St. Benedict was no stranger to the nitty gritty of institutional authority dynamics. Clearly he had seen enough trouble around the issue of appointing a second in command that he saw fit in this passage to shed light on the primary circumstances surrounding that trouble. But the root of this trouble is deeper and more basic to the human experience than the circumstances described here. The root is egoic self-interest attached to a position of leadership. When leadership is exercised in the interest of the leader, it is not leadership in the Spirit of Christ.
Christ leads as a servant, leads as a slave -- humble, poor, marginalized -- without attachment to the interests of the small self. A leader with the eyes of Christ perceives the true needs of the one who rises up to usurp her authority. A leader with the heart of Christ desires to fulfill that true need, even if it is fulfilled at great personal expense. Such a leader can genuinely utter the words, "Abba, forgive them, for they know not what they do," in the wake of betrayal, a sham trial, and from the midst of a brutal execution.