Posts Tagged ‘Benedict’

Just doing a bit of research on monasticism and came across this great quote from Benedict’s Rule (530 AD) which is instruction to the abbot of a monastery but reads like good wisdom for pastors and Christian leaders:

Once in office, the abbot must keep constantly in mind the nature of the burden he has received, and remember to whom he will have to give an account of his stewardship [Luke 16: 2]. Let him recognize that his goal must be profit for the monks, not preeminence for himself. He ought, therefore, to be learned in divine law, so that he has a treasury of knowledge from which he can bring out what is new and what is old [Matt. 13: 52]. He must be chaste, temperate and merciful. He should always let mercy triumph over judgment [James 2: 13] 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 [Isa. 42: 3]. . . . Let him strive to be loved rather than feared. Excitable, anxious, extreme, obstinate, jealous or oversuspicious he must not be. . . . Instead, he must show forethought and consideration in his orders.
(Rule of Benedict trans. Timothy Fry quoted in Mark Noll, Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, Baker)

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