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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Are you a good cellarer?

By Barabara A. Schoeneberger,

Monk Feeding the Poor by Louis Gaillet
Monk Feeding the Poor by Gaillet

A central figure in the life of a Benedictine monastery is the cellarer. Hmmm. What does that have to do with me? I’m not a monk or nun and what the heck is a cellarer anyway? In Chapter 31 of his holy rule, St. Benedict clearly defines what kind of man the cellarer should be, and light bulbs went on when I read this section of  a document that guided the lives of many beginning over 1600 years ago. I should care and it does have a lot to do with me and everyone else today who calls himself Christian. How?

The cellarer, called the “steward”, is the monk charged by the Abbot with the whole administration of all temporal things at the monastery. He is the one everybody must go to for food, clothing, tools, supplies, etc. Obviously, this is a person of power because he has authority over the distribution of earthly goods necessary to daily living, not unlike the head of a family today, the pastor of a parish, the boss at work, etc. In a way, most of us are cellarers because most of us have some charge of earthly goods in relation to others.

We have now leapt from the 400s into the 21st century.

Attributes of the cellarer

As cellarer of the monastery let there be chosen from the community one who is wise, of mature character, sober, not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable, not offensive, not slow, not wasteful, but a God-fearing man who may be like a father to the whole community.

 Continue reading at Barb's blog  Suffering With Joy

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful way of making the Benedictine Rule so clearly relevant to each of us in our daily lives. Thank you for sharing and livng your vocation so openly and lovingly.


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