Would we really help a stranger?

To help in tribulation (Rule of Benedict 4.18)

blue teenager

Stranger in distress

We usually think we are helpful people.  Everyone thinks they would help someone in serious need.  

Social science tells a different story. People walk past a distressed stranger. We are afraid helping will take a lot of time, or be dangerous. We don’t know what to say or do. So we don’t act. (Watch this happen in the video.)

StBenedict’s instruction is a tool to break the norm of non-involvement. When we follow it, we generate more good works than the few we give.  One person offering help shifts the norm; others will follow.  

Will I be the one today?


Tooling Through Lent is a series of brief reflections on Chapter 4 of the Rule of Benedict, The Tools for Good Works.

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About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota
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