Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? *
and who can stand in his holy place?
There ought to be due proportion between the seriousness of the fault and the measure of excommunication or discipline.
Benedict's Rule 24:1 (Chittister, Pg. 144)
And, Benedict insinuates, once you have broken the bonds that make a community a community, a family a family, a team a team, there is no growth possible until we all face the fact.We all, we hope, wish to ascend the hill of the Lord, we want to stand in the holy place. But our path is not always straight. We are amid eight chapters of the Rule of Benedict that discuss "punishment." In our class, as we read Benedict's rule, we are not likely to need much punishment. However, we may find we have broken a rule here and there. (Hopefully not often, but we are human, we do sin...)
Chittister, Pg. 145
These readings remind me of two things: 1) When something is broken we need to recognize the break and fix it, not let it slip by and become bigger and bigger, and 2) When we respond, we respond proportionately to the actual damage. If we recognize the break when it is small we can often resolve it and make amends quickly. Often with a simple apology and sincere change of heart.
So, let me continue to ascend the hill of the Lord, small stumbles recognized quickly are easily recovered.
A Note To Readers:This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading this book and to anyone that is interested.
Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule are from the translation in this same book.Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.