CHAPTER XXV. Of Graver Faults
2 Mar. 2 July. 1 Nov.
Let that brother who is found guilty of a more grievous offence be excluded both from the table and from the Oratory, and let none of the brethren consort with him or speak to him. Let him be alone at the work enjoined him, and continue in penance and sorrow, remembering that dreadful sentence of the Apostle, “That such a one is delivered over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” Let him take his portion of food alone, in the measure and at the time that the Abbot shall think best for him. Let none of those who pass by bless him, nor the food that is given him.
This morning in Chapter we read Chapter XXV of the Holy Rule, Of Graver Faults, one of eight chapters (XXIII–XXX) that are sometimes called Saint Benedict’s “Penal Code”. While these chapters do, in fact, treat of faults and of the chastisement of offenders, Saint Benedict’s perspective is medicinal and therapeutic (in the best sense of this word,