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

January 13, 2010

In her teaching 
the Abbess should always follow the Apostle’s formula:
“Reprove, entreat, rebuke” (2 Tim. 4:2); 
threatening at one time and coaxing at another
as the occasion may require, 
showing now the stern countenance of a mistress, 
now the loving affection of a mother. 
That is to say, 
it is the undisciplined and restless
whom she must reprove rather sharply;
it is the obedient, meek and patient
whom she must entreat to advance in virtue;
while as for the negligent and disdainful,
these we charge her to rebuke and correct.

And let her not shut her eyes to the faults of offenders; 
but, since she has the authority, 
let her cut out those faults by the roots 
as soon as they begin to appear, 
remembering the fate of Heli, the priest of Silo (1 Kings 2-4).
The well-disposed and those of good understanding 
let her correct with verbal admonition the first and second time. 
But bold, hard, proud and disobedient characters 
she should curb at the very beginning of their ill-doing 
by stripes and other bodily punishments, 
knowing that it is written,
“the fool is not corrected with words” (Prov. 18:2; 29:19), 
and again, 
“Beat your son with the rod,
and you will deliver his soul from death”(Prov. 23:13-14).

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