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Life of Our Most Holy Father St. Benedict
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CHAPTER LXI.

Of monks that are strangers, how they are to be received.

If any Monk who is a stranger shall come from distant places and desire to dwell in the Monastery as a guest, and being content with the customs he findeth there, doth not trouble the Monastery by his superfluous wants, but is satisfied with what he findeth, let him be entertained for as long a time as he desireth. And if he reasonable, and with loving humility, reprehend or point out any abuse, let the Abbot prudently take notice of what he saith; for the Lord hath perchance sent him for that very reason. But if, after a time, he should desire to take up his abode there, let him not be refused; especially since they had ample opportunities for discovering his manner of life, during the time he lived among them as a guest.

If, however, during that time he was found troublesome or faulty, not only shall he not be incorporated with the Community, but even be told with all civility to depart, lest others should be corrupted by his bad behaviour. But if he doth not deserve to be sent away, not only let him be received into the society of the community, when he makes the request, but let him even be persuaded to stay, that by his example others may be instructed; because in every place we serve one God, and fight under one King.

The Abbot may also put him in a somewhat higher rank, if he shall find him well deserving of it. And not only may the Abbot exalt a Monk to a higher place than is his due, but also any of the aforesaid Priests or Clerics, if their lives be such as to deserve it. Let the Abbot, however, beware never at anytime to receive a Monk into his Community from a known Monastery, without the consent of his Abbot, or letters of commendation from him, because it is written: “What thou wilt not have done to thyself, do not thou to another.”195195Matth. vii. 12.


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