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Distinction of Persons

Let him make no distinction of persons in the monastery. Let him not love one more than another, unless it be one whom he finds better in good works or in obedience. Let him not advance one of noble birth ahead of one who was formerly a slave, unless there be some other reasonable ground for it. But if the Abbot for just reason think fit to do so, let him advance one of any rank whatever. Otherwise let them keep their due places; because, whether slaves or freemen, we are all one in Christ and bear an equal burden of service in the army of the same Lord. For with God there is no respect of persons. Only for one reason are we preferred in His sight: if we be found better than others in good works and humility. Therefore let the Abbot show equal love to all and impose the same discipline on all according to their deserts.

– Chapter 2 “What Kind of Man the Abbot Ought to Be” Part 4

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Benedict’s perspective seems to be that in Christ there is no longer freeman or slave because we are all slaves to Christ, which is freedom. There is neither rich nor poor because we are all poor, which makes us rich.

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