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4460Holy Rule for Jan. 24

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    Jan 23, 2014
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      Prayers, please, for the following:
       
      Sam was in a car crash, and they had to replace his C5 vertebrae. He's unable to leave ICU to go to rehab, and has been there for over a week now. Prayers for him and his whole family as they continue to stay at the hospital to surround him with love.

      Matthew has numerous tumors and has a very poor prognosis for survival. Prayers for a happy, peaceful death and for God's love and support for his parents and family.
      Andrew Francis and his ministry and family, esp. for his son and his family.
       
      Fr. Nadeem and his parishoners and his ministry.
       
      David's Mom, very near death. For her happy death and for strength and consolation for David.
       
      Tyler, 8, for his eternal rest. He saved 6 people from a house fire and then died when he went back in to get his grandfather out. The grandfather and another relative also died. Prayers for them alll and for all who mourn them.
       
      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

      January 24, May 25, September 24
      Chapter 6: On the Spirit of Silence

      Let us do what the Prophet says:
      "I said, 'I will guard my ways,
      that I may not sin with my tongue.
      I have set a guard to my mouth.'
      I was mute and was humbled,
      and kept silence even from good things" (Ps. 38:2-3).
      Here the Prophet shows
      that if the spirit of silence ought to lead us at times
      to refrain even from good speech,
      so much the more ought the punishment for sin
      make us avoid evil words.


      Therefore, since the spirit of silence is so important,
      permission to speak should rarely be granted
      even to perfect disciples,
      even though it be for good, holy edifying conversation;
      for it is written,
      "In much speaking you will not escape sin" (Prov. 10:19),
      and in another place,
      "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21).


      For speaking and teaching belong to the mistress;
      the disciple's part is to be silent and to listen.
      And for that reason
      if anything has to be asked of the Superior,
      it should be asked
      with all the humility and submission inspired by reverence.


      But as for coarse jests and idle words
      or words that move to laughter,
      these we condemn everywhere with a perpetual ban,
      and for such conversation
      we do not permit a disciple to open her mouth.

      REFLECTION

      Ever wonder why speech is considered so dangerous? Because it can
      build up the false self, the very false self that we are trying to
      tear down with our other hand. Our arms can easily reach to the
      shoulders of that false self, patting it on the back and congratulating it.
      Wrong, wrong, wrong. The false self will grow and thrive badly enough
      on its own. Why on earth would we wish to offer it any mindless
      assistance?

      Let me speak for myself, here. Probably 90% of what comes out of my
      mouth other than prayer is unnecessary. A further percentage I am
      afraid to even stab at is downright harmful to me. I don't imagine I
      am terribly far from average in this respect. And talk about damage
      from second-hand speech. There are LOTS of things I wish I had never,
      ever heard. Wow, if only we would guard silence as zealously as smoke-
      free zones. Wouldn't that be right in line with fearing that which
      can destroy the soul more than that which kills the body alone? I
      seem to recall Someone having something to say along those lines.

      We aren't Trappists in the world. We cannot control our spaces as if
      they were monasteries, but we can and must control our own mouths.
      Total silence would likely be read as uncaring rudeness, but what
      about some alternative forms of silence? What if one resolved to
      speak not at all, all day, except in words of kindness, mercy or
      support, to never open one's mouth except to affirm.

      Now there's a thought. Could I have a seat in the no-griping section,
      please? Pursue that line of thinking, be creative. Fast for a week
      from contention and see what happens. Try a day of not talking at all
      about yourself. Try a whole day of asking others about themselves!
      One way or another, increase the levels of good one can do with
      speech and diminish those of harm.

      "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21)"

      Not just the tongue, folks, but the keyboard and any other writing
      instrument, too! Serenity cannot coexist with meanness of thought,
      word or deed. Doesn't happen. Serenity can be held only in a field of
      gentleness and deep, tender mercy!

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