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Unauthorized Association With The Excommunicated

Wednesday, July 3, 2024
Chapter 26

If anyone, acting without an order from the prioress or abbot, presumes to associate in any way with an excommunicated member, to converse with them or to send them a message, they should receive a like punishment of excommunication.

Contemporary psychology talks a great deal about the need to be a support to people under stress. Popular psychology has not often made a distinction between positive and negative support. It is not supportive to take away a person's heart medicine simply because they do not like the taste of it. It is not supportive to fail to set a broken leg simply because the setting will be painful. It is not supportive to deny people the right and the environment to think a situation through, to recommit themselves, to gain perspective, to work things out without dividing the community over them. Sometimes pain itself cures. Benedict wants the cure to have the time to heal. Meddling, agitating, distracting a person from the great work of growth at such an important time in a person's life is grave fault itself.