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4134Holy Rule for Mar. 15

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    Mar 14, 2013

      Prayers, please, for Michael LoPiccolo, still having bladder spasms and catheter probems, blood clots and bleeding. Prayers fpor continued healing. Prayers for Genny, his wife, on her 73rd birthday, and sp[ecial prayers for the strengthening of her heart muscle.

      Prayers for Pope Francis I, may he lead a Church willing to follow and may all our divisions and flaws be healed.

      Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI as he lives his life of prayer for the Church.

      Prayers for Gary, in ICU, the doctors are not entirely sure what is wrong with him, and he's not getting any better at the moment. The problem seems to be with his heart but he can't breathe for himself and his kidneys aren't working well either. All prayers gratefully received.

      Two weeks after giving birth to her first child, a healthy baby girl, Debby's daughter is seriously ill and has been admitted to the hospital. It looks like a long road to recovery. Prayers please for a miraculously speedy recovery. Prayers too for her husband, new baby, and her parents, and for Debby (and her husband holding down the fort at home) who is presently with the young family, helping them to weather this trial

      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 15, July 15, November 14
      Chapter 36: On the Sick

      Before all things and above all things, care must be taken of the
      sick, so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;
      for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" (Matt 25:36),
      and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me"

      But let the sick on their part consider that they are being served
      for the honor of God, and let them not annoy their sisters who are
      serving them by their unnecessary demands. Yet they should be
      patiently borne with, because from such as these is gained a more
      abundant reward. Therefore the Abbess shall take the greatest care
      that they suffer no neglect.

      For these sick let there be assigned a special room and an
      attendant who is God-fearing, diligent and solicitous. Let the use
      of baths be afforded the sick as often as may be expedient; but to
      the healthy, and especially to the young, let them be granted more
      Moreover, let the use of meat be granted to the sick who are very
      weak, for the restoration of their strength; but when they are
      convalescent, let all abstain from meat as usual.

      The Abbess shall take the greatest care that the sick be not
      neglected by the cellarers or the attendants; for she also is
      responsible for what is done wrongly by her disciples.


      We serve the sick "for the honor of God." That is important to remember,
      both for ourselves and for the sick. We serve Christ in the sick,
      it is Him we visit. That, too, must be held in view by both patient
      and caregiver.

      I monasteries and in the world, one can get too used to always having
      people come to one under their own steam. When the sick can no longer
      do this, it is treacherously easy to forget them, to write them off. Some
      folks just stay out of the way of sick people, for whatever reason, but
      that must not be our way.

      Oblates in the world can find ample opportunities to visit the sick. A
      caregiver who is overwrought may welcome a respite, even of a few
      hours in the day, to tend to things not easily done otherwise, or even
      just for rest and recovery. Why not offer? Why not volunteer at a
      nursing home or adult day care center? Visiting friends in the hospital
      is another way, and one we should not omit. "I was sick and you
      visited Me."

      We are to care for the sick "before all things and above all things."
      That means that a Benedictine should be known as much for care of the
      sick as we are for hospitality or liturgy. It should be one of the things
      that stand out in a Benedictine.

      An interesting aside here is the last word on the Abbess: she is responsible
      for what her disciples do (or don't do.) That is an awesome responsibility,
      but it is very real. With the Benedictine Abbot or Abbess, the buck really
      does stop there, as the Rule frequently reminds us.

      Love and prayers,
      Br. Jerome Leo, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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