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4030Holy Rule for Dec. 4

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    Dec 3, 2012
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      Prayers for the eternal rest of Janet, and for her husband, children and granddaughters and all who mourn her, esp. Marialyce, her best friend since second grade.

      Today is a special day of prayer for peace in Syria, please join all those praying at the request of the Cathoic Bishops of England and Wales.

      Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Linda's Mom, she had breast cancer 15 years ago, but surgery and radiation got rid of it. Now, she has a lump in her breast and is going in for a biopsy this week. Please pray that it isn't a recurrence of the cancer.

      Avery, 4, hit his head and had a seizure, then surgery on his head, presumably to relieve prerssure on his brain and now in a coma, and for all his family.

      Rose begins treatment for her liver tomorrow, she had Hepatitis C many years ago, and it caused great damage. She is very hopeful that this treatment will help.

      Sadie, 7, has serious heart disease and anaemia, and ended up needing a blood transfusion. The next night she took some kind of turn, so they flew her down to a specialist children's hospital. Andrew, Sadie's father, also has heart trouble. Please pray for Sadie's healing (and Andrew's), and also for comfort and strength for the family.

      Lord, help them 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

      April 4, August 4, December 4

      Chapter 53: On the Reception of Guests

      Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ,
      for He is going to say,
      "I came as a guest, and you received Me" (Matt. 25:35).
      And to all let due honor be shown,
      especially to the domestics of the faith and to pilgrims.

      As soon as a guest is announced, therefore,
      let the Superior or the brethren meet him
      with all charitable service.
      And first of all let them pray together,
      and then exchange the kiss of peace.
      For the kiss of peace should not be offered
      until after the prayers have been said,
      on account of the devil's deceptions.

      In the salutation of all guests, whether arriving or departing,
      let all humility be shown.
      Let the head be bowed
      or the whole body prostrated on the ground
      in adoration of Christ, who indeed is received in their persons.

      After the guests have been received and taken to prayer,
      let the Superior or someone appointed by him sit with them.
      Let the divine law be read before the guest for his edification,
      and then let all kindness be shown him.
      The Superior shall break his fast for the sake of a guest,
      unless it happens to be a principal fast day
      which may not be violated.
      The brethren, however, shall observe the customary fasts.
      Let the Abbot give the guests water for their hands;
      and let both Abbot and community wash the feet of all guests.
      After the washing of the feet let them say this verse:
      "We have received Your mercy, O God,
      in the midst of Your temple" (Ps.47:10).

      In the reception of the poor and of pilgrims
      the greatest care and solicitude should be shown,
      because it is especially in them that Christ is received;
      for as far as the rich are concerned,
      the very fear which they inspire
      wins respect for them.

      REFLECTION

      So much is written about Benedictine hospitality that I thought,
      after nearly 12 years of caring for the guesthouse, I'd write about
      some of the
      things it is NOT, since people sometimes seem confused by this. Yes,
      we are told to receive all as Christ, but at the onset a salient
      difference or two between Christ Himself and the guests becomes
      evident. Christ was sinless, Christ was not a threat to others,
      Christ was perfect in mind and body and soul.

      When I was guestmaster, I was told of a few people who in no way
      were ever to be accepted again. For one reason or another, the
      community absolutely did not want them here again. A few- very few-
      added themselves to that list in my time. It is useful to
      note that often these people put either themselves or others
      or both at risk for one reason or another. There were some the
      monastics were downright afraid of, others whom other guests would
      have feared had they only known.

      One absolutely stunned into silence an entire group of retreatants of
      which she was not a member by an outburst of verbally violent abuse
      and belligerence that none had seen coming at all. She really ruined
      the retreat for them, destroyed everyone's peace and the peace of the
      house. Everyone walked on eggs for the rest of the weekend. Sorry,
      doesn't happen here twice.

      One can demonstrate this principle clearly by going even a notch
      above the guesthouse: come to join the monastery addicted to
      disrupting the peace and you will be escorted out, probably well
      before vows.

      People do not enjoy Benedictine hospitality as an always
      and everywhere right. As in any human area, the rights of others must
      be considered and sometimes decisively so. A monastery is a haven of
      peace, but it has to take steps to ensure that it remains that for as
      many as possible.

      Love and prayers,

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



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