If any brother
happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
he should humbly give the reason
for denying the improper request. – excerpt from the Rule of St. Benedict, ch. 31
Imagine that, a community where the members humbly give reasons for denying another’s request. The communities I am part of are more characterized by falsehood and passive-aggressive behavior. If one doesn’t want to give in to an unreasonable request then one simply needs to blame others or make fictitious excuses for why it can’t be done. Or worse, one agrees verbally but then acts in the contrary. What might our communities – churches, schools, work places, homes, etc. – look like if we humbly spoke the truth to each other?