Evil for evil

Not to return evil for evil.
Not to cause injury, but rather to bear it patiently.

(cf 1Thess 5:15, 1Pet 3:9. Rule of Benedict 4.29-39)


Pax over the Abbey entrance at Monte Cassino in Italy
Entrance to St Benedict’s monastery at Monte Cassino in Italy.

Benedictines inscribe “Pax” over their doors. “Seek after peace and pursue it,” StBenedict wrote.  Here are two tools for the pursuit.

We will encounter evil that we cannot avoid. It may injure us, perhaps grievously. StBenedict warns us not to mirror evil ways. Modern minds rebel at bearing injury patiently, but it is the path that Jesus chose.

It community, we cause unintentional pain to others, by action and word. Pursuing peace is a two-fold path. To renounce the urge to return an evil, we must be always ready to receive one with patience. The next verse tells us how.

Tooling Through Lent is a series of brief reflections on Chapter 4 of the Rule of Benedict, The Tools for Good Works.

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