Brother Rufin (home)

To a Minister

 To Brother N., minister: May the Lord bless you!
I speak to you, as I can, concerning the state of your soul. You should accept as a grace all those things which deter you from loving the Lord God and whoever has become an impediment to you, whether they are brothers or others, even if they lay hands on you.
And you should desire that things be this way and not otherwise.
And let this be an expression of true obedience to the Lord God and to me, for I know full well that this is true obedience.
And love those who do these things to you.
And do not expect anything different from them, unless it is something which the Lord shall have given to you.
And love them in this and do not wish that they be better Christians.
And let this be more valuable to you than a hermitage.
And by this I wish to know if you love the Lord God and me, his servant and yours if you have acted in this manner: that is, there should not be any brother in the world who has sinned, however much he may have possibly sinned, who, after he has looked into your eyes, would go away without having received your mercy, if he is looking for mercy.
And if he were not to seek mercy, you should ask him if he wants mercy.
And if he should sin thereafter a thousand times before your very eyes, love him more than me so that you may draw him back to the Lord. Always be merciful to brothers such as these.
And announce this to the guardians, as you can, that on your part you are resolved to act in this way.
At the Pentecost Chapter, however, with the help of God and the advice of the brothers, out of all the chapters of the Rule that treat of mortal sin we shall make one chapter such as this:
If any one of the brothers at the instigation of the enemy should sin mortally, he is bound by obedience to have recourse to his guardian. And all the brothers who might know that he has sinned are not to bring shame upon him or speak ill of him, but let them show great mercy toward him and keep most secret the sin of their brother; because it is not the healthy who are in need of the physician, but those who are sick. Likewise let them be bound by obedience to send him to his custodian with a companion. And let that custodian mercifully take care of him as he would like to be taken care of if he were in a similar position. And if he falls into some venial sin, let him confess this to a brother who is a priest. And if there is no priest at hand, let him confess to his brother, until he has contact with a priest who will absolve him canonically, as it has been laid down. And the brothers who are not priests should have no power to enjoin any other penance except this: Go and sin no more.
Keep this writing with you until the Chapter of Pentecost that it may be better observed, when you will be there with your brothers.
And you will take care to add, with the help of God, these things and all else which is lacking in the Rule.

Top of page

Made by Illustration by Laurent Bidot Translation : Cindy Garitan