Mentoring and Monitoring Benedictine
Voices From The Monastery
But before sharing from some of the voices from the monastery, here is a brief representation of the results from the survey in which I asked Benedictine administrators to indicate, using a 1-4 rating scale, which chapters of the Rule they considered not relevant, somewhat relevant, very relevant or essential to maintaining community in a higher education setting.
What follows is the results in descending order of those chapters the respondents considered most essential: chapter 72 "The Good Zeal of Monks"; chapter 2 "The Qualities of the Abbot"; chapter 53 "The Reception of Guests"; chapter 71 "Mutual Obedience"; chapter 3 "Summoning the Brothers for Counsel"; chapter 7 "Humility"; the Prologue; and chapter 73 "This Rule only a Beginning of Perfection."
The survey then asked the respondents to rank in descending order the chapters in the Rule that they viewed as most essential and then rank how well they perceived the implementation of those aspects on their respective campuses. For this presentation I will note some of the more interesting comparisons from the sections on the degree of relevance and the implementation on campus. The Prologue ranked at the top for most relevant, but ranked considerably lower on implementation. This passage from the Prologue resonates: "One who walks without blemish . . . and is just in all his dealings; who speaks the truth from his heart and has not practiced deceit with his tongue; who has not wronged a fellow man in any way, nor listened to slanders against his neighbor. . . ." Chapter 7 "Humility" ranked lower on degree of implementation than on relevance. Chapter 4 "Tools for Good Works" ranked ninth on degree of relevance but did not appear not on implementation ranking at all. "You are not to act in anger or nurse a grudge"; "Guard your lips from deceptive speech."