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Holy Rule for Apr. 30

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the repose of George s Dad, who would have been 92 today, and for George, as he continues trying to be a good union steward on his
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 30, 2005
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the repose of George's Dad, who would have been 92 today, and for George, as he continues trying to be a good union steward on his job. Prayers for Stephen and Thuy, badly wanting to have their first child, they recently suffered a miscarriage and a lot of hope and healing is needed for them as they continue trying. Prayers for Will, for whom we prayed about his upcoming hip replacement; he now has severe anemia and some kidney failure long before his scheduled surgery. 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 30, August 30, December 30
      Chapter 72: On the Good Zeal Which They Ought to Have

      Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness
      which separates from God and leads to hell,
      so there is a good zeal
      which separates from vices and leads to God
      and to life everlasting.
      This zeal, therefore, the sisters should practice
      with the most fervent love.
      Thus they should anticipate one another in honor (Rom. 12:10);
      most patiently endure one another's infirmities,
      whether of body or of character;
      vie in paying obedience one to another --
      no one following what she considers useful for herself,
      but rather what benefits another;
      tender the charity of sisterhood chastely;
      fear God in love;
      love their Abbess with a sincere and humble charity;
      prefer nothing whatever to Christ.
      And may He bring us all together to life everlasting!

      REFLECTION

      This chapter, full of self-evident and beautiful prose should serve
      as a short rule of life, a summary of all that has gone before it.
      Live this one, and you're all right: the details from the other
      chapters will take care of themselves. Little wonder then that its
      principal points are love, obedience and humility, practiced in the
      chastity of wholeness. (Chastity, it must be recalled, is proper to
      every state in life. It is the well-ordered, balanced and whole use
      of sexuality.) Even less wonder that, to call Scripture in to witness
      here, "the greatest of these is love." Merton's one-line Holy Rule
      summary also applies: "Love is the Rule."

      The beauty here is so great that we often do not spend enough time
      looking at its converse: "the evil zeal of bitterness." What a great
      turn of phrase! Like many of us, St. Benedict seems to have known
      some whose bitterness turned into an energetic zeal, a way of life, a
      broken power line in a windy world that could strike others or
      themselves without warning.

      And "zeal" is precisely the word! People can put such frighteningly
      zealous levels of effort into self-loathing bitterness. It becomes a
      full-time job, one which requires so much energy that it's a marvel
      that they continue. Bitter anger, self-hatred, unforgiving ill-will
      towards all or most, these are viciously involuted cycles. They turn
      on the self, malignantly. They injure and alienate others to make
      one's twisted world view remain correct. They never rest, the fist is
      always clenched, the hand never open.

      Someone years ago wrote a book about suicide titled "The Savage God."
      The premise was that the illness which caused suicide was like some
      pagan deity that destroyed its adherents, an apt enough assessment.
      But evil zeal is a savage god, too. Unlike suicide which leads to
      death, this one insists on a long and horrible end in prison.

      I have known two monks with this dreadful problem, both now long
      dead. Thank heavens, they both persevered to the end and one hopes
      that was enough, because, frankly, little else could be said for
      them. They both guaranteed that their own lives were hell and pretty
      much ensured smaller doses of hell for the rest of us living with
      them. (One was so mean- I am not making this up- that the Abbot asked
      his doctors NOT to discharge him from the hospital before Christmas,
      just to give the community a break. He had been in for a pacemaker,
      by the way, and it did extend his life. Now there's a REAL test of
      the Fifth Commandment! LOL!)

      When I was much younger and living with those embittered monks, it
      was hard to look at them with much pity or calm. It isn't, now, thank
      God, and I have spent considerable time praying for both of them, as
      well as for a few of their "runners-up"! While all things are
      possible with God, the terrible thing is that this self-hatred never
      gets fixed in some people. It is a life sentence. Then, prayer is the
      only answer.

      In any situation, but perhaps worse when the sufferer is one's spouse
      or parent or child, this bitterness is a terrible cross, for both the
      sufferer and those around her. It might seem cold comfort to say that
      it can make all involved saints, but it truly is not cold comfort at
      all. Being saints is the only thing, ultimately, that matters. I hope
      by now some of my crosses of the past are praying for me, protecting
      me, by their prayers, from what once ailed them!

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX Remarkable Providence, given today s reflection, that we have three separate prayer intentions, each connected to its own form of self-destructive evil
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 30, 2006
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        +PAX

        Remarkable Providence, given today's reflection, that we have three separate prayer intentions, each connected to its own form of self-destructive evil zeal. God has a way of doing such things!

        Prayers for a parent separated from spouse and children, living alone, mentally ill and not taking meds or going to therapy, acting out violently. Prayers, too, for one arrested for a drug sale which occurred sometime in the past, before recent efforts to to get life in order, return to school, and stay clean from drugs. The prospect of a prison term may well be having effects to scare this individual back onto the right path. Prayers for the worried families of both these folks, especially the parents, spouse and children.

        Now, the best wine for last! HUGE Deo gratias: Virginia, also mentally ill and gone missing in another area of the country, has been found and graciously accepted her family's help and is now hospitalized and getting the treatment she needed. Her family expresses their profound gratitude for our prayers. 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 30, August 30, December 30
        Chapter 72: On the Good Zeal Which They Ought to Have

        Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness
        which separates from God and leads to hell,
        so there is a good zeal
        which separates from vices and leads to God
        and to life everlasting.
        This zeal, therefore, the sisters should practice
        with the most fervent love.
        Thus they should anticipate one another in honor (Rom. 12:10);
        most patiently endure one another's infirmities,
        whether of body or of character;
        vie in paying obedience one to another --
        no one following what she considers useful for herself,
        but rather what benefits another;
        tender the charity of sisterhood chastely;
        fear God in love;
        love their Abbess with a sincere and humble charity;
        prefer nothing whatever to Christ.
        And may He bring us all together to life everlasting!

        REFLECTION

        This chapter, full of self-evident and beautiful prose should serve
        as a short rule of life, a summary of all that has gone before it.
        Live this one, and you're all right: the details from the other
        chapters will take care of themselves. Little wonder then that its
        principal points are love, obedience and humility, practiced in the
        chastity of wholeness. (Chastity, it must be recalled, is proper to
        every state in life. It is the well-ordered, balanced and whole use
        of sexuality.) Even less wonder that, to call Scripture in to witness
        here, "the greatest of these is love." Merton's one-line Holy Rule
        summary also applies: "Love is the Rule."

        The beauty here is so great that we often do not spend enough time
        looking at its converse: "the evil zeal of bitterness." What a great
        turn of phrase! Like many of us, St. Benedict seems to have known
        some whose bitterness turned into an energetic zeal, a way of life, a
        broken power line in a windy world that could strike others or
        themselves without warning.

        And "zeal" is precisely the word! People can put such frighteningly
        zealous levels of effort into self-loathing bitterness. It becomes a
        full-time job, one which requires so much energy that it's a marvel
        that they continue. Bitter anger, self-hatred, unforgiving ill-will
        towards all or most, these are viciously involuted cycles. They turn
        on the self, malignantly. They injure and alienate others to make
        one's twisted world view remain correct. They never rest, the fist is
        always clenched, the hand never open.

        Someone years ago wrote a book about suicide titled "The Savage God."
        The premise was that the illness which caused suicide was like some
        pagan deity that destroyed its adherents, an apt enough assessment.
        But evil zeal is a savage god, too. Unlike suicide which leads to
        death, this one insists on a long and horrible end in prison.

        I have known two monks with this dreadful problem, both now long
        dead. Thank heavens, they persevered to the end and one hopes
        that was enough. One hopes that the tortured lives they endured were more
        than enough to save them. They both guaranteed that their own lives were
        hell and pretty much ensured smaller doses of hell for the rest of us living with
        them. As often happens, I made the foolish mistake of thinking myself and those
        they afflicted more worthy of pity than the sufferers themselves. What tragic lives
        they had, how wrong I was in my assessment!

        When I was much younger and living with those embittered monks, it
        was hard to look at them with much pity or calm, because I saw them as
        simply hateful or mean. It isn't, now, thank God. Both were disturbed and I
        was blind to the fact that their mental illness made their behavior far less a
        matter in their own control. I have spent considerable time praying for both
        of them, as well as for a few of their "runners-up"!

        While all things are possible with God, the terrible thing is that this self-hatred
        sometimes seems to never gets fixed in some people. It is a life sentence. Then,
        prayer is the only answer, but prayer can win a happy death, when no more activity
        or change is evident to us. The souls and God have their own timetable, their
        own relations which our eyes may not see, nor our ears hear.

        In any situation, but perhaps worse when the sufferer is one's spouse
        or parent or child, this bitterness is a terrible cross, for both the
        sufferer and those around her. It might seem cold comfort to say that
        it can make all involved saints, but it truly is not cold comfort at
        all. Being saints is the only thing, ultimately, that matters. I hope
        by now some of my crosses of the past are praying for me, protecting
        me, by their prayers, from what once ailed them!

        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, please, for a Mom worried about two of her children falling away from their Faith. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Sr. Nancy
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 29, 2007
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          +PAX

          Prayers, please, for a Mom worried about two of her children falling away
          from their Faith. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Sr. Nancy
          Jean, who went to God after a battle with cancer, and for her family and all who
          mourn her. Prayers for God's will in a special intention matter. Continued
          prayers for baby Ethan, that a transplant donor be found, if God wills it.
          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 30, August 30, December 30
          Chapter 72: On the Good Zeal Which They Ought to Have

          Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness
          which separates from God and leads to hell,
          so there is a good zeal
          which separates from vices and leads to God
          and to life everlasting.
          This zeal, therefore, the sisters should practice
          with the most fervent love.
          Thus they should anticipate one another in honor (Rom. 12:10);
          most patiently endure one another's infirmities,
          whether of body or of character;
          vie in paying obedience one to another --
          no one following what she considers useful for herself,
          but rather what benefits another;
          tender the charity of sisterhood chastely;
          fear God in love;
          love their Abbess with a sincere and humble charity;
          prefer nothing whatever to Christ.
          And may He bring us all together to life everlasting!

          REFLECTION

          This chapter, full of self-evident and beautiful prose should serve
          as a short rule of life, a summary of all that has gone before it.
          Live this one, and you're all right: the details from the other
          chapters will take care of themselves. Little wonder then that its
          principal points are love, obedience and humility, practiced in the
          chastity of wholeness. (Chastity, it must be recalled, is proper to
          every state in life. It is the well-ordered, balanced and whole use
          of sexuality.) Even less wonder that, to call Scripture in to witness
          here, "the greatest of these is love." Merton's one-line Holy Rule
          summary also applies: "Love is the Rule."

          The beauty here is so great that we often do not spend enough time
          looking at its converse: "the evil zeal of bitterness." What a great
          turn of phrase! Like many of us, St. Benedict seems to have known
          some whose bitterness turned into an energetic zeal, a way of life, a
          broken power line in a windy world that could strike others or
          themselves without warning.

          And "zeal" is precisely the word! People can put such frighteningly
          zealous levels of effort into self-loathing bitterness. It becomes a
          full-time job, one which requires so much energy that it's a marvel
          that they continue. Bitter anger, self-hatred, unforgiving ill-will
          towards all or most, these are viciously involuted cycles. They turn
          on the self, malignantly. They injure and alienate others to make
          one's twisted world view remain correct. They never rest, the fist is
          always clenched, the hand never open.

          Someone years ago wrote a book about suicide titled "The Savage God."
          The premise was that the illness which caused suicide was like some
          pagan deity that destroyed its adherents, an apt enough assessment.
          But evil zeal is a savage god, too. Unlike suicide which leads to
          death, this one insists on a long and horrible end in prison.

          I have known two monks with this dreadful problem, both now long
          dead. Thank heavens, they persevered to the end and one hopes
          that was enough. One hopes that the tortured lives they endured were more
          than enough to save them. They both guaranteed that their own lives were
          hell and pretty much ensured smaller doses of hell for the rest of us living
          with them. As often happens, I made the foolish mistake of thinking myself
          and those
          they afflicted more worthy of pity than the sufferers themselves. What tragic
          lives those bitter souls had and how wrong I was in my assessment!

          When I was much younger and living with those embittered monks, it
          was hard to look at them with much pity or calm, because I saw them as
          simply hateful or mean. It isn't so hard now, thank God. Both were disturbed
          and I
          was blind to the fact that their mental illness made their behavior far less
          a
          matter in their own control. I have spent considerable time praying for both
          of them, as well as for a few of their "runners-up"!

          While all things are possible with God, the terrible thing is that this
          self-hatred sometimes seems to never gets fixed in some people. It is a life
          sentence.
          Then, prayer is the only answer, but prayer can win a happy death, when no
          more
          activity or change is evident to us. The souls and God have their own
          timetable, their
          own relations which our eyes may not see, nor our ears hear.

          In any situation, but perhaps worse when the sufferer is one's spouse
          or parent or child, this bitterness is a terrible cross, for both the
          sufferer and those around her. It might seem cold comfort to say that
          it can make all involved saints, but it truly is not cold comfort at
          all. Being saints is the only thing, ultimately, that matters. I hope
          by now some of my crosses of the past are praying for me, protecting
          me, by their prayers, from what once ailed them!

          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 George, for whom we prayed, has died, so prayers for his happy death, ternal rest and for all who mourn him. Prayers for the spiritual, mental and
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 29, 2008
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            +PAX

            George, for whom we prayed, has died, so prayers for his happy death, ternal rest and for all who mourn him.

            Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of the following and for all who take care of them:

            John, rushed to hospital with a
            pacemaker malfunction.

            Lainie, an abusive work situation with a lot of injustice.

            Chuck had a 10 foot fall from a ladder on to concrete this morning. Lay there a long time before found. Facial fractures, arm, wrist, fear of brain injury. Rhonda is his wife, beside herself with worry.

            Bill, mesothelioma, his CT scan shows that his
            remission is over and the cancer is on the move again. He and his wife
            Peggy have to decide what course of action to take.

            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 30, August 30, December 30
            Chapter 72: On the Good Zeal Which They Ought to Have

            Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness
            which separates from God and leads to hell,
            so there is a good zeal
            which separates from vices and leads to God
            and to life everlasting.
            This zeal, therefore, the sisters should practice
            with the most fervent love.
            Thus they should anticipate one another in honor (Rom. 12:10);
            most patiently endure one another's infirmities,
            whether of body or of character;
            vie in paying obedience one to another --
            no one following what she considers useful for herself,
            but rather what benefits another;
            tender the charity of sisterhood chastely;
            fear God in love;
            love their Abbess with a sincere and humble charity;
            prefer nothing whatever to Christ.
            And may He bring us all together to life everlasting!

            REFLECTION

            This chapter, full of self-evident and beautiful prose should serve
            as a short rule of life, a summary of all that has gone before it.
            Live this one, and you're all right: the details from the other
            chapters will take care of themselves. Little wonder then that its
            principal points are love, obedience and humility, practiced in the
            chastity of wholeness. (Chastity, it must be recalled, is proper to
            every state in life. It is the well-ordered, balanced and whole use
            of sexuality.) Even less wonder that, to call Scripture in to witness
            here, "the greatest of these is love." Merton's one-line Holy Rule
            summary also applies: "Love is the Rule."

            The beauty here is so great that we often do not spend enough time
            looking at its converse: "the evil zeal of bitterness." What a great
            turn of phrase! Like many of us, St. Benedict seems to have known
            some whose bitterness turned into an energetic zeal, a way of life, a
            broken power line in a windy world that could strike others or
            themselves without warning.

            And "zeal" is precisely the word! People can put such frighteningly
            zealous levels of effort into self-loathing bitterness. It becomes a
            full-time job, one which requires so much energy that it's a marvel
            that they continue. Bitter anger, self-hatred, unforgiving ill-will
            towards all or most, these are viciously involuted cycles. They turn
            on the self, malignantly. They injure and alienate others to make
            one's twisted world view remain correct. They never rest, the fist is
            always clenched, the hand never open.

            Someone years ago wrote a book about suicide titled "The Savage God."
            The premise was that the illness which caused suicide was like some
            pagan deity that destroyed its adherents, an apt enough assessment.
            But evil zeal is a savage god, too. Unlike suicide which leads to
            death, this one insists on a long and horrible end in prison.

            I have known two monks with this dreadful problem, both now long
            dead. Thank heavens, they persevered to the end and one hopes
            that was enough. One hopes that the tortured lives they endured were more
            than enough to save them. They both guaranteed that their own lives were
            hell and pretty much ensured smaller doses of hell for the rest of us living
            with them. As often happens, I made the foolish mistake of thinking myself
            and those
            they afflicted more worthy of pity than the sufferers themselves. What tragic
            lives those bitter souls had and how wrong I was in my assessment!

            When I was much younger and living with those embittered monks, it
            was hard to look at them with much pity or calm, because I saw them as
            simply hateful or mean. It isn't so hard now, thank God. Both were disturbed
            and I
            was blind to the fact that their mental illness made their behavior far less
            a
            matter in their own control. I have spent considerable time praying for both
            of them, as well as for a few of their "runners-up"!

            While all things are possible with God, the terrible thing is that this
            self-hatred sometimes seems to never gets fixed in some people. It is a life
            sentence.
            Then, prayer is the only answer, but prayer can win a happy death, when no
            more
            activity or change is evident to us. The souls and God have their own
            timetable, their
            own relations which our eyes may not see, nor our ears hear.

            In any situation, but perhaps worse when the sufferer is one's spouse
            or parent or child, this bitterness is a terrible cross, for both the
            sufferer and those around her. It might seem cold comfort to say that
            it can make all involved saints, but it truly is not cold comfort at
            all. Being saints is the only thing, ultimately, that matters. I hope
            by now some of my crosses of the past are praying for me, protecting
            me, by their prayers, from what once ailed them!

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



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