61. The Reception of Traveling Monks

If there arrives some traveling monk from provinces far away, and if he wants to live in the monastery as a guest, and if he is content with the local customs which he finds, and does not, as can happen, disturb the monastery with his excessive demands, but is simply content with what he finds, let him be received for as long as he desires.

If, with sound reason and the humility of love, he sensibly offers some criticism or points out anything, let the abbot weigh the matter prudently, lest perhaps the Lord has sent him for this very thing.

Later on, should he truly wish to establish his stability there, let such a wish not be denied, especially since it was possible to have some insight into his life during the time that he was a guest.

But if he is found demanding and is full of evil ways during his time as a guest, he definitely must not be allowed to join the monastic community, and moreover, he should also be told frankly that he should leave lest others be corrupted by his problems.

If he is not one of those who deserves to be thrown out, he should, if he asks, not only be received as a member of the community, but he should even be persuaded to stay so that others may be formed by his example, 10 for in every place we serve the one Lord and fight for the one King. 11 If the abbot also recognizes that he is deserving, he has the right to give him a place somewhat higher in seniority. 12 The abbot can give a place higher than that of their entrance not only to this monk, but also to those from the ranks of priests and clerics, noted above, if he perceives that their life deserves it.

13 However, the abbot should take care that he never receives into his community a monk from another monastery known to him without the consent of the monk’s abbot or without letters of recommendation, 14 for it is written:

What you do not want done to you, do not do to another. (Tob 4:16)


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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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