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Holy Rule for Apr. 25

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Maria and Nancy, on their birthday. Prayers, too, for Carol, total shoulder replacement surgery tomorrow, past cardiac history has
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 25, 2005
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Maria and Nancy, on their birthday. Prayers, too, for Carol, total shoulder replacement surgery tomorrow, past cardiac history has her worried, for Ralph, hit by a truck, mercifully no fractures, but homebound for a while, prayers for a pastor really suffering a lot from the flock shepherded, prayers for Margaret, extensive abdominal work-up, liver biopsy possible, diagnosis uncertain as yet, prayers for Anna, hospitalized with a lot of joint pains and breathing problems, and for her worried daughter. Prayers for Fr. Robert, prostate biopsy tomorrow, prayers of Deo gratias and thanks from Ann Marie comes news that the retreat we prayed for was an astounding success- in spite of many obstacles! 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 25, August 25, December 25
      Chapter 67: On Brethren Who Are Sent on a Journey

      Let the brethren who are sent on a journey
      commend themselves
      to the prayers of all the brethren and of the Abbot;
      and always at the last prayer of the Work of God
      let a commemoration be made of all absent brethren.

      When brethren return from a journey,
      at the end of each canonical Hour of the Work of God
      on the day they return,
      let them lie prostrate on the floor of the oratory
      and beg the prayers of all
      on account of any faults
      that may have surprised them on the road,
      through the seeing or hearing of something evil,
      or through idle talk.
      And let no one presume to tell another
      whatever he may have seen or heard outside of the monastery,
      because this causes very great harm.
      But if anyone presumes to do so,
      let him undergo the punishment of the Rule.
      And let him be punished likewise who would presume
      to leave the enclosure of the monastery
      and go anywhere or do anything, however small,
      without an order from the Abbot.

      REFLECTION

      Lay people, in St. Benedict's time and for centuries afterward, were
      more cloistered in the sense of media isolation than most religious
      are today, especially so in rural areas. We have to put ourselves
      into their perspective to see what St. Benedict is saying here. There
      was no postal service, let alone electronic media of any sort.
      Couriers and outriders, official or self-appointed were the only
      sources of news. Gossip and hearsay were the only news media
      available to most. It was, in comparison to our own day, a rather
      cloistered world.

      Today's active Benedictine educator or health care provider or parish
      minister could ill afford being so out of touch, much less Oblates in
      the world with jobs and families. Still, it is important to see that
      St. Benedict stressed this value as strongly as he did and try to
      find out why he did so.

      Fast forward to a Benedictine value we haven't mentioned much lately,
      but a central one: purity of heart. Purity of heart is the focused,
      singular monastic way of searching for God, of the spiritual
      struggle. Purity of heart, as Kierkegaard said, really IS to will one
      thing. For the Benedictine, that one thing is God, union with God.

      A very old monastic principle, one more alive in the East today than in
      the West, held that whatever did not help one in the monastic quest
      was actually harmful. Under that theory, there was no middle ground
      of neutrality. It helped you become a better monastic or it didn't.
      If it didn't, it wasn't considered extraneous, it was considered
      harmful, even evil. Since St. Benedict doesn't say that things heard
      from outside "can" cause great harm, but rather that they flat out do
      cause it, it may be to this earlier concept that he refers.

      We live in a world so flooded with media, with input, that it would astound
      a person of St. Benedict's time, even one with no taste for monastic life!
      Let us frankly face the fact, beloveds, that ALL of that information is not even
      good, let alone useful. We are so immersed in the barrage that we have
      often become indiscriminate, indifferent to it. We must develop and
      hone and reclaim that skill to sift and avoid the useless or harmful.
      We must be mindful and examine the amount and genuine worth of media
      exposure we allow ourselves. The sky is not the limit here.

      Our lives and vocations are so varied and our differences are so
      wide, but our quest is the same. Somehow, each of us, in every
      milieu, has to find a way to carve out a little bit of that isolation
      for ourselves. I love Ann McPhillips' phrase: "gatekeepers of our
      hearts." Face it, we live in an age where we can easily be in touch
      with virtually everything and it is not always good for us.

      It's about focus, it's about the times in one's life that one must
      carve out for oneself, times in which "only one thing is needful."
      When a symphony of things become needful, purity of heart is drowned
      out. Maybe we have noisy families or lives, maybe we honestly cannot
      get the respite we seek. That's when we have to really struggle to
      build it in our hearts, to find God, as Teresa of Avila did, among
      the pots and pans.

      Our hearts may, in truth, be the only monasteries we have, the only
      gates we shall ever keep, but that does not matter. God knew from all
      eternity exactly the environments in which we would have to seek Him
      and He tailor-made them for us, even though in the midst of them,
      that may be hard to see at the time. He knows what He is about. We
      need to build that "one thing needful" as a place within us. For many
      of us, that will be the only desert to which we can ever fly.

      One last pointer for the news you DO watch or listen to or read: do so
      with prayer, make it lead to prayer. We have become more or less
      immune to horrible tragedy unfolding before us. Lose that immunity. Saying
      "Tsk, tsk..." helps no one. Say a prayer, say lots of prayers for those whose
      horror becomes the grist of news mills.

      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 Pluscarden Abbey s Fr. Mark on his patronal feast, and for all our Marks! Prayers for Brie, in her 20 s, her blood pressure is high, possibly
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 25, 2006
        +PAX

        Prayers for Pluscarden Abbey's Fr. Mark on his patronal feast, and for all our Marks!

        Prayers for Brie, in her 20's, her blood pressure is high, possibly the sort that spikes anytime one is in a doctors' office, but they are testing to be sure, also for her parents, Bev and Cas (on whose anniversary we recently prayed in Deo gratias!) and for the doctors who treat Brie and all of us. Prayers for Noel, blood pressure and diabetes, also financial and real estate problems, seeking to get one son in school and to help another son find work. Prayers for them all. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of John, and for all who mourn him.

        Prayers for Peter, Kahler's disease ( multiple myeloma,) apparently treated successfully a few years back, now he fears a recurrence. Scan today to better assess is condition. Prayers for Ted, prostate cancer and having chemotherapy, also for Kellen, 8, to receive a kidney transplant with his father being the donor this Wednesday. The little boy and his family have been through so much and pray this this operations will be successful and safe for both Kellen and his Dad. How wonderful parental love can be! Yet God's love for us all is even more wondrous than that!

        Special prayers for Katie, Darren, and their 3 month old daughter, Chloe. They had been told they could not have children and Chloe was conceived after prayers to Pope John Paul II, right after his death. During labor and delivery, Katie broke her tail bone and ruptured a few discs in her spine. She is now in a lot of pain and has post-partum depression, too. Ardent prayers for them all!
        Lord, help us 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 25, August 25, December 25
        Chapter 67: On Brethren Who Are Sent on a Journey

        Let the brethren who are sent on a journey
        commend themselves
        to the prayers of all the brethren and of the Abbot;
        and always at the last prayer of the Work of God
        let a commemoration be made of all absent brethren.

        When brethren return from a journey,
        at the end of each canonical Hour of the Work of God
        on the day they return,
        let them lie prostrate on the floor of the oratory
        and beg the prayers of all
        on account of any faults
        that may have surprised them on the road,
        through the seeing or hearing of something evil,
        or through idle talk.
        And let no one presume to tell another
        whatever he may have seen or heard outside of the monastery,
        because this causes very great harm.
        But if anyone presumes to do so,
        let him undergo the punishment of the Rule.
        And let him be punished likewise who would presume
        to leave the enclosure of the monastery
        and go anywhere or do anything, however small,
        without an order from the Abbot.

        REFLECTION

        Lay people, in St. Benedict's time and for centuries afterward, were
        more cloistered in the sense of media isolation than most religious
        are today, especially so in rural areas. We have to put ourselves
        into their perspective to see what St. Benedict is saying here. There
        was no postal service, let alone electronic media of any sort.
        Couriers and outriders, official or self-appointed were the only
        sources of news. Gossip and hearsay were the only news media
        available to most. It was, in comparison to our own day, a rather
        cloistered world.

        Today's active Benedictine educator or health care provider or parish
        minister could ill afford being so out of touch, much less Oblates in
        the world with jobs and families. Still, it is important to see that
        St. Benedict stressed this value as strongly as he did and try to
        find out why he did so.

        Fast forward to a Benedictine value we haven't mentioned much lately,
        but a central one: purity of heart. Purity of heart is the focused,
        singular monastic way of searching for God, of the spiritual
        struggle. Purity of heart, as Kierkegaard said, really IS to will one
        thing. For the Benedictine, that one thing is God, union with God.

        A very old monastic principle, one more alive in the East today than in
        the West, held that whatever did not help one in the monastic quest
        was actually harmful. Under that theory, there was no middle ground
        of neutrality. It helped you become a better monastic or it didn't.
        If it didn't, it wasn't considered extraneous, it was considered
        harmful, even evil. Since St. Benedict doesn't say that things heard
        from outside "can" cause great harm, but rather that they flat out do
        cause it, it may be to this earlier concept that he refers.

        We live in a world so flooded with media, with input, that it would astound
        a person of St. Benedict's time, even one with no taste for monastic life!
        Let us frankly face the fact, beloveds, that ALL of that information is not even
        good, let alone useful. We are so immersed in the barrage that we have
        often become indiscriminate, indifferent to it. We must develop and
        hone and reclaim that skill to sift and avoid the useless or harmful.
        We must be mindful and examine the amount and genuine worth of media
        exposure we allow ourselves. The sky is not the limit here.

        Our lives and vocations are so varied and our differences are so
        wide, but our quest is the same. Somehow, each of us, in every
        milieu, has to find a way to carve out a little bit of that isolation
        for ourselves. I love Ann McPhillips' phrase: "gatekeepers of our
        hearts." Face it, we live in an age where we can easily be in touch
        with virtually everything and that is not always good for us.

        It's about focus, it's about the times in one's life that one must
        carve out for oneself, times in which "only one thing is needful."
        When a cacophony of things become needful, purity of heart is drowned
        out. Maybe we have noisy families or lives, maybe we honestly cannot
        get the respite we seek. That's when we have to really struggle to
        build it in our hearts, to find God, as Teresa of Avila did, among
        the pots and pans.

        Our hearts may, in truth, be the only monasteries we have, the only
        gates we shall ever keep, but that does not matter. God knew from all
        eternity exactly the environments and times in which we would have to
        seek Him and He tailor-made them for us, even though in the midst of them,
        that may be hard to see at the time. He knows what He is about. We
        need to build that "one thing needful" as a place within us. For many
        of us, that will be the only desert to which we can ever fly.

        One last pointer for the news you DO watch or listen to or read: do so
        with prayer, make it lead to prayer. We have become more or less
        immune to horrible tragedy unfolding before us. Lose that immunity. Saying
        "Tsk, tsk..." helps no one. Say a prayer, say lots of prayers for those whose
        horror becomes the grist of news mills.

        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 Father Mark of Pluscarden on his feastday, graces and blessings and ad multos annos! Rose, for whom we prayed, has gone to God. Prayers for
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 24, 2007
          +PAX

          Prayers for Father Mark of Pluscarden on his feastday, graces and blessings
          and ad multos annos!
          Rose, for whom we prayed, has gone to God. Prayers for her happy death and
          eternal rest, for her daughter and all their family.

          Prayers for Ada, in ICU with pulmonary problems. Prayers for Michael, 46,
          father of three, stage four throat cancer, beginning very aggressive treatment.
          Otherwise in good health, his chances are good if he can survive the therapy.
          Joan, for whom we prayed in her series of strokes, has gone to God. Prayers
          for her happy death and eternal rest and for her husband, Pete, her brother,
          Fr. Tom, and all who mourn her. Prayers for Charyl's mother, congestive heart
          failure and lung cancer, given about 2 months to live, for her happy death
          and for acceptance of her imminent passing by Charyl and all her family. 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 25, August 25, December 25
          Chapter 67: On Brethren Who Are Sent on a Journey

          Let the brethren who are sent on a journey
          commend themselves
          to the prayers of all the brethren and of the Abbot;
          and always at the last prayer of the Work of God
          let a commemoration be made of all absent brethren.

          When brethren return from a journey,
          at the end of each canonical Hour of the Work of God
          on the day they return,
          let them lie prostrate on the floor of the oratory
          and beg the prayers of all
          on account of any faults
          that may have surprised them on the road,
          through the seeing or hearing of something evil,
          or through idle talk.
          And let no one presume to tell another
          whatever he may have seen or heard outside of the monastery,
          because this causes very great harm.
          But if anyone presumes to do so,
          let him undergo the punishment of the Rule.
          And let him be punished likewise who would presume
          to leave the enclosure of the monastery
          and go anywhere or do anything, however small,
          without an order from the Abbot.

          REFLECTION

          Lay people, in St. Benedict's time and for centuries afterward, were
          more cloistered in the sense of media isolation than most religious
          are today, especially so in rural areas. We have to put ourselves
          into their perspective to see what St. Benedict is saying here. There
          was no postal service, let alone electronic media of any sort.
          Couriers and outriders, official or self-appointed were the only
          sources of news. Gossip and hearsay were the only news media
          available to most. It was, in comparison to our own day, a rather
          cloistered world.

          Today's active Benedictine educator or health care provider or parish
          minister could ill afford being so out of touch, much less Oblates in
          the world with jobs and families. Still, it is important to see that
          St. Benedict stressed this value as strongly as he did and try to
          find out why he did so.

          Fast forward to a Benedictine value we haven't mentioned much lately,
          but a central one: purity of heart. Purity of heart is the focused,
          singular monastic way of searching for God, of the spiritual
          struggle. Purity of heart, as Kierkegaard said, really IS to will one
          thing. For the Benedictine, that one thing is God, union with God.

          A very old monastic principle, one more alive in the East today than in
          the West, held that whatever did not help one in the monastic quest
          was actually harmful. Under that theory, there was no middle ground
          of neutrality. It helped you become a better monastic or it didn't.
          If it didn't, it wasn't considered extraneous, it was considered
          harmful, even evil. Since St. Benedict doesn't say that things heard
          from outside "can" cause great harm, but rather that they flat out do
          cause it, it may be to this earlier concept that he refers.

          We live in a world so flooded with media, with input, that it would astound
          a person of St. Benedict's time, even one with no taste for monastic life!
          Let us frankly face the fact, beloveds, that ALL of that information is not
          even
          good, let alone useful. We are so immersed in the barrage that we have
          often become indiscriminate, indifferent to it. We must develop and
          hone and reclaim that skill to sift and avoid the useless or harmful.
          We must be mindful and examine the amount and genuine worth of media
          exposure we allow ourselves. The sky is not the limit here.

          Our lives and vocations are so varied and our differences are so
          wide, but our quest is the same. Somehow, each of us, in every
          milieu, has to find a way to carve out a little bit of that isolation
          for ourselves. I love Ann McPhillips' phrase: "gatekeepers of our
          hearts." Face it, we live in an age where we can easily be in touch
          with virtually everything and that is not always good for us.

          It's about focus, it's about the times in one's life that one must
          carve out for oneself, times in which "only one thing is needful."
          When a cacophony of things become needful, purity of heart is drowned
          out. Maybe we have noisy families or lives, maybe we honestly cannot
          get the respite we seek. That's when we have to really struggle to
          build it in our hearts, to find God, as Teresa of Avila did, among
          the pots and pans.

          Our hearts may, in truth, be the only monasteries we have, the only
          gates we shall ever keep, but that does not matter. God knew from all
          eternity exactly the environments and times in which we would have to
          seek Him and He tailor-made them for us, even though in the midst of them,
          that may be hard to see at the time. He knows what He is about. We
          need to build that "one thing needful" as a place within us. For many
          of us, that will be the only desert to which we can ever fly.

          One last pointer for the news you DO watch or listen to or read: do so
          with prayer, make it lead to prayer. We have become more or less
          immune to horrible tragedy unfolding before us. Lose that immunity. Saying
          "Tsk, tsk..." helps no one. Say a prayer, say lots of prayers for those
          whose
          horror becomes the grist of news mills.

          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]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers for Father Mark of Pluscarden on his feastday, graces and blessings and ad multos annos! Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Mrs.
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 24, 2008
            +PAX

            Prayers for Father Mark of Pluscarden on his feastday, graces and blessings
            and ad multos annos!

            Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Mrs. Falkow, and for all who mourn her.

            Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all who love them and all who take care of them:

            Ann, performance evaluation this week at work and now a fibromyalgia flare-up, difficulties with work situation, too.

            Jessie, Stephen and their baby, due Dec. 19th, all especially needing prayers.

            Mary, 70's, hip replacement needed, but extensive foot surgery necessay before the hip can be done.

            Karen, recovering from pnemonia and bronchitis.

            Scott, diabetic, heart attack, triple bypass and neuropathy.

            Phil, heart failure and fluid in his lungs, only mid 50's, but overweight and a risk factor.

            Barb, Phil's boss, who badly needs his assistance at work and is having a tough time without him, also for her dog, who fell and broke his leg.

            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 25, August 25, December 25
            Chapter 67: On Brethren Who Are Sent on a Journey

            Let the brethren who are sent on a journey
            commend themselves
            to the prayers of all the brethren and of the Abbot;
            and always at the last prayer of the Work of God
            let a commemoration be made of all absent brethren.

            When brethren return from a journey,
            at the end of each canonical Hour of the Work of God
            on the day they return,
            let them lie prostrate on the floor of the oratory
            and beg the prayers of all
            on account of any faults
            that may have surprised them on the road,
            through the seeing or hearing of something evil,
            or through idle talk.
            And let no one presume to tell another
            whatever he may have seen or heard outside of the monastery,
            because this causes very great harm.
            But if anyone presumes to do so,
            let him undergo the punishment of the Rule.
            And let him be punished likewise who would presume
            to leave the enclosure of the monastery
            and go anywhere or do anything, however small,
            without an order from the Abbot.

            REFLECTION

            Lay people, in St. Benedict's time and for centuries afterward, were
            more cloistered in the sense of media isolation than most religious
            are today, especially so in rural areas. We have to put ourselves
            into their perspective to see what St. Benedict is saying here. There
            was no postal service, let alone electronic media of any sort.
            Couriers and outriders, official or self-appointed were the only
            sources of news. Gossip and hearsay were the only news media
            available to most. It was, in comparison to our own day, a rather
            cloistered world.

            Today's active Benedictine educator or health care provider or parish
            minister could ill afford being so out of touch, much less Oblates in
            the world with jobs and families. Still, it is important to see that
            St. Benedict stressed this value as strongly as he did and try to
            find out why he did so.

            Fast forward to a Benedictine value we haven't mentioned much lately,
            but a central one: purity of heart. Purity of heart is the focused,
            singular monastic way of searching for God, of the spiritual
            struggle. Purity of heart, as Kierkegaard said, really IS to will one
            thing. For the Benedictine, that one thing is God, union with God.

            A very old monastic principle, one more alive in the East today than in
            the West, held that whatever did not help one in the monastic quest
            was actually harmful. Under that theory, there was no middle ground
            of neutrality. It helped you become a better monastic or it didn't.
            If it didn't, it wasn't considered extraneous, it was considered
            harmful, even evil. Since St. Benedict doesn't say that things heard
            from outside "can" cause great harm, but rather that they flat out do
            cause it, it may be to this earlier concept that he refers.

            We live in a world so flooded with media, with input, that it would astound
            a person of St. Benedict's time, even one with no taste for monastic life!
            Let us frankly face the fact, beloveds, that ALL of that information is not
            even good, let alone useful. We are so immersed in the barrage that we have
            often become indiscriminate, indifferent to it. We must develop and
            hone and reclaim that skill to sift and avoid the useless or harmful.
            We must be mindful and examine the amount and genuine worth of media
            exposure we allow ourselves. The sky is not the limit here.

            Our lives and vocations are so varied and our differences are so
            wide, but our quest is the same. Somehow, each of us, in every
            milieu, has to find a way to carve out a little bit of that isolation
            for ourselves. I love Ann McPhillips' phrase: "gatekeepers of our
            hearts." Face it, we live in an age where we can easily be in touch
            with virtually everything and that is not always good for us.

            It's about focus, it's about the times in one's life that one must
            carve out for oneself, times in which "only one thing is needful."
            When a cacophony of things become needful, purity of heart is drowned
            out. Maybe we have noisy families or lives, maybe we honestly cannot
            get the respite we seek. That's when we have to really struggle to
            build it in our hearts, to find God, as Teresa of Avila did, among
            the pots and pans.

            Our hearts may, in truth, be the only monasteries we have, the only
            gates we shall ever keep, but that does not matter. God knew from all
            eternity exactly the environments and times in which we would have to
            seek Him and He tailor-made them for us, even though in the midst of them,
            that may be hard to see at the time. He knows what He is about. We
            need to build that "one thing needful" as a place within us. For many
            of us, that will be the only desert to which we can ever fly.

            One last pointer for the news you DO watch or listen to or read: do so
            with prayer, make it lead to prayer. We have become more or less
            immune to horrible tragedy unfolding before us. Lose that immunity. Saying
            "Tsk, tsk..." helps no one. Say a prayer, say lots of prayers for those
            whose
            horror becomes the grist of news mills.

            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 Fr. Mark of Pluscarden, Fr. Mark of Prinknash, and all our Marks, as they celebrate their feastday. Many graces and many more years, ad multos
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 24, 2016

              +PAX

               

              Prayers for Fr. Mark of Pluscarden, Fr. Mark of Prinknash, and all our Marks, as they celebrate their feastday. Many graces and many more years, ad multos annos!

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Thomas L., 88, and for Jeanne, his wife of 62 years and his children and grandchildren and all his family, especially his niece Chris. He died after a tragic accident. Prayers for all who mourn him.

               

              Prayers for all the members of the new Bethlehem Chapter of Oblates of Sacred Heart Monastery, in Yankton, SD. They are just beginning to get these reflections and are holding all our intentions in prayer. Let us pray for all of them and for all who are praying with us.

               

              Prayers for the faith of Fiona, being tested, may she remain in the Church.

               

               

              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 25, August 25, December 25
              Chapter 67: On Brethren Who Are Sent on a Journey

              Let the brethren who are sent on a journey
              commend themselves
              to the prayers of all the brethren and of the Abbot;
              and always at the last prayer of the Work of God
              let a commemoration be made of all absent brethren.

              When brethren return from a journey,
              at the end of each canonical Hour of the Work of God
              on the day they return,
              let them lie prostrate on the floor of the oratory
              and beg the prayers of all
              on account of any faults
              that may have surprised them on the road,
              through the seeing or hearing of something evil,
              or through idle talk.
              And let no one presume to tell another
              whatever he may have seen or heard outside of the monastery,
              because this causes very great harm.
              But if anyone presumes to do so,
              let him undergo the punishment of the Rule.
              And let him be punished likewise who would presume
              to leave the enclosure of the monastery
              and go anywhere or do anything, however small,
              without an order from the Abbot.

              REFLECTION

              Lay people, in St. Benedict's time and for centuries afterward, were
              more cloistered in the sense of media isolation than most religious
              are today, especially so in rural areas. We have to put ourselves
              into their perspective to see what St. Benedict is saying here. There
              was no postal service, let alone electronic media of any sort.
              Couriers and outriders, official or self-appointed were the only
              sources of news. Gossip and hearsay were the only news media
              available to most. It was, in comparison to our own day, a rather
              cloistered world.

              Today's active Benedictine educator or health care provider or parish
              minister could ill afford being so out of touch, much less Oblates in
              the world with jobs and families. Still, it is important to see that
              St. Benedict stressed this value as strongly as he did and try to
              find out why he did so.

              Fast forward to a Benedictine value we haven't mentioned much lately,
              but a central one: purity of heart. Purity of heart is the focused,
              singular monastic way of searching for God, of the spiritual
              struggle. Purity of heart is to will one thing. For the Benedictine, that

              one thing is God, union with God.

              A very old monastic principle, one more alive in the East today than in
              the West, held that whatever did not help one in the monastic quest
              was actually harmful. Under that theory, there was no middle ground
              of neutrality. It helped you become a better monastic or it didn't.
              If it didn't, it wasn't considered extraneous, it was considered
              harmful, even evil. Since St. Benedict doesn't say that things heard
              from outside "can" cause great harm, but rather that they flat out do
              cause it, it may be to this earlier concept that he refers.

              We live in a world so flooded with media, with input, that it would astound
              a person of St. Benedict's time, even one with no taste for monastic life!
              Let us frankly face the fact, beloveds, that ALL of that information is not
              even good, let alone useful. Much of it is heavily biased towards a secularist
              worlview and some of it is even false.

              Our lives and vocations are so varied and our differences are so
              wide, but our quest is the same. Somehow, each of us, in every
              milieu, has to find a way to carve out a little bit of that isolation
              for ourselves. I love Ann McPhillips' phrase: "gatekeepers of our
              hearts." Face it, we live in an age where we can easily be in touch
              with virtually everything and that is not always good for us.

              It's about focus, it's about the times in one's life that one must
              carve out for oneself, times in which "only one thing is needful."
              When a cacophony of things becomes prominent, purity of heart is drowned
              out. Maybe we have noisy families or lives, maybe we honestly cannot
              get the respite we seek. That's when we have to really struggle to
              build it in our hearts, to find God, as St. Teresa of Avila did, among
              the pots and pans.

              Our hearts may, in truth, be the only monasteries we have, the only
              gates we shall ever keep, but that does not matter. God knew from all
              eternity exactly the environments and times in which we would have to
              seek Him and He tailor-made them for us, even though in the midst of them,
              that may be hard to see at the time. "He knows what He is about," as Bl. Cardinal
              Newman said. We need to build that "one thing needful" as a place within us. For
              many of us, that will be the only desert to which we can ever fly.

              One last pointer for the news you DO watch or listen to or read: do so
              with prayer, make it lead to prayer. We have become more or less
              immune to horrible tragedy unfolding before us. Lose that immunity. Saying
              "Tsk, tsk..." helps no one. Say a prayer, say lots of prayers for those
              whose horror becomes the grist of news mills.

               

              Please beware, too, of the “news” surrounding celebrities. Much

              of it is genuine detraction or defamation. We are told much that we do

              not need to know, much that could even be sinful gossip. Remember

              that we are always obliged to think the best of others. Remember to

              pray for them all, too!

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

               

            • russophile2002
              +PAX Prayers for Fr. Mark of Pluscarden and Fr. Mark of Prinknash, and for all our Marks, on their feastday, graces galore and many more. Ad multos annos!
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 24

                +PAX

                 

                Prayers for Fr. Mark of Pluscarden and Fr. Mark of Prinknash, and for all our Marks, on their feastday, graces galore and many more. Ad multos annos!

                 

                Prayers for the eternal rest of Paul E., who died Monday after a lengthy spell in hospice care, and for Mary, his wife, and their children and family and for all who mourn him. Paul was a reader of these pages and a friend via e mail for many years.

                 

                Prayers for the eternal rest of Thomas, 47, a possible suicide, and for his three children and C., and all his family, and all who mourn him.

                 

                Prayers for the eternal rest of Ledell L., 51, executed on death row in Arkansas. He opted to receive Communion rather than have a last meal. Prayers, too, for the eternal rest of Debra R., his victim, and for all of both their families and all who mourn them.

                 

                Continued prayers for the man who has abscesses on his liver, he has improved somewhat, but test are not back yet and a plan of treatment has not been decided.

                 

                Prayers for Jim, investigating the Oblate vocation, for God’s will for him.

                 

                Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias from Gerald, his biopsy went well and they found no cancer.

                 

                Deo gratias, Alicia has been baptized as an adult; may she have many joyous years to serve the Lord.

                 

                Healing prayers for Neil and his poodle, Abigail, 14, who is ill with knee trouble and other problems and may need surgery. Prayers that our Lord and St. Francis may watch over her and her doctor.


                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 25, August 25, December 25
                Chapter 67: On Brethren Who Are Sent on a Journey

                Let the brethren who are sent on a journey
                commend themselves
                to the prayers of all the brethren and of the Abbot;
                and always at the last prayer of the Work of God
                let a commemoration be made of all absent brethren.

                When brethren return from a journey,
                at the end of each canonical Hour of the Work of God
                on the day they return,
                let them lie prostrate on the floor of the oratory
                and beg the prayers of all
                on account of any faults
                that may have surprised them on the road,
                through the seeing or hearing of something evil,
                or through idle talk.
                And let no one presume to tell another
                whatever he may have seen or heard outside of the monastery,
                because this causes very great harm.
                But if anyone presumes to do so,
                let him undergo the punishment of the Rule.
                And let him be punished likewise who would presume
                to leave the enclosure of the monastery
                and go anywhere or do anything, however small,
                without an order from the Abbot.

                REFLECTION

                Lay people, in St. Benedict's time and for centuries afterward, were
                more cloistered in the sense of media isolation than most religious
                are today, especially so in rural areas. We have to put ourselves
                into their perspective to see what St. Benedict is saying here. There
                was no postal service, let alone electronic media of any sort.
                Couriers and outriders, official or self-appointed were the only
                sources of news. Gossip and hearsay were the only news media
                available to most. It was, in comparison to our own day, a rather
                cloistered world.

                Today's active Benedictine educator or health care provider or parish
                minister could ill afford being so out of touch, much less Oblates in
                the world with jobs and families. Still, it is important to see that
                St. Benedict stressed this value as strongly as he did and try to
                find out why he did so.

                Fast forward to a Benedictine value we haven't mentioned much lately,
                but a central one: purity of heart. Purity of heart is the focused,
                singular monastic way of searching for God, of the spiritual
                struggle. Purity of heart is to will one thing. For the Benedictine, that

                one thing is God, union with God.

                A very old monastic principle, one more alive in the East today than in
                the West, held that whatever did not help one in the monastic quest
                was actually harmful. Under that theory, there was no middle ground
                of neutrality. It helped you become a better monastic or it didn't.
                If it didn't, it wasn't considered extraneous, it was considered
                harmful, even evil. Since St. Benedict doesn't say that things heard
                from outside "can" cause great harm, but rather that they flat out do
                cause it, it may be to this earlier concept that he refers.

                We live in a world so flooded with media, with input, that it would astound
                a person of St. Benedict's time, even one with no taste for monastic life!
                Let us frankly face the fact, beloveds, that ALL of that information is not
                even good, let alone useful. Much of it is heavily biased towards a secularist
                worldview and some of it is even false.

                Our lives and vocations are so varied and our differences are so
                wide, but our quest is the same. Somehow, each of us, in every
                milieu, has to find a way to carve out a little bit of that isolation
                for ourselves. I love Ann McPhillips' phrase: "gatekeepers of our
                hearts." Face it, we live in an age where we can easily be in touch
                with virtually everything and that is not always good for us.

                It's about focus, it's about the times in one's life that one must
                carve out for oneself, times in which "only one thing is needful."
                When a cacophony of things becomes prominent, purity of heart is drowned
                out. Maybe we have noisy families or lives, maybe we honestly cannot
                get the respite we seek. That's when we have to really struggle to
                build it in our hearts. We must find God, as St. Teresa of Avila did, among
                the pots and pans.

                Our hearts may, in truth, be the only monasteries we have, the only
                gates we shall ever keep, but that does not matter. God knew from all
                eternity exactly the environments and times in which we would have to
                seek Him and He tailor-made them for us, even though in the midst of them,
                that may be hard to see at the time. "He knows what He is about," as Bl. Cardinal
                Newman said. We need to build that "one thing needful" as a place within us. For
                many of us, that will be the only desert to which we can ever fly.

                One last pointer for the news you DO watch or listen to or read: do so
                with prayer, make it lead to prayer. We have become more or less
                immune to horrible tragedy unfolding before us. Lose that immunity. Saying
                "Tsk, tsk..." helps no one. Say a prayer, say lots of prayers for those
                whose horror becomes the grist of news mills.

                 

                Please beware, too, of the “news” surrounding celebrities. Much

                of it is genuine detraction or defamation. We are told much that we do

                not need to know, much that could even be sinful gossip. Remember

                that we are always obliged to think the best of others. Remember to

                pray for them all, too!

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

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