43. Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table

At the hour of the Divine Office, let them all, as soon as they hear the signal, set aside whatever is at hand and run with utmost speed, yet with gravity, lest they spark some foolishness. Therefore, let nothing be preferred to the Work of God.

Should anyone get to the Night Office after the doxology of the ninety-fifth psalm—and for this reason, we want it to be said very deliberately and slowly— let him not stand in his regular place in choir, but let him stand last of all, or in a place which the abbot has set apart for the careless, so that they may be seen by him and by everyone, until, at the end of the Work of God, he does penance publicly to make satisfaction.

We have decided that they ought to stand in the last place or apart for this reason: that, after being seen by all and feeling their own shame, they might change. For, if they remain outside the oratory, there will be the type who either takes himself back to bed and sleeps, or who perhaps sits outside and wiles away the time talking, and so “occasion is given to the Evil One” (Eph 4:27; 1 Tim 5:14). Rather, let them come inside so that they may not lose everything and may change for the future.

10 At the day hours, if anyone arrives for the Work of God after the verse and the doxology of the first psalm, which is recited after the verse, let them stand in the last place according to the regulation, which we stated above. 11 They should not presume to join the choir of those chanting until they have made satisfaction, unless perhaps the abbot, by his pardon, gives them permission. 12 Even so, the one at fault is to make satisfaction for this.

13 Should anyone fail to arrive at table and make it impossible for all to recite the verse at the same time and to pray and then to sit down together at table, 14 and should he arrive late because of his own carelessness or fault, let him be corrected for this a first and even a second time. 15 If still he does not change, he should not be permitted to share the common table. 16 Moreover, let him eat alone, separated from the fellowship of all, until he has made satisfaction and has changed.

17 Furthermore, anyone who is not present for the verse said after the meal should undergo the same.

18 No one should presume to take any food or drink before or after the appointed time. 19 However, if a superior offers anyone anything, and he refuses to accept it but later wants what he had earlier refused, he should not have either this, or anything else at all, until there has been an appropriate change.



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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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