The Holy Rule of Saint Augustine – Chapter 7

December 31, 2007


The Manner of Commanding and Obeying

44. Obey your superior as a father, but especially the priest who takes care of you all. 45. In order that all these things will be observed, and if anything has been observed less faithfully, it will not be passed over carelessly but carefully amended and corrected. It shall be the special duty of the superior to refer such things as exceed his authority and ability to the priest who holds the greater authority among you.

46. Let the superior consider himself happy, not because of his power to rule, but for his opportunity to rule in charity. Let him hold a position of honor in your midst, but before God let him lie prostrate at your feet. He shall show himself in all things an example of good works. He shall restrain the restless, comfort the downhearted, care for the sick and be patient with all. Let him eagerly observe discipline but impose it with holy fear. And although both are necessary, he should seek to be loved rather than feared by you, always mindful that he shall have to render an account for you before God.

47. Be, therefore, the more obedient out of compassion not only for yourselves but also for him, because the higher his position among you, so much greater is the danger in which he lives.