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of Heli, the Priest of Silo. With the more virtuous and intelligent, let him for the first or second time use words of admonition; but the stubborn, the hard-hearted, the proud and the disobedient, even in the very beginning of their sin, let him chastise with stripes and bodily punishment, knowing that it is written: “The fool is not corrected with words.”2 And again: "Strike thy son with the rod, and thou shalt deliver his soul from death." 3
The Abbot ought always to remember what he is, and what he is called, and that unto whom more is entrusted, from him more is exacted. Let him consider how difficult and hard a task he hath undertaken, to govern souls, and to accommodate himself to the humours of many, some of whom must be led by fair speeches, others by sharp reprehensions, and others by persuasion. Therefore let him so adapt himself to the character and intelligence of each one, that he may not only suffer no loss in the flock committed to him, but may even rejoice in the increase and profit of his virtuous flock,
15 Jan. Ante omnia, ne dissimulans, aut parvi15 Sept. pendens salutem animarum sibi commissarum, plus gerat sollicitudinem de rebus transitoriis, et terrenis atque caducis, sed semper cogitet quia animas suscepit regendas, de quibus et rationem redditurus est. Et ne causetur forte de minori substantia, meminerit scriptum : "Primum quærite regnum Dei, et justitiam ejus, et hæc omnia adjicientur vobis." 1 Et iterum: "Nihil deest timentibus eum." 2
Sciatque quia, qui suscipit animas regendas, præparet se ad rationem reddendam. Et quantum sub cura sua fratrum se habere scierit numerum, agnoscat pro certo, quia in die judicii ipsarum omnium animarum est redditurus Domino rationem, sine dubio addita et suæ animæ. Et ita timens semper futuram discussionem pastoris de creditis ovibus, cum de alienis ratiociniis cavet, redditur de suis sollicitus. Et cum de admonitionibus suis emendationem aliis subministrat, ipse efficitur a vitiis emendatus.
1 Matt. vi. 33.
Ps. xxxiii. 19.
Above all things, let him take heed not to slight or make little account of the souls committed to his keeping, and have more care for fleeting, worldly things than for them; but let him always consider that he hath undertaken the government of souls for which he shall also have to give an account. And that he may not complain for want of temporal means, let him remember that it is written: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all things shall be given to ye."1 And again : "Nothing is wanting to such as fear Him." 2
Let him know that the man who undertakes the government of souls must prepare himself to give an account of them. And how great soever the number of brethren may be, let him know for certain that at the day of judgment he will have to give to the Lord an account for all their souls as well as for his own. Thus, by fearing the examination which the shepherd must undergo for the flock committed to his charge, he is made solicitous on other men's account as well as careful on his own; and while reclaiming them by his admonitions, he is himself freed from all defects.
DE ADHIBENDIS AD CONSILIUM FRATRIBUS.
16 Jan. QUOTIES aliqua præcipua agenda sunt in 16 Sept. monasterio, convocet Abbas omnem congregationem, et dicat ipse unde agitur. Et audiens consilium fratrum, tractet apud se, et quod utilius judicaverit faciat. Ideo autem omnes ad consilium vocari diximus: quia sæpe juniori Dominus revelat quod melius est. Sic autem dent fratres consilium cum omni humilitatis subjectione, ut non præsumant procaciter defendere quod eis visum fuerit, sed magis in Abbatis pendeat arbitrio, ut quod salubrius esse judicaverit, ei cuncti obediant: sed sicut discipulis convenit obedire magistro; ita et ipsum provide, et juste condecet cuncta disponere.
OF CALLING THE BRETHREN TO COUNCIL.
As often as any weighty matters have to be debated in the monastery, let the Abbot call together all the Brethren, and himself declare what is the point under deliberation. Having heard their counsel, let him prudently weigh it with himself, and then do what he shall judge most expedient. The reason why we ordain that all be called to Council, is because the Lord often revealeth to the younger what is best. And let the Brethren give their advice with all subjection and humility, and presume not stiffly to defend their own opinion, but rather leave it to the discretion of the Abbot; and what he shall think more expedient, to that let them all submit; for, as it becometh the disciples to obey their master, so doth it behove the master to dispose all things with forethought and justice.