CHAPTER 37 - The Elderly and the Young

...they should certainly not be required to follow the strictness of the rule with regard to food, but should be treated with kindly consideration and allowed to eat before the regular hours. (RB 37:2-3)

This short chapter of the Rule of Benedict insists on people being kind, compassionate, and merciful to one another. Benedict doesn't seem to want to be living by the "letter of the law" but by the "spirit of the law". He asks us to adapt our schedules, our lives, our agendas, our very selves for the greater good. We are to see the needs of others and respond with pastoral care, concern and compassion.