to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Our community's Matronal Feast
The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 45
In July of 2011 I spent two weeks at St. Gregory's Abbey in Three Rivers, Michigan as a part of their Summer Vocation program. I saw the instructions from Chapter 45 (aside from the last sentence) play out several times during my time at St. Gregory's. Almost every member of the community, including the Abbot, at one point or another, made a mistake on a Psalm tone or on a reading and immediately performed a small, quick genuflection toward the Superior or the next-highest ranking member of the community. This little action seemed to be the beginning and the end of the matter, and I felt it to be refreshing to have such a clear procedure for addressing mistakes rather than a muddled series of apologies and/or reprimands and/or passive-aggressive silence and/or cloying assurances.
As our Father Benedict indicates, the issue for the offender is that of humility, which, in truth, needs not speak a word of excuse or defense. And the issue for the Superior and community is that of holding the space for that humility to manifest without undue commentary or judgment.