30.HOW CHILDREN ARE TO BE CORRECTED.
Every age and understanding ought to have a measure of government suitable to it. As often therefore as children, or those under age, commit faults, and are incapable of understanding the greatness of the punishment of excommunication, let them be punished by rigorous fasting, or sharp stripes, that so they may be corrected.
45. OF THOSE WHO COMMIT ANY FAULT IN THE ORATORY.
If any one, while reciting a psalm, responsory, antiphon, or lesson, shall make any mistake
and do not forthwith atone for it before all, let him be liable to greater punishment, as
one who will not correct by humility, what he hath done amiss through negligence. But for
such a fault, let children be beaten.
If I say: “St. Benedict was a holy man, St. Gregory was pious and one of the elect!” it does not follow by any means that then everything they said and did was holy and good and must be accepted and taught. Do not draw such a conclusion. For they, too, were human. This text [John 2:23-24] tells us that many believed in Christ, but that nevertheless He did not trust Himself to them. Why, then, do you insist on trusting yourself to these men and following them? There is more in man than just his faith. There is the old Adam; flesh and blood still cling to us. Furthermore, the devil desires to sift man as wheat is sifted, as Christ says to St. Peter (Luke 22:31). Therefore man can indeed err and fall. Now how will you proceed? Will you condemn these men? No, I do not intend to condemn Benedict and others. But I do propose to take their books and carry them to Christ and to His Word as a criterion for comparison, to submit St. Francis’ rule to Christ’s Gospel for a judgment. If their doctrine agrees with the Gospel, I shall accept it; if not, I shall say: “You may be a holy man, but you will never subject me to your rule; for it is a human bauble. Therefore let the devil adopt it! I do not want it!” [LW 22:259]