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Today’s Reading from the Rule of Benedict

November 5, 2009


Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be Received Again

If a brother
who through his own fault leaves the monastery
should wish to return,
let him first promise full reparation for his having gone away;
and then let him be received in the lowest place,
as a test of his humility.
And if he should leave again,
let him be taken back again,
and so a third time;
but he should understand that after this
all way of return is denied him.

Life is often a series of false starts while we find out who we are and determine where we really want to go. Benedict understands the struggle of uncertainty and indecision and makes room for it. After all, the giving of oneself to anything is no small thing and should be done with reflection and with peace of mind.

+ Joan Chittister

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