wash the feet of everyone."
b.) Ch. 53:13  "The Reception of Guests."

"… the abbot with the entire community shall wash the feet of guests." 

1 comment: