In this chapter our Father Benedict demonstrates compassion and generosity rather than reprimand and austerity in response to the infirm and needy within the community. It is with a disposition of gentleness that we are to treat ourselves and each other along the Benedictine path, especially when one of us needs assistance to continue moving forward.
Our endeavors together are not in the service of an ideal or even of a vow or promise made. Our practices, animated by our clear intention, are designed to transform us into beings who are fully at home where God is at home. And if we are to be transformed at all, we must begin from where we actually are right now, spiritually and circumstantially. Let us be present to our weaknesses and humble enough to acknowledge them. Any other posture--pride, shame, defiance, resentment--sets our feet upon a path of our own making that leads far from our true home.