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Holy Rule for Apr. 21

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers for our wonderful superior here (and Abbot Visitor of our Province,) Fr. Anselm, on his feastday. May the many blessings and gentle kindnesses he
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 21, 2005
      +PAX

      Prayers for our wonderful superior here (and Abbot Visitor of our Province,) Fr. Anselm, on his feastday. May the many blessings and gentle kindnesses he gives to all of us and all our Province be multiplied a hundredfold and returned to him! Prayers, too, for all our Anselms reading this. Happy feastday!

      Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI, and special prayers for all who have found their faith challenged by the election. God does have something wonderful for us here: may we all come to know that, when and as God deems best.

      Prayers of Deo gratias and thanks for Allison and Tim, proud parents of the newborn Kalen Margaret. Prayers for Paul, who reads these reflections in Ireland, for his wife, Ann-Marie and 5 year old Benjamin, their son. God prosper them all! 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 21, August 21, December 21
      Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

      Once she has been constituted,
      let the Abbess always bear in mind
      what a burden she has undertaken
      and to whom she will have to give an account of her stewardship,
      and let her know that her duty is rather to profit her sisters
      than to preside over them.
      She must therefore be learned in the divine law,
      that she may have a treasure of knowledge
      from which to bring forth new things and old.
      She must be chaste, sober and merciful.
      Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
      that she herself may obtain mercy.
      She should hate vices;
      she should love the sisterhood.


      In administering correction
      she should act prudently and not go to excess,
      lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust
      she break the vessel.
      Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes
      and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken.
      By this we do not mean that she should allow vices to grow;
      on the contrary, as we have already said,
      she should eradicate them prudently and with charity,
      in the way which may seem best in each case.
      Let her study rather to be loved than to be feared.


      Let her not be excitable and worried,
      nor exacting and headstrong,
      nor jealous and over-suspicious;
      for then she is never at rest.


      In her commands let her be prudent and considerate;
      and whether the work which she enjoins
      concerns God or the world,
      let her be discreet and moderate,
      bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said,
      "If I cause my flocks to be overdriven,
      they will all die in one day."
      Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
      the mother of virtues,
      let her so temper all things
      that the strong may have something to strive after,
      and the weak may not fall back in dismay.


      And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details,
      so that after a good ministry
      she may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard
      who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due season:
      "Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his goods" (Matt.
      24:27).

      REFLECTION

      The priest who taught me moral theology was a brilliantly educated,
      theologically progressive man. As such, it was rather alarming to
      hear him say: "To fail the law in one respect is to fail it in all."
      Those are harsh and terrifying terms, but if one examines the Letter
      of St. James, from which the principle comes, he was very right. The
      Holy Spirit has left no doubt about this one...

      One cannot keep all the law faithfully while grievously sinning
      against one portion of it. The law, any law is a whole. It does not
      admit of fragmentation. Granted, the people following any law are
      flawed subjectively and then a whole set of other considerations must
      come into play. But the law is a whole.

      View even just this chapter through that lens of wholeness, let alone
      the entire Holy Rule, and you will quickly come to the conclusion
      that its fulfillment is beyond human capability. And you will be
      quite right. It is. You cannot do this stuff without grace. Lots of
      it. Impossible otherwise.

      Hence, ardent prayers for all in authority of any kind, religious or secular,
      ought to be a lifelong, daily habit. Their task is not easy. They need our
      prayers very much, and it is the least service of thanks we can render them
      for their ministry to us, a ministry St. Paul tells us was given them by God.

      Check out the Abbess here. This just about requires her to BE Christ,
      not just represent Him. No human person can administer that kind of
      authority without a great deal of prayer and a great deal of help
      from God. No one at all can be this wise or balanced or loving or
      moderate on their own lights. That's far too high an order for
      natural virtue alone. A lot of that prayer must come from others, too,
      so always, always pray for your Abbot, for all abbots, for all in authority.

      Hence, it should come as no great shock that people in authority fail
      this standard right and left, all the time. I know in murmuring
      circles it is always TREATED as if it were news that an Abbot could
      be that limited, but it really isn't at all. To even half-way clever
      students, this should be a real no-brainer. It is the usual human
      condition of people in power to be imperfect: bosses, abbots,
      parents, spouses, the whole lot. In fact, that is the usual condition
      of all humanity and especially the murmurers!

      Was the person in charge mean to many for the sake of one? There
      might be a reckoning for that. One can also cause the flock to be
      overdriven simply by doing nothing in a given instance, or not doing
      enough. There might be a reckoning for that, in fact, St. Benedict
      promises us there will be and not a light one, either.

      Are there limits to bruised reeds and smoldering embers being
      eternally protected at the expense of the whole flock? You bet. I
      have seen abbots and bosses fail those limits more than once, I have
      lived under them. I know people who are still scarred from those
      failures, years and years later. I know people who have left because
      of such negligence. Not an enviable position there! Not a miter I'd
      want to wear trotting to Judgement Day.

      Dare we HOPE that such retribution will be forthcoming, that exacting
      justice will be done, to Abbots, to Cardinals, to Popes, to anyone who
      ticks us off? No way, not unless we want it for ourselves, too! Jesus
      gave us that standard in the Our Father: we ask God to use our own
      standards of forgiveness for others in forgiving us. Mercy, folks, always
      mercy and to all!

      May God spare us ALL from poetic justice. Not a single one of us could stand it.
      None of us could endure getting what we truly deserve. That is why mercy
      is God's greatest attribute and why it is paramount. I know with all my heart
      the Christ's Divine Mercy is my only hope- and it is a very sure hope!! His
      loving kindness to us all is absolutely reliable in the infinite extreme.

      The awful thing about authority is that sometimes, even when one gets
      it right, one can get clobbered. There are also people who have left
      because the Abbot was right. Try to remember that. If you're in
      authority, be prepared to weather that, if you're not, try to help
      those who must endure it for good reasons which they cannot reveal.

      The key to this perplexing puzzle is the radically flawed human
      weakness of both those in authority and those under it. We all
      stumble together, half-blind, halt and lame, in an largely unlighted
      tunnel to God. God alone at the end of that tunnel is the Light.
      Prayer and grace offer us flashes on the way and we need them badly,
      but any level of honest surprise at the limitations of such humanity
      is really not the mark of a terribly observant mind.

      Now for the clincher: this is not just a model for Abbots, but for
      all of us with any authority, in fact, for all of us period. This is
      the way Benedictines should treat others, seniors, juniors, all
      people. This Christ-like attitude ought to pervade every parent,
      teacher, boss, nurse and grocery clerk, all of us.

      Now THAT, is a REALLY tall order! Sure is! You can only do it
      with grace, with prayer and God's all-merciful help.

      Love and prayers,

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX Prayers for our wonderful superior here (and Abbot Visitor of our Province,) Fr. Anselm, on his feastday. May the many blessings and gentle kindnesses he
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 21, 2006
        +PAX

        Prayers for our wonderful superior here (and Abbot Visitor of our Province,) Fr.
        Anselm, on his feastday. May the many blessings and gentle kindnesses he gives
        to all of us and all our Province be multiplied a hundredfold and returned to
        him! Prayers, too, for all our Anselms reading this. Happy feastday!

        Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Tim, 46, father of 5, grandfather of 2, killed in a head-on collision by a 22 year old driver, apparently drunk and speeding. Prayers for Tim's wife and all his family, especially his Mom, Ellen, who lost her daughter to hepatitis around Thanksgiving last year. [Prayers too, that Tim's sister had a happy death.] Prayers for the driver, condition unknown and for his family, too. This terrible accident is painful for many, many folks.

        Prayers for Jack, for whom we have prayed in the past, now days or weeks from death from cancer. For his happy death, his full embrace of the Divine Mercy, and for his family, friends and all who love him. Prayers for Sue, motor bike accidents required shoulder replacement surgery and that can be risky, also for Chris, mastectomy last week. Prayers for K. needing confidence in God-given talents and to find work to use them, also for E., for successful auditions and work prospects. 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

        April 21, August 21, December 21
        Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

        Once she has been constituted,
        let the Abbess always bear in mind
        what a burden she has undertaken
        and to whom she will have to give an account of her stewardship,
        and let her know that her duty is rather to profit her sisters
        than to preside over them.
        She must therefore be learned in the divine law,
        that she may have a treasure of knowledge
        from which to bring forth new things and old.
        She must be chaste, sober and merciful.
        Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
        that she herself may obtain mercy.
        She should hate vices;
        she should love the sisterhood.


        In administering correction
        she should act prudently and not go to excess,
        lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust
        she break the vessel.
        Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes
        and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken.
        By this we do not mean that she should allow vices to grow;
        on the contrary, as we have already said,
        she should eradicate them prudently and with charity,
        in the way which may seem best in each case.
        Let her study rather to be loved than to be feared.


        Let her not be excitable and worried,
        nor exacting and headstrong,
        nor jealous and over-suspicious;
        for then she is never at rest.


        In her commands let her be prudent and considerate;
        and whether the work which she enjoins
        concerns God or the world,
        let her be discreet and moderate,
        bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said,
        "If I cause my flocks to be overdriven,
        they will all die in one day."
        Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
        the mother of virtues,
        let her so temper all things
        that the strong may have something to strive after,
        and the weak may not fall back in dismay.


        And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details,
        so that after a good ministry
        she may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard
        who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due season:
        "Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his goods" (Matt.
        24:27).

        REFLECTION

        The priest who taught me moral theology was a brilliantly educated,
        theologically progressive man. As such, it was rather alarming to
        hear him say: "To fail the law in one respect is to fail it in all."
        Those are harsh and terrifying terms, but if one examines the Letter
        of St. James, from which the principle comes, he was very right. The
        Holy Spirit has left no doubt about this one...

        One cannot keep all the law faithfully while grievously sinning
        against one portion of it. The law, any law is a whole. It does not
        admit of fragmentation. Granted, the people following any law are
        flawed subjectively and then a whole set of other considerations must
        come into play. But the law is a whole.

        View even just this chapter through that lens of wholeness, let alone
        the entire Holy Rule, and you will quickly come to the conclusion
        that its fulfillment is beyond human capability. And you will be
        quite right. It is. You cannot do this stuff without grace. Lots of
        it. Impossible otherwise.

        Hence, ardent prayers for all in authority of any kind, religious or secular,
        ought to be a lifelong, daily habit. Their task is not easy. They need our
        prayers very much, and it is the least service of thanks we can render them
        for their ministry to us, a ministry St. Paul tells us was given them by God.

        Check out the Abbess here. This just about requires her to BE Christ,
        not just represent Him. No human person can administer that kind of
        authority without a great deal of prayer and a great deal of help
        from God. No one at all can be this wise or balanced or loving or
        moderate on their own lights. That's far too high an order for
        natural virtue alone. A lot of that prayer must come from others, too,
        so always, always pray for your Abbot, for all abbots, for all in authority.

        Hence, it should come as no great shock that people in authority fail
        this standard right and left, all the time. I know in murmuring
        circles it is always treated as if it were news that an Abbot could
        be that limited, but it really isn't at all. To even half-way clever
        students, this should be a real no-brainer. It is the usual human
        condition of people in power to be imperfect: bosses, abbots,
        parents, spouses, the whole lot. In fact, that is the usual condition
        of all humanity and especially the murmurers!

        Was the person in charge mean to many for the sake of one? There
        might be a reckoning for that. One can also cause the flock to be
        overdriven simply by doing nothing in a given instance, or not doing
        enough. There might be a reckoning for that, in fact, St. Benedict
        promises us there will be and not a light one, either.

        Are there limits to bruised reeds and smoldering embers being
        eternally protected at the expense of the whole flock? You bet. I
        have seen abbots and bosses fail those limits more than once, I have
        lived under them. I know people who are still scarred from those
        failures, years and years later. I know people who have left because
        of such negligence. Not an enviable position there! Not a miter I'd
        want to wear trotting to Judgement Day.

        Dare we HOPE that such retribution will be forthcoming, that exacting
        justice will be done, to Abbots, to Cardinals, to Popes, to anyone who
        ticks us off? No way, not unless we want it for ourselves, too! Jesus
        gave us that standard in the Our Father: we ask God to use our own
        standards of forgiveness for others in forgiving us. Mercy, folks, always
        mercy and to all!

        May God spare us ALL from exact justice. Not a single one of us could stand it.
        None of us could endure getting what we truly deserve. That is why mercy
        is God's greatest attribute and why it is paramount. I know with all my heart
        the Christ's Divine Mercy is my only hope- and it is a very sure hope!! His
        loving kindness to us all is absolutely reliable in the infinite extreme.

        The awful thing about authority is that sometimes, even when one gets
        it right, one can get clobbered. There are also people who have left
        because the Abbot was right. Try to remember that. If you're in
        authority, be prepared to weather that, if you're not, try to help
        those who must endure it for good reasons which they cannot reveal.

        The key to this perplexing puzzle is the radically flawed human
        weakness of both those in authority and those under it. We all
        stumble together, half-blind, halt and lame, in an largely unlighted
        tunnel to God. God alone at the end of that tunnel is the Light.
        Prayer and grace offer us flashes on the way and we need them badly,
        but any level of honest surprise at the limitations of such humanity
        is really not the mark of a terribly observant mind.

        Now for the clincher: this is not just a model for Abbots, but for
        all of us with any authority, in fact, for all of us period. This is
        the way Benedictines should treat others, seniors, juniors, all
        people. This Christ-like attitude ought to pervade every parent,
        teacher, boss, nurse and grocery clerk, all of us.

        Now THAT, is a REALLY tall order! Sure is! You can only do it
        with grace, with prayer and God's all-merciful help.

        Love and prayers,

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
        +PAX Prayers for our beloved superior and Abbot Visitor, Fr. Anselm, on his feastday: ad multos annos, many years!! My he be filled with God s graces and
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 20, 2007
          +PAX

          Prayers for our beloved superior and Abbot Visitor, Fr. Anselm, on his
          feastday: ad multos annos, many years!! My he be filled with God's graces and
          blessings to continue fulfilling his very special ministry to our monastery and
          to the Subiaco Congregation.

          Prayers for Joe, very near death from cancer, for his happy death and
          eternal rest and for all his friends and family. Prayers for Rose, also apparently
          near death, for her happy death and eternal rest and for all her family and
          friends, especially her daughter.

          Claudia asks prayers that inclement weather not spoil a book signing
          scheduled at her Catholic bookstore tomorrow. Prayers for Carol, severe allergies
          and for her husband, ill for two days now, also for a friend of hers who is
          depressed after having been hit with a lawsuit. 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

          April 21, August 21, December 21
          Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

          Once she has been constituted,
          let the Abbess always bear in mind
          what a burden she has undertaken
          and to whom she will have to give an account of her stewardship,
          and let her know that her duty is rather to profit her sisters
          than to preside over them.
          She must therefore be learned in the divine law,
          that she may have a treasure of knowledge
          from which to bring forth new things and old.
          She must be chaste, sober and merciful.
          Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
          that she herself may obtain mercy.
          She should hate vices;
          she should love the sisterhood.


          In administering correction
          she should act prudently and not go to excess,
          lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust
          she break the vessel.
          Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes
          and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken.
          By this we do not mean that she should allow vices to grow;
          on the contrary, as we have already said,
          she should eradicate them prudently and with charity,
          in the way which may seem best in each case.
          Let her study rather to be loved than to be feared.


          Let her not be excitable and worried,
          nor exacting and headstrong,
          nor jealous and over-suspicious;
          for then she is never at rest.


          In her commands let her be prudent and considerate;
          and whether the work which she enjoins
          concerns God or the world,
          let her be discreet and moderate,
          bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said,
          "If I cause my flocks to be overdriven,
          they will all die in one day."
          Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
          the mother of virtues,
          let her so temper all things
          that the strong may have something to strive after,
          and the weak may not fall back in dismay.


          And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details,
          so that after a good ministry
          she may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard
          who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due season:
          "Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his goods" (Matt.
          24:27).

          REFLECTION

          The priest who taught me moral theology was a brilliantly educated,
          theologically progressive man. As such, it was rather alarming to
          hear him say: "To fail the law in one respect is to fail it in all."
          Those are harsh and terrifying terms, but if one examines the Letter
          of St. James, from which the principle comes, he was very right. The
          Holy Spirit has left no doubt about this one...

          One cannot keep all the law faithfully while grievously sinning
          against one portion of it. The law, any law is a whole. It does not
          admit of fragmentation. Granted, the people following any law are
          flawed subjectively and then a whole set of other considerations must
          come into play. But the law is a whole.

          View even just this chapter through that lens of wholeness, let alone
          the entire Holy Rule, and you will quickly come to the conclusion
          that its fulfillment is beyond human capability. And you will be
          quite right. It is. You cannot do this stuff without grace. Lots of
          it. Impossible otherwise.

          Hence, ardent prayers for all in authority of any kind, religious or secular,
          ought to be a lifelong, daily habit. Their task is not easy. They need our
          prayers very much, and it is the least service of thanks we can render them
          for their ministry to us, a ministry St. Paul tells us was given them by God.

          Check out the Abbess here. This just about requires her to BE Christ,
          not just represent Him. No human person can administer that kind of
          authority without a great deal of prayer and a great deal of help
          from God. No one at all can be this wise or balanced or loving or
          moderate on their own lights. That's far too high an order for
          natural virtue alone. A lot of that prayer must come from others, too,
          so always, always pray for your Abbot, for all abbots, for all in authority.

          Hence, it should come as no great shock that people in authority fail
          this standard right and left, all the time. I know in murmuring
          circles it is always treated as if it were news that an Abbot could
          be that limited, but it really isn't at all. To even half-way clever
          students, this should be a real no-brainer. It is the usual human
          condition of people in power to be imperfect: bosses, abbots,
          parents, spouses, the whole lot. In fact, that is the usual condition
          of all humanity and especially the murmurers!

          Was the person in charge mean to many for the sake of one? There
          might be a reckoning for that. One can also cause the flock to be
          overdriven simply by doing nothing in a given instance, or not doing
          enough. There might be a reckoning for that, in fact, St. Benedict
          promises us there will be and not a light one, either.

          Are there limits to bruised reeds and smoldering embers being
          eternally protected at the expense of the whole flock? You bet. I
          have seen abbots and bosses fail those limits more than once, I have
          lived under them. I know people who are still scarred from those
          failures, years and years later. I know people who have left because
          of such negligence. Not an enviable position there! Not a miter I'd
          want to wear trotting to Judgement Day.

          Dare we HOPE that such retribution will be forthcoming, that exacting
          justice will be done, to Abbots, to Cardinals, to Popes, to anyone who
          ticks us off? No way, not unless we want it for ourselves, too! Jesus
          gave us that standard in the Our Father: we ask God to use our own
          standards of forgiveness for others in forgiving us. Mercy, folks, always
          mercy and to all!

          May God spare us ALL from exact justice. Not a single one of us could stand
          it.
          None of us could endure getting what we truly deserve. That is why mercy
          is God's greatest attribute and why it is paramount. I know with all my heart
          the Christ's Divine Mercy is my only hope- and it is a very sure hope!! His
          loving kindness to us all is absolutely reliable in the infinite extreme.

          The awful thing about authority is that sometimes, even when one gets
          it right, one can get clobbered. There are also people who have left
          because the Abbot was right. Try to remember that. If you're in
          authority, be prepared to weather that, if you're not, try to help
          those who must endure it for good reasons which they cannot reveal.

          The key to this perplexing puzzle is the radically flawed human
          weakness of both those in authority and those under it. We all
          stumble together, half-blind, halt and lame, in an largely unlighted
          tunnel to God. God alone at the end of that tunnel is the Light.
          Prayer and grace offer us flashes on the way and we need them badly,
          but any level of honest surprise at the limitations of such humanity
          is really not the mark of a terribly observant mind.

          Now for the clincher: this is not just a model for Abbots, but for
          all of us with any authority, in fact, for all of us period. This is
          the way Benedictines should treat others, seniors, juniors, all
          people. This Christ-like attitude ought to pervade every parent,
          teacher, boss, nurse and grocery clerk, all of us.

          Now THAT, is a REALLY tall order! Sure is! You can only do it
          with grace, with prayer and God's all-merciful help.

          Love and prayers,

          Jerome, OSB
          _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
          _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
          Petersham, MA




          ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • jeromeleo@stmarysmonastery.org
          +PAX Prayers for our beloved superior and Abbot Visitor, Fr. Anselm, on his feastday: ad multos annos, many years!! My he be filled with God s graces and
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 20, 2008
            +PAX

            Prayers for our beloved superior and Abbot Visitor, Fr. Anselm, on his
            feastday: ad multos annos, many years!! My he be filled with God's graces and
            blessings to continue fulfilling his very special ministry to our monastery and
            to the Subiaco Congregation.

            Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Rev.Dom Daniel Kirk, OSB, of St. Anselm's Abbey, Washington, who has died and for all who mourn him.

            Prayers for the spsirtual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who care for them:

            Deacon Rod, serious heart attack, some corrective surgery, next 24 hours are critical.

            For L., that she forgive her older sister who callously refused to help L.'s son and his family.

            Paul, about to be ordained deacon, just diagnosed with leukemia, for his wife, Deborah, their children and all his distressed friends at the College of the Ressurection.

            For
            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

            April 21, August 21, December 21
            Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

            Once she has been constituted,
            let the Abbess always bear in mind
            what a burden she has undertaken
            and to whom she will have to give an account of her stewardship,
            and let her know that her duty is rather to profit her sisters
            than to preside over them.
            She must therefore be learned in the divine law,
            that she may have a treasure of knowledge
            from which to bring forth new things and old.
            She must be chaste, sober and merciful.
            Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
            that she herself may obtain mercy.
            She should hate vices;
            she should love the sisterhood.


            In administering correction
            she should act prudently and not go to excess,
            lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust
            she break the vessel.
            Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes
            and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken.
            By this we do not mean that she should allow vices to grow;
            on the contrary, as we have already said,
            she should eradicate them prudently and with charity,
            in the way which may seem best in each case.
            Let her study rather to be loved than to be feared.


            Let her not be excitable and worried,
            nor exacting and headstrong,
            nor jealous and over-suspicious;
            for then she is never at rest.


            In her commands let her be prudent and considerate;
            and whether the work which she enjoins
            concerns God or the world,
            let her be discreet and moderate,
            bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said,
            "If I cause my flocks to be overdriven,
            they will all die in one day."
            Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
            the mother of virtues,
            let her so temper all things
            that the strong may have something to strive after,
            and the weak may not fall back in dismay.


            And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details,
            so that after a good ministry
            she may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard
            who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due season:
            "Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his goods" (Matt.
            24:27).

            REFLECTION

            The priest who taught me moral theology was a brilliantly educated,
            theologically progressive man. As such, it was rather alarming to
            hear him say: "To fail the law in one respect is to fail it in all."
            Those are harsh and terrifying terms, but if one examines the Letter
            of St. James, from which the principle comes, he was very right. The
            Holy Spirit has left no doubt about this one...

            One cannot keep all the law faithfully while grievously sinning
            against one portion of it. The law, any law is a whole. It does not
            admit of fragmentation. Granted, the people following any law are
            flawed subjectively and then a whole set of other considerations must
            come into play. But the law is a whole.

            View even just this chapter through that lens of wholeness, let alone
            the entire Holy Rule, and you will quickly come to the conclusion
            that its fulfillment is beyond human capability. And you will be
            quite right. It is. You cannot do this stuff without grace. Lots of
            it. Impossible otherwise.

            Hence, ardent prayers for all in authority of any kind, religious or secular,
            ought to be a lifelong, daily habit. Their task is not easy. They need our
            prayers very much, and it is the least service of thanks we can render them
            for their ministry to us, a ministry St. Paul tells us was given them by God.

            Check out the Abbess here. This just about requires her to BE Christ,
            not just represent Him. No human person can administer that kind of
            authority without a great deal of prayer and a great deal of help
            from God. No one at all can be this wise or balanced or loving or
            moderate on their own lights. That's far too high an order for
            natural virtue alone. A lot of that prayer must come from others, too,
            so always, always pray for your Abbot, for all abbots, for all in authority.

            Hence, it should come as no great shock that people in authority fail
            this standard right and left, all the time. I know in murmuring
            circles it is always treated as if it were news that an Abbot could
            be that limited, but it really isn't at all. To even half-way clever
            students, this should be a real no-brainer. It is the usual human
            condition of people in power to be imperfect: bosses, abbots,
            parents, spouses, the whole lot. In fact, that is the usual condition
            of all humanity and especially the murmurers!

            Was the person in charge mean to many for the sake of one? There
            might be a reckoning for that. One can also cause the flock to be
            overdriven simply by doing nothing in a given instance, or not doing
            enough. There might be a reckoning for that, in fact, St. Benedict
            promises us there will be and not a light one, either.

            Are there limits to bruised reeds and smoldering embers being
            eternally protected at the expense of the whole flock? You bet. I
            have seen abbots and bosses fail those limits more than once, I have
            lived under them. I know people who are still scarred from those
            failures, years and years later. I know people who have left because
            of such negligence. Not an enviable position there! Not a miter I'd
            want to wear trotting to Judgement Day.

            Dare we HOPE that such retribution will be forthcoming, that exacting
            justice will be done, to Abbots, to Cardinals, to Popes, to anyone who
            ticks us off? No way, not unless we want it for ourselves, too! Jesus
            gave us that standard in the Our Father: we ask God to use our own
            standards of forgiveness for others in forgiving us. Mercy, folks, always
            mercy and to all!

            May God spare us ALL from exact justice. Not a single one of us could stand
            it.
            None of us could endure getting what we truly deserve. That is why mercy
            is God's greatest attribute and why it is paramount. I know with all my heart
            the Christ's Divine Mercy is my only hope- and it is a very sure hope!! His
            loving kindness to us all is absolutely reliable in the infinite extreme.

            The awful thing about authority is that sometimes, even when one gets
            it right, one can get clobbered. There are also people who have left
            because the Abbot was right. Try to remember that. If you're in
            authority, be prepared to weather that, if you're not, try to help
            those who must endure it for good reasons which they cannot reveal.

            The key to this perplexing puzzle is the radically flawed human
            weakness of both those in authority and those under it. We all
            stumble together, half-blind, halt and lame, in an largely unlighted
            tunnel to God. God alone at the end of that tunnel is the Light.
            Prayer and grace offer us flashes on the way and we need them badly,
            but any level of honest surprise at the limitations of such humanity
            is really not the mark of a terribly observant mind.

            Now for the clincher: this is not just a model for Abbots, but for
            all of us with any authority, in fact, for all of us period. This is
            the way Benedictines should treat others, seniors, juniors, all
            people. This Christ-like attitude ought to pervade every parent,
            teacher, boss, nurse and grocery clerk, all of us.

            Now THAT, is a REALLY tall order! Sure is! You can only do it
            with grace, with prayer and God's all-merciful help.

            Love and prayers,

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




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Br. Jerome Leo
            +PAX Prayers for our Abbot Anselm, on his feastday. Graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! And safe travels for him and Abbot Francis of Prinknash, as
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 20, 2016

              +PAX

               

              Prayers for our Abbot Anselm, on his feastday. Graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! And safe travels for him and Abbot Francis of Prinknash, as they journey to the US on Friday.

               

              Prayers for Abbot Paulinus Greenwood, OSB, on his birthday. Many graces and many more! Ad multos annos!

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Rene Robert, 71, apparently murdered after being abducted in Florida. Prayers for his family, esp. for his brother to find forgiveness for his killer, and  prayers that  whoever killed him may repent and be converted.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Lori, 97, and for all her family, especially her single son, Don, who has been her caregiver for many years. It must be very hard for him without her. Prayers for all who mourn her.

               

              Prayers for D. and especially for his wife, who seems to have a lot of anger and takes it out on her husband. Very troubled marriage. Ardent prayers.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Bob S., and for all his family and all who mourn him.

               

              Please pray for Richard, who will be having a needle biopsy of the liver soon, and for his wife, Virginia. They hope and pray the findings will not be confirmation of a malignancy.

               

              Prayers for Fr. Prasad, on the anniversary of his ordination.

               

              Please pray for Vivienne's husband.   He was admitted to hospital last night.   His recently transplanted kidneys are being rejected by meds used to treat  possible rejection of a prior heart transplant.   

               

              Prayers for Carol and her sister,  Kathy. Kathy’s  heart is in a-fib 75% of the time now and her heart races up to 220 bpm. Prayers for her and all her family and for those treating her.

               

              Please pray for Brian and his sister, Elaine. Her husband died on Ash Wednesday. Their 42nd anniversary was April 20. She kept herself busy with issues and paperwork after his death, and now that all the details are complete, she feels lonely and lost. Please pray for her comfort and consolation and prayers for the eternal rest of her husband.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Eddie, pianist and teacher who reached thousands with his gifts, and for his family and for all who mourn him.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Kathy, for whom we prayed, and for all her family, especially Deacon Bill and Terri, and for all who mourn her.

               

              Continued prayers for Monica's father, who was in a head on collision and for his  family.  Also, pray for the other driver’s family and for the eternal rest of his soul, as he passed away.

               

              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

              April 21, August 21, December 21
              Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

              Once she has been constituted,
              let the Abbess always bear in mind
              what a burden she has undertaken
              and to whom she will have to give an account of her stewardship,
              and let her know that her duty is rather to profit her sisters
              than to preside over them.
              She must therefore be learned in the divine law,
              that she may have a treasure of knowledge
              from which to bring forth new things and old.
              She must be chaste, sober and merciful.
              Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
              that she herself may obtain mercy.
              She should hate vices;
              she should love the sisterhood.


              In administering correction
              she should act prudently and not go to excess,
              lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust
              she break the vessel.
              Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes
              and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken.
              By this we do not mean that she should allow vices to grow;
              on the contrary, as we have already said,
              she should eradicate them prudently and with charity,
              in the way which may seem best in each case.
              Let her study rather to be loved than to be feared.


              Let her not be excitable and worried,
              nor exacting and headstrong,
              nor jealous and over-suspicious;
              for then she is never at rest.


              In her commands let her be prudent and considerate;
              and whether the work which she enjoins
              concerns God or the world,
              let her be discreet and moderate,
              bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said,
              "If I cause my flocks to be overdriven,
              they will all die in one day."
              Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
              the mother of virtues,
              let her so temper all things
              that the strong may have something to strive after,
              and the weak may not fall back in dismay.


              And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details,
              so that after a good ministry
              she may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard
              who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due season:
              "Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his goods" (Matt.
              24:27).

              REFLECTION

              "To fail the law in one respect is to fail it in all."
              Those are harsh and terrifying terms, but if one examines the Letter
              of St. James, from which the principle comes, the
              Holy Spirit has left no doubt about this one...

              One cannot keep all the law faithfully while grievously sinning
              against one portion of it. The law, any law is a whole. It does not
              admit of fragmentation. Granted, the people following any law are
              flawed subjectively and then a whole set of other considerations must
              come into play. But the law is a whole.

              View even just this chapter through that lens of wholeness, let alone
              the entire Holy Rule, and you will quickly come to the conclusion
              that its fulfillment is beyond human capability. And you will be
              quite right. It is. You cannot do this stuff without grace. Lots of
              it. Impossible otherwise.

              Hence, ardent prayers for all in authority of any kind, religious or secular,
              ought to be a lifelong, daily habit. Their task is not easy. They need our
              prayers very much, and it is the least service of thanks we can render them
              for their ministry to us, a ministry St. Paul tells us was given them by God.

              Check out the Abbess. No human person can administer that kind of
              authority without a great deal of prayer and a great deal of help
              from God. No one at all can be this wise or balanced or loving or
              moderate on their own lights. That's far too high an order for
              natural virtue alone. A lot of that prayer must come from others, too,
              so always, always pray for your Abbot, for all abbots, for all in authority.

              Hence, it should come as no great shock that people in authority fail
              this standard right and left, all the time. I know in murmuring
              circles it is always treated as if it were news that an Abbot could
              be that limited, but it really isn't at all. To even half-way clever
              students, this should be a real no-brainer. It is the usual human
              condition of people in power to be imperfect: bosses, abbots,
              parents, spouses, the whole lot. In fact, that is the usual condition
              of all humanity and especially the murmurers!

              Was the person in charge mean to many for the sake of one? There
              might be a reckoning for that. One can also cause the flock to be
              overdriven simply by doing nothing in a given instance, or not doing
              enough. There might be a reckoning for that, in fact, St. Benedict
              promises us there will be and not a light one, either.

              Dare we HOPE that such retribution will be forthcoming, that exacting
              justice will be done, to Abbots, to anyone in authority, to anyone who
              ticks us off? No way, not unless we want it for ourselves, too! Jesus
              gave us that standard in the Our Father: we ask God to use our own
              standards of forgiveness for others in forgiving us. Mercy, folks, always
              mercy and to all!

              We must deal with God's mercy in this life or we shall deal with His justice in
              the next. May God spare us ALL from exact justice. Not a single one of us could
              stand it. None of us could endure getting what we truly deserve. That is why mercy
              is God's greatest attribute and why it is paramount. I know with all my heart
              the Christ's Divine Mercy is my only hope- and it is a very sure hope!! His
              loving kindness to us all is absolutely reliable in the infinite extreme.

              The awful thing about authority is that sometimes, even when one gets
              it right, one can get clobbered. There are also people who have left
              because the Abbot was right. Try to remember that. If you're in
              authority, be prepared to weather that, if you're not, try to help
              those who must endure it for good reasons which they cannot reveal.

              The key to this perplexing puzzle is the radically flawed human
              weakness of both those in authority and those under it. We all
              stumble together, half-blind, halt and lame, in an largely unlit
              tunnel to God. God alone at the end of that tunnel is the Light.
              Prayer and grace offer us flashes on the way and we need them badly,
              but any level of honest surprise at the limitations of such humanity
              is really not the mark of a terribly observant mind.

              Now for the clincher: this is not just a model for Abbots, but for
              all of us with any authority, in fact, for all of us period. This is
              the way Benedictines should treat others, seniors, juniors, all
              people. This Christ-like attitude ought to pervade every parent,
              teacher, boss, nurse and grocery clerk, all of us.

              Now THAT, is a REALLY tall order! Sure is! You can only do it
              with grace, with prayer and God's all-merciful help.

              Love and prayers,

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

              Petersham, MA

               

               

               

               

               

               

            • russophile2002
              +PAX Prayers for our Abbot Anselm, on his feastday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! Prayers, too, for the College and Abbeys dedicated to St.
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 20

                +PAX

                 

                Prayers for our Abbot Anselm, on his feastday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! Prayers, too, for the College and Abbeys dedicated to St. Anselm in New Hampshire and Washington, DC.

                 

                Urgent prayers please  for a baby born by C-section who was taken in for open heart surgery immediately ....not expected to make it. 

                 

                Prayers for Norma, who is having hip surgery on Friday, that the infection will have cleared and a hip replacement can be done.

                 

                Prayers for Abbot Paulinus, OSB, of Chilworth, St. Augustine’s Abbey, his birthday was Apr. 20. Graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

                 

                Update and continued prayer request for Brian and his punctured lung, it's doing better and he's healing; praise be to God.

                 

                Prayers for someone who wishes to remain anonymous.  Please, prayers for health.  All is in God's hands and we thank Him most graciously. 

                 

                Prayers for a woman's mother who is on hospice, 94 years old; just taking in small sips of water.  Prayers for both the daughter and her mother.

                 

                Ardent prayers please for a young, homeless woman to get the help (corporal and spiritual) she needs so desperately. She is living out of her car with her two beloved cats and small dog at the far end of a parking lot. She is in a position of great vulnerability, as well, since this spot is most likely not safe at night for her.

                 

                Prayers for a special intention for Fr. Basil.

                 

                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

                April 21, August 21, December 21
                Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

                Once she has been constituted,
                let the Abbess always bear in mind
                what a burden she has undertaken
                and to whom she will have to give an account of her stewardship,
                and let her know that her duty is rather to profit her sisters
                than to preside over them.
                She must therefore be learned in the divine law,
                that she may have a treasure of knowledge
                from which to bring forth new things and old.
                She must be chaste, sober and merciful.
                Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
                that she herself may obtain mercy.
                She should hate vices;
                she should love the sisterhood.


                In administering correction
                she should act prudently and not go to excess,
                lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust
                she break the vessel.
                Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes
                and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken.
                By this we do not mean that she should allow vices to grow;
                on the contrary, as we have already said,
                she should eradicate them prudently and with charity,
                in the way which may seem best in each case.
                Let her study rather to be loved than to be feared.


                Let her not be excitable and worried,
                nor exacting and headstrong,
                nor jealous and over-suspicious;
                for then she is never at rest.


                In her commands let her be prudent and considerate;
                and whether the work which she enjoins
                concerns God or the world,
                let her be discreet and moderate,
                bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said,
                "If I cause my flocks to be overdriven,
                they will all die in one day."
                Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
                the mother of virtues,
                let her so temper all things
                that the strong may have something to strive after,
                and the weak may not fall back in dismay.


                And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details,
                so that after a good ministry
                she may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard
                who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due season:
                "Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his goods" (Matt.
                24:27).

                REFLECTION

                Look at even just this chapter, let alone
                the entire Holy Rule, and you will quickly come to the conclusion
                that its fulfillment is beyond human capability. And you will be
                quite right. It is. You cannot do this stuff without grace. Lots of
                it. Impossible otherwise.

                Hence, ardent prayers for all in authority of any kind, religious or secular,
                ought to be a lifelong, daily habit. Their task is not easy. They need our
                prayers very much, and it is the least service of thanks we can render them
                for their ministry to us, a ministry St. Paul tells us was given them by God.

                Check out the Abbess. No human person can administer that kind of
                authority without a great deal of prayer and a great deal of help
                from God. No one at all can be this wise or balanced or loving or
                moderate on their own lights. That's far too high an order for
                natural virtue alone. A lot of that prayer must come from others, too,
                so always, always pray for your Abbot, for all abbots, for all in authority.

                It should come as no great shock that people in authority may fail
                this standard right and left. I know in murmuring
                circles it is always treated as if it were news that an Abbot could
                be that limited, but it really isn't at all. To even half-way clever
                students, this should be a real no-brainer. It is the usual human
                condition of people in power to be imperfect: bosses, abbots,
                parents, spouses, the whole lot. In fact, that is the usual condition
                of all humanity and especially the murmurers!

                Was the person in charge mean to many for the sake of one? There
                might be a reckoning for that. One can also cause the flock to be
                overdriven simply by doing nothing in a given instance, or not doing
                enough. There might be a reckoning for that, in fact, St. Benedict
                promises us there will be and not a light one, either.

                Dare we HOPE that such retribution will be forthcoming, that exacting
                justice will be done, to Abbots, to anyone in authority, to anyone who
                ticks us off? No way, not unless we want it for ourselves, too! Jesus
                gave us that standard in the Our Father: we ask God to use our own
                standards of forgiveness for others in forgiving us. Mercy, folks, always
                mercy and to all!

                We must deal with God's mercy in this life or we shall deal with His justice in
                the next. May God spare us ALL from exact justice. Not a single one of us could
                stand it. None of us could endure getting what we truly deserve. That is why mercy
                is God's greatest attribute and why it is paramount. I know with all my heart
                that Christ's Divine Mercy is my only hope- and it is a very sure hope!! His
                loving kindness to us all is absolutely reliable in the infinite extreme.

                The awful thing about authority is that sometimes, even when one gets
                it right, one can get clobbered. There are people who have left
                because the Abbot was right. Try to remember that. If you're in
                authority, be prepared to weather that, if you're not, try to help
                those who must endure it for good reasons which they cannot reveal.

                The key to this perplexing puzzle is the radically flawed human
                weakness of both those in authority and those under it. We all
                stumble together, half-blind, halt and lame, in an largely unlit
                tunnel to God. God alone at the end of that tunnel is the Light.
                Prayer and grace offer us flashes on the way and we need them badly,
                but any level of honest surprise at the limitations of such humanity
                is really not the mark of a terribly observant mind.

                Now for the clincher: this is not just a model for Abbots, but for
                all of us with any authority, in fact, for all of us period. This is
                the way Benedictines should treat others, seniors, juniors, all
                people. This Christ-like attitude ought to pervade every parent,
                teacher, boss, nurse and grocery clerk, all of us.

                Now THAT, is a REALLY tall order! Sure is! You can only do it
                with grace, with prayer and God's all-merciful help.

                Love and prayers,

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

                Petersham, MA


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