Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

January 11, 2010

 

Therefore, when anyone receives the name of Abbess, 
she ought to govern her disciples with a twofold teaching.
That is to say, 
she should show them all that is good and holy 
by her deeds even more than by her words, 
expounding the Lord’s commandments in words 
to the intelligent among her disciples, 
but demonstrating the divine precepts by her actions
for those of harder hearts and ruder minds. 
And whatever she has taught her disciples 
to be contrary to God’s law, 
let her indicate by her example that it is not to be done, 
lest, while preaching to others, she herself be found reprobate (1 Cor. 9:27),
and lest God one day say to her in her sin, 
“Why do you declare My statutes 
and profess My covenant with your lips, 
whereas you hate discipline 
and have cast My words behind you” (Ps. 49[50]:16-17)?
And again,
“You were looking at the speck in your brother’s eye, 
and did not see the beam in your own” (Matt. 7:3).

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