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

Let the abbot exercise all diligence…

Let the abbot exercise all diligence in his care for erring brethren, for they that are in health need not a physician, but they that are sick.1 He ought, therefore, as a wise physician, to use every remedy in his power. Let him send senpectae, that is old and prudent brethren, who may as it were secretly comfort the troubled brother, inducing him to make humble satisfaction and consoling him lest he be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.2 As the apostle saith: Let charity be strengthened towards him;3 and let everyone pray for him.

For the abbot is bound to use the greatest care, and to exercise all prudence and diligence, so that he may not lose any of the sheep entrusted to him. Let him know that what he has undertaken is the charge of weakly souls, and not a tyranny over the strong; and let him fear the threat of the prophet, wherein God saith: What you saw to be fat, that ye took to yourselves: and what was feeble, ye cast away.4 And let him imitate the merciful example of the Good Shepherd, who left the ninety and nine sheep in the mountains and went after the one sheep that had strayed; and had so great pity on its weakness, that he deigned to place it on his own sacred shoulders and so bring it back to the flock.

1Matt ix,12
22Cor ii,7
3Ibid
4Cf. Ezech. xxiv, 3,4