Fridays with Benedict: Chapter 61, When Monks are Trolls

Chapter 61 of the Rule of St. Benedict is entitled "The Reception of Visiting Monks" and deals with how to accommodate monks from other monasteries who are visiting or passing through.

Benedict's directives here are twofold. First, if the monk is not overly demanding and is content with their accommodations and the life of the monastery then that monk is welcome and even encouraged to stay, even long term:
2Provided that [the visiting monk] is content with the life as he finds it, and does not make excessive demands that upset the community, 3but is simply content with what he finds, he should be received for as long as he wishes.
To be sure, the visiting monk might offer some criticisms and observations, but attitude is everything here:
4He may, indeed, with all humility and love make some reasonable criticism or observations, which the abbot should prudently consider; it is possible that the Lord guided him to the monastery for this very purpose.
But if the visitor is rude, critical and demanding? 
8But if during his stay he has been found excessive in his demands or full of faults, he should certainly not be admitted as a member of the community. 9Instead, he should be politely told to depart, lest his wretched ways contaminate others.
Basically, don't feed the trolls.

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2 thoughts on “Fridays with Benedict: Chapter 61, When Monks are Trolls”

  1. I find myself much preferring Friar Tuck's approach (as depicted by film maker Ridley Scott) with Robin's merry band. He plied them with mead, rousing music, and painted ladies in the ancient Celtic fashion. They sang, danced, and fornicated with gusto. No time for misguided testosterone by way of bloodied swords. Smart fellow that Friar Tuck.

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