2[The brothers] must not presume to accept gifts sent even by his parents without previously telling the abbot.What's going on with this directive? I'm sure it has to do with issues of envy, power and living in community.
It reminds me of the men I work with in prison. Some of the guys have families who regularly deposit money in their commissary accounts. Other guys have no money, and no prospect of ever getting money. Because they have no families or have families who don't care about them.
The guys with families are the wealthy ones in the prison system and can buy things like extra food or fans for their rooms. (There is no air conditioning in the prison. And this is West Texas. Imagine how hot it is without a fan.) These guys become not only objects of envy but locations of power and influence. The goods they buy can be used as currency in the prison barter economy.
So my guess is that Benedict is trying to prevent something similar to this--haves and have nots--from happening in the monasteries.