I was reading this morning what Benedict says in his rule about the cellarer (the person in a benedictine community who distributes needed goods to members).  How mundane (and necessary)!  Benedict says that the cellarer is “to perform the duties of the office calmly” and that “necessary items are to be requested and given at the proper times, so that no one may be disquieted or distressed.”  I found myself thinking about Jesus, healing on the sabbath.  Is it right to do good or to do wrong on the sabbath?  The sabbath is a good thing.  But it can be used as an excuse to do harm, to refuse to help someone in need because we are following the rules.  How one gives the necessities of life (a good thing also) similarly can be done in ways that are healthy and helpful or in ways that cause harm to others.  Again, fussy rule keeping can be an excuse to harm others rather than to help them.  Joan Chittister suggests that the person with a Benedictine spirit “learns to err on the side of largesse of spirit.”

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