PrologueThe description of a monastery as a "school for the Lord's service" is interesting. I wonder if churches see themselves the same way?
45Therefore we intend to establish a school for the Lord's service. 46In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome. 47The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.
"Welcome to the Oak Trails Church! We are a school, a school for the Lord's service."
It's an interesting question because Benedict raises the prospect of "a little strictness," though "nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." Which makes sense if organization is a school, a place of training.
Incidentally, the phrase "nothing harsh, nothing burdensome" is historically and theologically significant in the history of monasticism. The Rule of Benedict became so influential because it introduced into the monastic movement a humanity that was largely absent in the harshly ascetical expressions of early Christian monasticism. There is a great concern in the Rule for failing or struggling monks and a recognition that basic things like decent food, rest, and clothing are not sinful indulgences of the flesh.