Parental responsibility

Let the abbot remember always that at the fearful judgment of God both his (the Abbot’s) teaching and the obedience of his disciples — both of these matters — will be examined. the abbot must, therefore, know that the shepherd will be considered at fault if the father of the household (paterfamilias) finds that the sheep have yielded no profit. If, on the other hand, he has exercised all pastoral diligence over a restless and disobedient flock, always striving to heal their unhealthy ways; then the shepherd will be acquitted at the Judgment of the Lord, and will say to the Lord with the prophet: I have not hidden your justice in my heart; I have declared your truth and your salvation (Ps. 40:11), but they condemned and spurned me (Isa. 1:2, Ezek. 20:27). Then at last the sheep disobedient to his care will be punished by overpowering death.

Rule of Benedict, Chapter 2

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