24 August – Daily Reading of the Rule of St. Benedict

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April 24, August 24, December 24

Chapter 66: On the Porters of the Monastery

At the gate of the monastery
let there be placed a wise old woman,
who knows how to receive and to give a message,
and whose maturity will prevent her from straying about.
 
This porter should have a room near the gate,
so that those who come may always find someone at hand
 
to attend to their business.
And as soon as anyone knocks or a poor person hails her,
let her answer “Thanks be to God” or “A blessing!”
Then let her attend to them promptly,
with all the meekness inspired by the fear of God
and with the warmth of charity.

Should the porter need help, 
let her have one of the younger sisters.

If it can be done, 
the monastery should be so established
 
that all the necessary things,
 
such as water, mill, garden and various workshops,
 
may be within the enclosure,
 
so that there is no necessity
 
for the sisters to go about outside of it,
 
since that is not at all profitable for their souls.

We desire that this Rule be read often in the community, 
so that none of the sisters may excuse herself
 
on the ground of ignorance.

 

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