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4463Holy Rule for Jan. 27

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    Jan 26, 2014
      Deo gratias, Claudia's knee pain is relieved.
      Prayers for the eternal rest of Eric, and for Cathy, his wife and all his family and all who mourn him.
      Deo gratias, the young woman working on a dissertation who was having a lot of problems with it was just offered a place to live at a remarkably affordable price. This is a major miracle and she knows it was due to all the prayers for her.
      She thanks everyone for their prayers.
      Prayers for Br. Timothy of Pluscarden on his feastday and for all our Timothys and Tituses.
      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 27, May 28, September 27
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      Let a man consider
      that God is always looking at him from heaven,
      that his actions are everywhere visible to the divine eyes
      and are constantly being reported to God by the Angels.
      This is what the Prophet shows us
      when he represents God as ever present within our thoughts,
      in the words "Searcher of minds and hearts is God" (Ps. 7:10)
      and again in the words "The Lord knows the thoughts of men" (Ps.
      Again he says,
      "You have read my thoughts from afar" (Ps. 138:3)
      and "The thoughts of people will confess to You" (Ps. 75:11).

      In order that he may be careful
      about his wrongful thoughts, therefore,
      let the faithful brother say constantly in his heart,
      "Then shall I be spotless before Him,
      if I have kept myself from my iniquity" (Ps. 17:24).


      One of the things I always wanted to get for Dame Maggie, my late
      cat, was a bird feeder that I saw. Picture an air conditioner put in
      a window backwards, with the protrusion inside. It was like that, but
      rather like an aquarium made of one way mirrors. The birds, all
      unwitting, came INSIDE to dine in that mirrored cube and I'll bet she
      would have loved it. Alas, the price was out of the question.

      Ah, how like those birds we are! Unfortunately, we CAN afford the
      cubes of mirrored walls all to easily: we create them ourselves, with
      our own illusions and ignorance and forgetfulness. We live and move
      in the falsity that we are unobserved. We forget altogether that God
      and His angels see us in every moment, in every place.

      Ever look over your shoulder to see if the boss was around? Ever
      relax because your parent or spouse was gone to the store and you had
      at least an hour of privacy? Most of us have. Kids behave differently
      (a LOT differently!!) when the teacher is out of the classroom or has
      turned away from them. We are conditioned to monitor our behavior
      according to who is or is not present.

      The the big-time difference with our loving God is that He is
      always in the office, never leaves the classroom, and never goes to
      the store. Faced with that truth, we defend ourselves with the only
      foolish thing we have left: forgetfulness of His presence. Well, sorry,
      beloveds, but it is false.

      He doesn't leave. He's always there. The spiritual world is all about us
      at every second, every instant. We just would rather not credit the
      fact, but that in no way makes it otherwise. It's a big mistake to
      think of the omnipresence of God as outdated, as something that
      happened "back then" but not now. That omnipresence never changes.

      Now, what is all this doing in a chapter on humility? Easy! We can be
      proud if we think we are not found out. The child who deals with a
      teacher who hasn't seen is a VERY different kid from the one who has
      been caught! We are hopefully humble if we admit we have been caught. We
      have to remind ourselves that nothing happens in secret and, having
      said that, that our track record is hardly so sterling as the one we
      would like to present to the world. Humility is truth, truth is the
      correct accordance of the mind with reality. And the reality is that
      we all fall regularly!

      Ever hear married folks talk about things they quit
      doing when no longer single? They thought they were alone before!
      Ever have the illusion of privacy yourself, with the door firmly closed?
      Ha! Thought you were alone, didn't you?
      Sigh... it is so deep in us!

      Now, look, this is not to get you crazy about security cameras in places.
      (Look how used we are to them, in fact!) The whole purpose
      here is just to get us more in tune with reality and the reality is
      that we could always be better. So there comes conversion of manners,
      that other Benedictine vow: we must never stop striving to be better.
      Face it, m'dears, we live and move and have our being in the banquet
      hall of the greatest King. Whether we credit that or not, it is so.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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