28. Those, Though Often Corrected, Who Are Unwilling to Change

If any brother has been frequently corrected for some fault and even excommunicated, but still has not changed, let a more stinging punishment come to bear on him: that is, proceed to punish him with the rod.

If, even then, he does not correct it, or perhaps, God forbid, carried away with pride, he even wants to defend his deeds, then let the abbot act as a wise physician. If he has applied compresses, if also the oil of encouragement, if the medicine of the Holy Scriptures, and if at last the cauterizing fire of excommunication or strokes of the rod, and if even then he sees that his diligence achieves nothing, let him then make use of something greater: prayer for the brother, both his own and that of all the brothers, so that the Lord, who can do all things, may work a cure for the sick brother.

If even in this way he is not healed, let the abbot only then use the instrument for amputation, as the Apostle says:

Remove the evil one from your midst. (1 Cor 5:13)

And again:

If the unbeliever departs, let him depart. (1 Cor 7:15)

In this way, one sick sheep will not infect the whole flock.



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The Rule of Benedict by Saint Meinrad Archabbey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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