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Errant Yet Redeemable


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Second in the "Hard Sayings of St. Benedict" series of conference. This presentation was given by Sister Paule Pierre Barbeau

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Errant Yet Redeemable

  1. 1. Benedictine Oblates St. Scholastica Monastery Duluth, Minnesota 9 October 2016 Hard Sayings of Benedict: Errant Yet Redeemable
  2. 2. Agenda • Introductions • Mid-Day Prayer – Luke 15:11-24 • Announcements • Conference • Discussion • Closing Prayer • Refreshments
  3. 3. Announcements • Retreat: Praying in Color, Oct. 22, Monastery • Retreat: Mary Within Us, Oct. 22, McCabe • Transcultural Healthcare among Diverse Cultures, Oct. 27-28, Mitchell • The Diary of Anne Frank, Oct. 28-30, Nov. 3-6, Little Theatre • Emeritus College on Oct. 31: S. Amata • Growing Up Black in Urban America with James Forman, Jr., Nov. 15, Mitchell • David Haas in Concert, Nov. 18, Mitchell • NAABOD Oblate Conference this summer!
  4. 4. THE MIDDLE AGES Putting Things in Perspective
  5. 5. The “Civil” Side of Things • One of the most violent eras in history • 6th C Italy – Rome was disintegrating – Benedict c. 480-547 • Only way to keep order was for people to be scared of punishment – fines, shaming, mutilation, death • Methods of punishment/torture were particularly barbaric and incredibly varied Brazen Bull by Pierre Woeiriot - Unknown, Public Domain,
  6. 6. Types of Punishment • Fines • Shaming – Stocks – (Partial) Crucifixion • Torture – Wheel – Burning – Crucifixion – Rack – Flagellation • Ordeals – Fire – Water – Combat By Unknown - Internet Archive, Public Domain,
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  9. 9. The Church 3rd C. Sacrament can be received multiple times Degrees of Penitents - Weeping - Listeners - Prostrate - Standing EAST Readmission into Church on Recommendation of martyrs (monks) Private Forms of Penance 3rd C. Uniform Practice of Public Penance WEST 4th C. Decline - Too harsh - Serious sins forgivable only once after Baptism Penitents were looked upon as monks* 5th C. Barbarian Invasions - Further stimulated detailed & stringent penal Codes because Church was more to be able to bring about law and order * Conversi – pious laypersons who associated themselves with a monastery and continued to live their own life • Precursor to lay brothers and oblates
  10. 10. THE RULE OF ST. BENEDICT Corrective Legislation
  11. 11. Benedict’s “Penal Code” • RB 23-30 and 44 (28 other throughout) • Main motivation was spiritual – Not concerned with civil law and order – The Christian life lived in the monastery and founded in Scripture • What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not based on the truest of guides for human life? What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator? (RB 73.3-4) • No canonical status
  12. 12. Theology of Excommunication • RB 23.2 Monastic discipline should be “in accord with our Lord’s injunction.” – “as a gentile and tax collector.” (Mt 18:15-17) • Admonitions (2 in secret, 4 for priors) • Degrees of Excommunication – Common table (lighter faults) – Participation in Divine Office (RB 24) – Oratory and associating with community members (serious faults – RB 25) – Expulsion from community • May return and be expulsed three times
  13. 13. Excommunicated Monk • RM - not a brother, but a heretic, not a son of God, but a demon’s workman • RB – delinquent brother, never a heretic – Moral rather than dogmatic view – Sinner but not necessarily a heretic – Loving concern for the sinner is foremost duty of Christian (Prol. 36-38) – Isolation from community hopefully leads to repentance and serves as a reminder of the final judgment (RB 25.3)
  14. 14. Table and Prayer • His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. (Jn 9:22) • Do not even eat with such a one. (1 Cor 5:11) • Excommunication is foretaste of eternal exclusion from community of saved
  15. 15. Corporal Punishment Warnings Excommunication Corporal Punishment Wise Physician Prayers Expulsion from Monastery Boys <15 y
  16. 16. Specific Faults • Eating – Timely • Priest-monk – Canonical status – under Bishop • Good order/conduct – More severe than chastisement – Not anyone can do this • Satisfaction & amendment – Interior & exterior attitude of humility
  17. 17. THE RULE OF ST. BENEDICT Care and Concern
  18. 18. Theology of Caring • RB 27.2-3 He ought to use every skill of a wise physician and send in senpectae… under under the cloak of secrecy, may support the wavering brother… and console him lest he be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. (2 Cor 2:7) • RB 27.4 Rather… let love for him be reaffirmed (2 Cor 2:8) and let all pray for him.
  19. 19. Caring Abbot • For excommunicated and sick RB 27 – He should realize that he has undertaken care of the sick, not tyranny over the healthy. (RB 27.6)
  20. 20. Caring Cellarer • For brothers (RB 31.6-7) – He should not annoy the brothers. • For sick, children, guests, and poor (RB 31.9) • For poor and pilgrims (RB 53.15)
  21. 21. The Good Shepherd • Goes beyond charity • Repentance of the offender – With genuine conversion of heart • Forgiveness by the community – Promote the salvation of “weak” brother • It is the image of the Good Shepherd who wants and needs to save the one lost sheep The Good Shepherd by Bernhard Plockhorst - public domain, originally published before 1923 in UK and USA., Public Domain,
  22. 22. The Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - [1], Public Domain, php?curid=4628046