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4155Holy Rule for Apr. 5

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    Apr 4, 2013

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Lori, who we have prayed for before, battled cancer for a few hard years but grew immensely in her faith and died a happy death. Deo gratias! Prayers also for her husband Bill and family and all who mourn her.

      Prayers for the following:

      a woman overwhelmed at work, with stakes high, needing courage, confidence and strength.

      Tom, feeling worse and now has a fever.

      Flo, eye double vision & macular degeneration.

      Healing of John's ankle.

      Healing for those with alcohol addiction.

      For protection, courage,& strength for all clergy.

      Joy, mother of 3, colon cancer

      Rick, diagnosed with brain cancer. For him and his family as they navigate a difficult path-and may God's peace and mercy greet them along the way

      Deo gratias for:

      Employment opportunties hvae increased for Bob.

      John has sold several homes.

      Mary Claire home after surgery,Dr. feels they removed all cancer cells.

      Praise & Thanksgiving for Mary Frances in successes in school work

      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

      April 5, August 5, December 5
      Chapter 53: On the Reception of Guests

      Let there be a separate kitchen for the Abbot and guests,
      that the brethren may not be disturbed when guests,
      who are never lacking in a monastery,
      arrive at irregular hours.
      Let two brethren capable of filling the office well
      be appointed for a year to have charge of this kitchen.
      Let them be given such help as they need,
      that they may serve without murmuring.
      And on the other hand,
      when they have less to occupy them,
      let them go out to whatever work is assigned them.
      And not only in their case
      but in all the offices of the monastery
      let this arrangement be observed,
      that when help is needed it be supplied,
      and again when the workers are unoccupied
      they do whatever they are bidden.
      The guest house also shall be assigned to a brother
      whose soul is possessed by the fear of God.
      Let there be a sufficient number of beds made up in it;
      and let the house of God be managed by prudent men
      and in a prudent manner.
      On no account shall anyone who is not so ordered
      associate or converse with guests.
      But if he should meet them or see them,
      let him greet them humbly, as we have said,
      ask their blessing and pass on,
      saying that he is not allowed to converse with a guest.


      It is the last part which strikes me. Many monasteries no longer
      enforce it strictly. However, it brings to mind a rule of
      thumb that may be applied in other situations.
      Like any rule of thumb, there may be exceptions, but watch the
      reactions of monastics whose silence or enclosure is intruded upon
      very carefully. You can learn a lot about the monastic in question
      from them.

      When the reaction makes the guest (who, after all, probably didn't
      know any better,) feel dirty or small or terribly wrong, you can
      safely guess that the monastic in question has a lot of growing up to
      do. I have never seen a truly holy and wise monastic react in such
      a way, never.

      Silence and enclosure are very effective tools, but they are means to an
      end. They can never be ends in themselves. The holy use of these
      tools is quite likely to produce wonderful results, but their unholy
      use can be just as likely to stall progress and growth outright.

      Look at the many Desert Father accounts of guests arriving
      unexpectedly. The elder dropped fast, silence and everything,
      entertaining with gratitude. Now and then one sees
      a different response, a very cold response, when the elder KNOWS the
      intentions of the guest are flawed, but we rarely know such things
      about guests.

      We are called to bear all things, ALL things sweetly and without a lot
      of fuss. That does not mean we have to like them, merely that we have
      to be cheerful about them and hide our displeasure. We must accept,
      rather than undergo, a wonderful principle from Dom Jean-Marie Dechanet, OSB.

      There is probably a good deal more grace in the smiling acceptance
      of an annoyance than there would be in lofty, untrammeled, silent prayer.
      If there were not, God, Who is always merciful and generous, would never have
      allowed the opportunity to come to us. What we make of its potential
      boon is our own affair and, sometimes, our own maturity, as well.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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