Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 32

We keep moving along with the daily administrative routine of the monastery. I know that we may think that these details are boring, or just menial things added, but there is wisdom in each chapter.


Chapter 32. THE TOOLS AND GOODS OF THE MONASTERY

  1.  The goods of the monastery, that is, it's tools, clothing or anything else, should be entrusted to brothers whom the abbot appoints and in whose manner of life he has confidence.
  2. He will, as he sees fit, issue to them the various articles to be cared for and collected after use. 
  3. The abbot will maintain a list of these, so that when the brothers succeed one another in their assigned tasks, he may be aware of what he hands out and what he receives back.
  4. Whoever fails to keep the things belonging to the monastery clean or treats them carelessly should be reproved.
  5. If he does not amend, let him be subjected to the discipline of the rule.
This seems so very similar to a supply sergeant in the military; he takes care of the different miscellany belonging to the unit, and assigns those out to whichever individual has need of whichever items. He also keeps records, in the form of a handreceipt, so he knows who has what, and when who had what.

I often wonder how much of what was done in Benedictine monasteries just became so ingrained with life in Western Europe that it carried over into everyday life of the laity, and into the military as well. Or is it the other way around?
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