Et semper superexaltet misericordiam iudicio

Left to right: D. Finnian; D. Benedict; Dom Elijah; Father Prior; His Lordship, Dr Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath; The Rt Reverend Father Abbot of Flavigny, D. Antoine–Marie Beauchef; D. Basil Mary (Flavigny)

The Bishop of Meath Visits Silverstream

Our esteemed bishop, the Most Reverend Dr Michael Smith visited Silverstream yesterday. His Lordship was happy to make the acquaintance of the Father Abbot of Saint–Joseph–de–Flavigny and of Dom Basil Mary, also of Flavigny.

Father Abbot of Flavigny
The Father Abbot of Flavigny, Dom Antoine–Marie Beauchef, is spending the week with us at Silverstream. Father Abbot was kind enough to give us the Chapter talk this morning, speaking in French while Father Prior translated. Father Abbot made a wonderful synthesis of Saint Benedict’s teaching on the abbot and his mission, emphasising the need for recourse to the Holy Ghost and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Immaculate Spouse. The appointed passage of the Holy Rule for 21 August is taken from Chapter 64:

Let him that hath been appointed Abbot always bear in mind what a burden he hath received, and to Whom he will have to give an account of his stewardship; and let him know that it beseemeth him more to profit his brethren than to preside over them. He must, therefore, be learned in the Law of God, that he may know whence to bring forth new things and old: he must be chaste, sober, merciful, ever preferring mercy to justice, that he himself may obtain mercy. Let him hate sin, and love the brethren. And even in his corrections, let him act with prudence, and not go too far, lest while he seeketh too eagerly to scrape off the rust, the vessel be broken. Let him keep his own frailty ever before his eyes, and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken. And by this we do not mean that he should suffer vices to grow up; but that prudently and with charity he should cut them off, in the way he shall see best for each, as we have already said; and let him study rather to be loved than feared. Let him not be violent nor over anxious, not exacting nor obstinate, not jealous nor prone to suspicion, or else he will never be at rest. In all his commands, whether concerning spiritual or temporal matters, let him be prudent and considerate. In the works which he imposeth, let him be discreet and moderate, bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, when he said “If I cause my flocks to be overdriven, they will all perish in one day.” Taking, then, the testimonies, borne by these and the like words, to discretion, the mother of virtues, let him so temper all things, that the strong may have something to strive after, and the weak nothing at which to take alarm. And, especially, let him observe this present Rule in all things; so that, having faithfully fulfilled his stewardship, he may hear from the Lord what that good servant heard, who gave wheat to his fellow-servants in due season: “Amen, I say unto you, over all his goods shall he place him.”