How Pilgrim Monks are to be Received

Part of my Lent has been re-reading the Holy Rule of St. Benedict, pertinent to the day. It’s been speaking to me in very personal and private ways.

Today as I contemplate a great decision that involved travel and has me doubting and unsure, the lesson is about stability, which is actually one of the Benedictine vows:

If a pilgrim monk coming from a
distant region
wants to live as a guest of the monastery,
let him be received for as long a time as he desires,
provided he is content
with the customs of the place as he finds them,
and does not disturb the monastery by
superfluous demands,
but is simply content with what he finds.

If, however, he censures or points out
anything reasonably
and with the humility of charity,
let the Abbot consider prudently
whether perhaps it was for that very purpose
that the Lord sent him.
If afterwards he should want to bind himself
to stability,
his wish should not be denied him,
especially since there has been opportunity
during his stay as a guest
to discover his character.
– RB, Chapter 61

Every day, our Holy Father Benedict instructs, even in ways that are not obvious; he forces me to slow down, and to ponder what the Rule means to me, interiorly, and where I am falling short. What a worthwhile read.

On a lighter note, but it’s actually pretty serious, too: This is wonderful!

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About Elizabeth Scalia