Community June 6
But a brother who is never willing to ask pardon, or does not do so from his
heart, has no reason to be in the monastery (Rule of Augustine, 42).
How often in human life is there a lack of honesty, a lack of courage to take responsibility for one’s own mistakes. This tendency dates from the creation of man and woman (Gn. 1:12-13). The tendency is not absent from religious life. Formerly in the Constitutions there was a practice that vigorously battled against it. It was called the “Chapter of Faults.” At least once a month, the confreres came together for an exercise of self-accusation. First, at the call of the superior, all the confreres made a gesture of self-humiliation. Together they knelt down, traced a cross on the ground with their thumb and kissed it. Getting back up, they were required to begin admitting their faults against the Constitutions, that is, some offense against community life like impoliteness toward another, a violation of the silence, using community property without permission, damaging community property, neglecting a task, etc. After a brief word of encouragement by the superior, the confreres left the chapter, each more aware of his role in the development or decline of community life. This is the kind of transparence without which a community does not function well.
Someone who jumps and falls in a fire has another jump to make. (Wolof)