The abbot is not to make any distinction of persons in the monastery. He should not love one more than another unless he finds one better in good actions and obedience. A free-born man is not to be put before a slave who becomes a monk, except for some other reasonable cause. Although, if justice requires it, the abbot may see fit to change anyone’s rank. Otherwise let each keep to his regular place, because whether we are slaves or free, we are all one in Christ (Gal 3:28), Eph. 6:8) and serve alike in the army of the Lord; for with God there is no partiality among persons (Rom. 2:11).

Solely in this only are we distinguished in his sight: if we are found t surpass others in good works and in humility. Therefore, let the abbot show equal love to all and impose on all the same discipline, according to their merits.

Rule of Benedict, Chapter 2


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