Thursday 18th April, the Community will be praying Vigils and Compline privately.

Let the abbot appointed consider always what an office he has undertaken

Let the abbot appointed consider always what an office he has undertaken and to whom he has to give an account of his stewardship; and let him know that it is his duty rather to profit his brethren than to preside over them. It behoves him, therefore, to be learned in the law of God, that he may have a treasure of knowledge whence he may bring forth things new and old; and to be chaste, sober and merciful. Let him always set mercy before justice, that he himself may obtain mercy. Let him hate evil, but love the brethren. In administering correction let him act prudently and not go to excess, lest being too zealous in removing the rust he break the vessel. Let him always distrust his own frailty and remember that the bruised reed is not to be broken. By this we do not mean that he should allow evils to grow, but that, as we have said above, he should eradicate them prudently and with charity, in the way which may seem best in each case. And let him study rather to be loved than feared. Let him not be headstrong or anxious, extravagant or obstinate, jealous or over suspicious, for otherwise he will never rest. Let him be prudent and considerate in all his commands; and whether the work which he enjoins concern God or the world, let him always be discreet and moderate, bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said: If I cause my flocks to be overdriven, they will all perish in one day.1 So taking these and other examples of discretion, the mother of the virtues, let him so temper all things that the strong may still have something to long after, and the weak may not draw back in alarm. And, especially, let him keep this present Rule in all things; so that having ministered faithfully, he may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard who gave his fellow- servants wheat in due season: Amen, I say unto you, he set him over all his goods.2

1Gen. xxxiii, 13
2Matt xxiv, 47