For the Abbot must have the utmost solicitude
and exercise all prudence and diligence
lest he lose any of the sheep entrusted to him.
Let him know that what he has undertaken is
the care of weak souls and not a tyranny over
strong ones; and let him fear the Prophet's warning
through which God says, "What you saw to be fat
you took to yourselves, and what was feeble you cast
away" (Ezek. 34:3,4).
Let him rather imitate the loving example of the Good
Shepherd who left the ninety-nine sheep in the
mountains and went to look for the one sheep that
had gone astray, on whose weakness He had such
compassion that He deigned to place it on His
own sacred shoulders and thus carry it back to
the flock (Luke 15:4-5).
This is from the rule of St. Benedict, the most
well known rules created for Christians living
in community, and as contemporary and sensible
today as it was when it was written 1500 years ago!
It is an increasingly grievious time as those who
call themselves "Christian leaders" move farther
and farther away from the Shepherd-Heart
of Christ. I read these words today and wept
at their truth and wept because they described
more of the current state of the Church then we
want to know.
God had given me this same verse
from Ezekiel last year. It is sobering and heart
wrenching....let us be about our Great Shepherd's
business. Start where you are--shepherd
one, go after one lost one, strengthen the
feeble, feed the lambs....
Rule of St. Benedict