The Weak Have Nothing to Run From

I’m inspired and challenged by these words from chapter 64 of The Rule of St. Benedict: The Election of an Abbot:

“Goodness of life and wisdom in teaching must be the criteria for choosing the one to be made abbot, even if he is the last in community rank…

Once in office, the abbot must keep constantly in mind the nature of the burden he has received, and remember to whom he will have to give an account of his stewardship (Luke 16:2).  Let him recognize that his goal must be profit for the monks, not preeminence for himself.  He ought, therefore, to be learned in divine law, so that he has a treasury of knowledge from which he can bring out what is new and old (Matt. 13:52).  He must be chaste, temperate and merciful.  He should always let mercy triumph over judgment (James 2:13) so that he too may win mercy.  He must hate faults but love the brothers.  When he must punish them, he should use prudence and avoid extremes…

Let him strive to be loved rather than feared.

Excitable, anxious, extreme, obstinate, jealous or oversuspicious he must not be.  Such a man is never at rest.  Instead, he must show forethought and consideration in his orders, and whether the task he assigns concerns God of the world, he should be discerning and moderate…drawing on… discretion, the mother of virtues, he must so arrange everything that the strong have something to yearn for and the weak nothing to run from.”

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I Should Just Stick with Theology

I bought it for the title: In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks.
I bought it on a whim.

I was driving, listening to a conservative, Jewish talk show host who thinks and speaks with remarkable clarity, and was, for reasons I do not understand, interviewing Adam Carolla.

The Adam Carolla who has the most-listened-to podcast in the world.

The interview was funny – Adam has a remarkable ability to observe human behavior and point out the inherent humor in it.  I love this kind of work.

And I happen to agree with Adam’s basic concern about the increasing feminization (Adam uses another term) of American men.  I actually think it’s a real and serious problem.

But I should have just stopped with the title.  The content that followed (at least for the next 30 pages – I put it down and took a bath after that) was so thoroughly soaked in verbal sewage that I failed to notice the humor and human insight.  I was too busy trying to rescue my mind from the wretched imagery evoked in nearly every sentence.

I truly appreciate accurate language, so occasionally a colorful phrase is simply the best one to choose (in my opinion).  Mostly, poor language is simply laziness.  You’re not willing to put forth the effort to express yourself precisely, so you just choose from about six words and make it a noun, verb, or adjective – whatever fits.

Adam writes with such vulgarity that if the publisher were to censor the profanity this book would be reduced to a pamphlet.

Should have spent my $12 on something else – anything else – beets, even.