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3223Holy Rule for Nov. 2

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    Nov 1, 2010
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      Prayers, please, for all the victims of the hostage attack on the Syrian Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad, for the eternal rest of the 7 killed and for the 20 wounded, and for the insurgents who staged this massacre, as well as the families of all and the troops who stormed the cathedral to end the crisis.

      Deo gratias: The female missing person we prayed for has been found.

      Prayers, please, for Patrick, struck by a train and multiple serious injuries. He will lose both his feet. Prayers for all his loved ones and those taking care of him.

      Prayers for all the Faithful Departed on this Feast of All Souls, may they all
      speed to heaven and eteranl bliss.

      Belated birthday prayers for our Sr. Mary Herbert, on her 95th birthday.

      Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all
      their loved ones and for all who take care of them:

      Cathy, Lee and Ray, mental illness.

      Continued prayers for Greg, multiple myeloma.

      Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and
      grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL

      March 3, July 3, November 2
      Chapter 26: On Those Who Without an Order Associate with the
      Excommunicated

      If any sister presumes without an order from the Abbess to
      associate in any way with an excommunicated sister, or to speak
      with her,or to send her a message, let her incur a similar
      punishment of excommunication.


      REFLECTION


      This chapter was written for those who had already gone through all
      the earlier stages. They wound up in the ultimate form of monastic
      exclusion. At that point, one must leave the monastic and Abbot to
      themselves and pray. We are not called to play good cop/bad cop any
      longer.

      We must stand back in prayerful silence. God gave the monastic and
      the superior and the Abbey to each other. It is folly of the
      richest sort to assume He didn't know what He was doing. God also
      gave the parent and child, boss and employee, and the spouses to
      each other.

      Remember, at some point one must do nothing but pray.
      There are plenty of ways to be genuinely helpful before that point
      is reached and one ought to do so. I surely tried to love my
      students who broke my heart with their pain, but at some point I
      was helpless.
      God gave X this parent and God is not mean. Cannot be. Will never
      be. I had to trust Him at that extreme and pray for the best, which
      is all God works for anyway. And God works MUCH more efficiently
      than I do.

      Our railing at the seeming harshness of this chapter can cover
      another very important fact. Sometimes WE are the seemingly
      malevolent torturers and we don't even see that. Rare is the person
      who can truly judge themselves with the standards they
      apply to others! Even worse, it often happens that we are BOTH the
      torturer and the innocent victim, doing it most hatefully within
      our hearts, where none but God can enter.

      Our own flawed and fallen hearts trash our own pathetic souls,
      beating them up with all kinds of useless recrimination and self-
      loathings. Whoops! Not what we would have first noticed, is it? Yet
      we sometimes lock the doors of that torture chamber with the key
      that locks out even God: free will. We and we alone can thwart God
      in our own regard. Scary power, isn't it?

      Check out the times we have "excommunicated" ourselves, check out
      the times we have foolishly placed ourselves beyond any help from
      anyone. The injustice there is much harder for us to see, but it is
      terribly real. Whenever we do that, we affirm the terrible heresy
      that we know better than God, that His omniscience stops at the
      door to our inner
      selves. Wrong!!

      I love Gerard Manley Hopkins; he is my all-time favorite poet. I
      think he and I had more than a thing or two in common, not least of
      which were the tendencies to depression and beating oneself up with
      extreme efficiency. Here's something he wrote that sings to my
      heart, and I hope to yours as well.

      "My own heart let me more have pity on; let
      Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
      Charitable; not live this tormented mind
      With this tormented mind tormenting yet."

      Pray for the awful excommunications that you CANNOT help and look
      ever so carefully for those you and you alone can relieve, those of
      your own soul and heart! God alone can bring good from evil, any
      evil. Ask Him, let Him. He will never fail.

      A final word on this day when many of us are thinking on Purgatory.
      This is my own opinion, not official teaching, but I don't think it
      contradicts the teaching in any way. Try to think of Purgatory as
      also being our chance to forgive ourselves. Surely the awesome
      mercy and love of God are so infinite that many of us may have a
      hard time accepting them at first, a hard time forgiving OURSELVES
      for being so dumb. Purgatory might very well serve that purpose,
      too! We cannot, after all, be perfectly happy in Heaven until we
      are perfectly comfortable there. For that comfort, self-forgiveness
      is very necessary!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA



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