Community on retreat 22-30 July. Services open; shop closed.

For the abbot in his teaching ought always to observe…

For the abbot in his teaching ought always to observe the rule of the apostle, wherein he says: Reprove, entreat, rebuke.1 He must adapt himself to circumstances, now using severity and now persuasion, displaying the rigour of a master or the loving kindness of a father. That is to say he must sternly rebuke the undisciplined and restless; but the obedient, meek and patient, these he should exhort to advance in virtue. As for the negligent and rebellious, we warn him to reprimand and punish them. And let him not shut his eyes to the faults of offenders; but as soon as they begin to appear, let him, as he can, cut them out by the roots, mindful of the fate of Heli, the priest of Silo. Those of gentle disposition and good understanding should be punished, for the first and second time, by verbal admonition; but bold, hard, proud and disobedient characters should be checked at the very beginning of their ill-doing by the rod and corporal punishment, according to the text: the fool is not corrected with words;2 and again: Beat thy son with the rod and thou shalt deliver his soul from death.3

12 Tim iv, 2
2Prov xviii, 2; xxix, 19
3Ibid xxiii, 14