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Holy Rule for May 23

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Another early trip to Boston, so I am sending this out the night before. Pray for me in the traffic, please. Prayers, too, for all Mothers during this
    Message 1 of 5 , May 22, 2005
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      +PAX

      Another early trip to Boston, so I am sending this out the night before. Pray for me in the traffic, please.

      Prayers, too, for all Mothers during this month of May. 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

      January 22, May 23, September 22
      Chapter 5: On Obedience

      The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.
      This is the virtue of those
      who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ;
      who, because of the holy service they have professed,
      and the fear of hell,
      and the glory of life everlasting,
      as soon as anything has been ordered by the Superior,
      receive it as a divine command
      and cannot suffer any delay in executing it.
      Of these the Lord says,
      "As soon as he heard, he obeyed Me" (Ps. 17:45).
      And again to teachers He says,
      "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).


      Such as these, therefore,
      immediately leaving their own affairs
      and forsaking their own will,
      dropping the work they were engaged on
      and leaving it unfinished,
      with the ready step of obedience
      follow up with their deeds the voice of him who commands.
      And so as it were at the same moment
      the master's command is given
      and the disciple's work is completed,
      the two things being speedily accomplished together
      in the swiftness of the fear of God
      by those who are moved
      with the desire of attaining life everlasting.
      That desire is their motive for choosing the narrow way,
      of which the Lord says,
      "Narrow is the way that leads to life" (Matt. 7:14),
      so that,
      not living according to their own choice
      nor obeying their own desires and pleasures
      but walking by another's judgment and command,
      they dwell in monasteries and desire to have an Abbot over them.
      Assuredly such as these are living up to that maxim of the Lord
      in which He says,
      "I have come not to do My own will,
      but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

      REFLECTION

      Several of us were talking with a Brother with a charge who was
      expressing his frustration that people did not do what he asked. He
      had tried to be polite, but his requests were ignored or excuses were
      given at every turn. He was clueless as to why this was happening and
      honestly upset.

      Finally, a senior monk interrupted him with one of the nicest remarks
      I have ever heard made to a monastic. He said: "Wait a minute, Brother,
      you don't understand. You're not like other people, you do what you
      are told without further argument." Another monk added: "For most
      people being told to do something is merely a point to begin
      negotiations."

      Sad, but true! Bluntly put, obedience doesn't really work until it
      messes with your life, until it disturbs you and stirs up your
      complacent, settled smugness. It's rather like a light switch. The
      bulb doesn't go on until someone throws the switch. The potential is
      always there, but no switch, no light. Potential light alone is not
      terribly enlightening, as anyone who's tried to read in a fully-wired,
      darkened room can tell you!

      The same could be said of poverty or any other monastic discipline.
      Poverty as a potential has few teeth, but wait until you win the
      lottery. Stability is no problem until your parents die and the
      family home could be yours or a dream job opens up a thousand miles
      away. Chastity is a lot easier until you fall in love. (And trust me,
      you will quite likely fall in love, at least once and maybe more
      times than that!)

      The is a big difference between apathy and detachment.
      This chapter offers a prime example: one leaves one's own affairs,
      drops whatever one was in the midst of and forsakes one's own will.
      That's detachment. Apathy is selfish, detachment is selfless. Apathy
      makes oneself the center, detachment revolves around God and
      others. Detachment cares deeply, but not for the selfish will!

      Apathy, on the other hand, truly doesn't care one way or the other about
      anything. There is no ascesis in apathy, because all things are regarded with
      equal indifference. It is the LACK of indifference and the level of personal
      attachment that makes detachment work. Detachment is active, apathy
      is passive. Apathy is the uncaring state, detachment is the lover's struggle
      against undue caring. It sets our priorities aright and they need that badly!

      Satan hates monastic life, so different aspects will chafe different
      people; that's his only hope of success. Obedience may not bother one
      who goes off the deep end over chastity. Poverty may be a simple
      cinch for one who can scarcely endure stability. Having said this, if
      obedience is your thorn, any words I use to praise it will merely
      annoy. I know, because praise for the "gift" of celibacy sometimes
      drives me wild! But obedience- and celibacy- are deserving of praise.
      They work. When we allow them to work, they lead to immense freedom.

      Obedience was the victim of a lot of word play in the 60's and 70's.
      One must hope it was all sincere, but it was often misguided.
      Beloveds, if you call it "coordination" or "dialogue" or "consensus"
      you run a terrible risk of referring to a light switch more or less
      perpetually in the off position, or to one which casts light only where we'd
      like it to shine. Alas, we are not usually wise enough to request light
      where we need it most. That must be left to God and God uses obedience.

      Always be wary of euphemism, it can be a harbinger that something is askew.
      Euphemisms often stem from a chip on the shoulder and a chip on
      the shoulder usually means wood higher up- like in the cranial regions!
      When any of those euphemisms actually work, actually intervene in
      one's life dramatically, they do so as obedience, plain and simple.
      One might as well just call the rose a rose! It does smell wondrously
      sweet, but it also has thorns...

      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, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Fr. Kurt Fish, who has gone to God, and for all who mourn him. Continued prayer for our high
      Message 2 of 5 , May 23, 2006
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Fr. Kurt Fish, who has gone to God, and for all who mourn him. Continued prayer for our high school teacher sore beset: day one went well, but this is the seniors' last week and that can be awful, as any teacher could tell you. May the warmth of our prayers surround both teachers AND unruly kids. Prayers for C., arrested for selling drugs, possibly innocent, and for the worried parents so torn by this. Prayers, too, for L., bipolar, on meds now and seeing a therapist, but seeking a divorce, and for all the family involved. Prayers for a young woman who has abandoned Christianity for Islam.

        Prayers for T.J., Andrea, and their children, Zachary, Abigail and Cydney. They made their first visit here yesterday for Mass and lunch and it was a delightful chance to meet yet another of our Holy Rule readers. Prayers for them all, even the kids loved it! It was a wonderful visit all too short. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL

        January 22, May 23, September 22
        Chapter 5: On Obedience

        The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.
        This is the virtue of those
        who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ;
        who, because of the holy service they have professed,
        and the fear of hell,
        and the glory of life everlasting,
        as soon as anything has been ordered by the Superior,
        receive it as a divine command
        and cannot suffer any delay in executing it.
        Of these the Lord says,
        "As soon as he heard, he obeyed Me" (Ps. 17:45).
        And again to teachers He says,
        "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).


        Such as these, therefore,
        immediately leaving their own affairs
        and forsaking their own will,
        dropping the work they were engaged on
        and leaving it unfinished,
        with the ready step of obedience
        follow up with their deeds the voice of him who commands.
        And so as it were at the same moment
        the master's command is given
        and the disciple's work is completed,
        the two things being speedily accomplished together
        in the swiftness of the fear of God
        by those who are moved
        with the desire of attaining life everlasting.
        That desire is their motive for choosing the narrow way,
        of which the Lord says,
        "Narrow is the way that leads to life" (Matt. 7:14),
        so that,
        not living according to their own choice
        nor obeying their own desires and pleasures
        but walking by another's judgment and command,
        they dwell in monasteries and desire to have an Abbot over them.
        Assuredly such as these are living up to that maxim of the Lord
        in which He says,
        "I have come not to do My own will,
        but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

        REFLECTION

        Several of us were talking with a Brother with a charge who was
        expressing his frustration that people did not do what he asked. He
        had tried to be polite, but his requests were ignored or excuses were
        given at every turn. He was clueless as to why this was happening and
        honestly upset.

        Finally, a senior monk interrupted him with one of the nicest remarks
        I have ever heard made to a monastic. He said: "Wait a minute, Brother,
        you don't understand. You're not like other people, you do what you
        are told without further argument." Another monk added: "For most
        people being told to do something is merely a point to begin
        negotiations."

        Sad, but true! Bluntly put, obedience doesn't do its best work until it
        messes with your life, until it disturbs you and stirs up your
        complacent, settled smugness. It's rather like a light switch. The
        bulb doesn't go on until someone throws the switch. The potential is
        always there, but no switch, no light. Potential light alone is not
        terribly enlightening, as anyone who's tried to read in a fully-wired,
        darkened room can tell you!

        There is a big difference between apathy and detachment.
        This chapter offers a prime example: one leaves one's own affairs,
        drops whatever one was in the midst of and forsakes one's own will.
        That's detachment. Apathy is selfish, detachment is selfless. Apathy
        makes oneself the center, detachment revolves around God and
        others. Detachment cares deeply, but not for the selfish will!

        Apathy, on the other hand, truly doesn't care one way or the other about
        anything. There is no ascesis in apathy, because all things are regarded with
        equal indifference. It is the LACK of indifference and the level of personal
        attachment that makes detachment work. Detachment is active, apathy
        is passive. Apathy is the uncaring state, detachment is the lover's struggle
        against undue caring. It sets our priorities aright and they need that badly!

        Satan hates monastic life, so different aspects will chafe different
        people; that's his only hope of success. Obedience may not bother one
        who goes off the deep end over chastity. Poverty may be a simple
        cinch for one who can scarcely endure stability. Having said this, if
        obedience is your thorn, any words I use to praise it will merely
        annoy. I know, because praise for the "gift" of celibacy sometimes
        drives me wild! But obedience- and celibacy- are deserving of praise.
        They work. When we allow them to work, they lead to immense freedom.

        Obedience was the victim of a lot of word play in the 60's and 70's.
        One must hope it was all sincere, but it was often misguided.
        Beloveds, if you call it "coordination" or "dialogue" or "consensus"
        you run a terrible risk of referring to a light switch more or less
        perpetually in the off position, or to one which casts light only where we'd
        like it to shine. Alas, we are not usually wise enough to request light
        where we need it most. That must be left to God and God uses obedience.

        Always be wary of euphemism, it can be a harbinger that something is askew.
        Euphemisms often stem from a chip on the shoulder and a chip on
        the shoulder usually means wood higher up- like in the cranial regions!
        When any of those euphemisms actually work, actually intervene in
        one's life dramatically, they do so as obedience, plain and simple.
        One might as well just call the rose a rose! It does smell wondrously
        sweet, but it also has thorns...

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        +PAX Prayers of deep thanks and Deo gratias: Fr. Nawzat, the Chaldean Catholic priest kidnapped in Baghdad has been released after three days of captivity, he
        Message 3 of 5 , May 22, 2007
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          +PAX

          Prayers of deep thanks and Deo gratias: Fr. Nawzat, the Chaldean Catholic priest kidnapped in Baghdad has been released after three days of captivity, he had been beaten, but otherwise seems all right. He thanks all who prayed for him.

          Prayers for Tom, severe sinus infection, also for Al, interview today for a job, needs to find a sponsor to remain in the U.S. before June 30 and chances are narrowing. Prayers for thanks and Deo gratias for Ann, who began her Oblate candidacy, also for the happy death and eternal rest of her daughter, Shannon, whose death anniversary is this Friday. Prayers for two very special intentions. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL

          January 22, May 23, September 22
          Chapter 5: On Obedience

          The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.
          This is the virtue of those
          who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ;
          who, because of the holy service they have professed,
          and the fear of hell,
          and the glory of life everlasting,
          as soon as anything has been ordered by the Superior,
          receive it as a divine command
          and cannot suffer any delay in executing it.
          Of these the Lord says,
          "As soon as he heard, he obeyed Me" (Ps. 17:45).
          And again to teachers He says,
          "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).


          Such as these, therefore,
          immediately leaving their own affairs
          and forsaking their own will,
          dropping the work they were engaged on
          and leaving it unfinished,
          with the ready step of obedience
          follow up with their deeds the voice of him who commands.
          And so as it were at the same moment
          the master's command is given
          and the disciple's work is completed,
          the two things being speedily accomplished together
          in the swiftness of the fear of God
          by those who are moved
          with the desire of attaining life everlasting.
          That desire is their motive for choosing the narrow way,
          of which the Lord says,
          "Narrow is the way that leads to life" (Matt. 7:14),
          so that,
          not living according to their own choice
          nor obeying their own desires and pleasures
          but walking by another's judgment and command,
          they dwell in monasteries and desire to have an Abbot over them.
          Assuredly such as these are living up to that maxim of the Lord
          in which He says,
          "I have come not to do My own will,
          but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

          REFLECTION

          Several of us were talking with a Brother with a charge who was
          expressing his frustration that people did not do what he asked. He
          had tried to be polite, but his requests were ignored or excuses were
          given at every turn. He was clueless as to why this was happening and
          honestly upset.

          Finally, a senior monk interrupted him with one of the nicest remarks
          I have ever heard made to a monastic. He said: "Wait a minute, Brother,
          you don't understand. You're not like other people, you do what you
          are told without further argument." Another monk added: "For most
          people being told to do something is merely a point to begin
          negotiations."

          Sad, but true! Bluntly put, obedience doesn't do its best work until it
          messes with your life, until it disturbs you and stirs up your
          complacent, settled smugness. It's rather like a light switch. The
          bulb doesn't go on until someone throws the switch. The potential is
          always there, but no switch, no light. Potential light alone is not
          terribly enlightening, as anyone who's tried to read in a fully-wired,
          darkened room can tell you!

          There is a big difference between apathy and detachment.
          This chapter offers a prime example: one leaves one's own affairs,
          drops whatever one was in the midst of and forsakes one's own will.
          That's detachment. Apathy is selfish, detachment is selfless. Apathy
          makes oneself the center, detachment revolves around God and
          others. Detachment cares deeply, but not for the selfish will!

          Apathy, on the other hand, truly doesn't care one way or the other about
          anything. There is no ascesis in apathy, because all things are regarded with
          equal indifference. It is the LACK of indifference and the level of personal
          attachment that makes detachment work. Detachment is active, apathy
          is passive. Apathy is the uncaring state, detachment is the lover's struggle
          against undue caring. It sets our priorities aright and they need that badly!

          Satan hates monastic life, so different aspects will chafe different
          people; that's his only hope of success. Obedience may not bother one
          who goes off the deep end over chastity. Poverty may be a simple
          cinch for one who can scarcely endure stability. Having said this, if
          obedience is your thorn, any words I use to praise it will merely
          annoy. I know, because praise for the "gift" of celibacy sometimes
          drives me wild! But obedience- and celibacy- are deserving of praise.
          They work. When we allow them to work, they lead to immense freedom.

          Obedience was the victim of a lot of word play in the 60's and 70's.
          One must hope it was all sincere, but it was often misguided.
          Beloveds, if you call it "coordination" or "dialogue" or "consensus"
          you run a terrible risk of referring to a light switch more or less
          perpetually in the off position, or to one which casts light only where we'd
          like it to shine. Alas, we are not usually wise enough to request light
          where we need it most. That must be left to God and God uses obedience.

          Always be wary of euphemism, it can be a harbinger that something is askew.
          Euphemisms often stem from a chip on the shoulder and a chip on
          the shoulder usually means wood higher up- like in the cranial regions!
          When any of those euphemisms actually work, actually intervene in
          one's life dramatically, they do so as obedience, plain and simple.
          One might as well just call the rose a rose! It does smell wondrously
          sweet, but it also has thorns...

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

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers, please, for Amy, Sean and Mary, all with important job interviews. May God give each of them the right job. Prayers for Dennis, seeking work in
          Message 4 of 5 , May 22, 2008
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            +PAX

            Prayers, please, for Amy, Sean and Mary, all with important job interviews. May God give each of them the right job.

            Prayers for Dennis, seeking work in another state so the family can move loser to his wife's 85 year old Mom.

            Deo gratias, someone whose anorexia we prayed for in the past is doing well with significant recovery.

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

            Audrey, serious diagnosis requiring dialysis, and Terry, her husband.

            Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Ivy, 98, who has gone to God, and for all who mourn her, especially her sons, William and Paul and John and his 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

            January 22, May 23, September 22
            Chapter 5: On Obedience

            The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.
            This is the virtue of those
            who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ;
            who, because of the holy service they have professed,
            and the fear of hell,
            and the glory of life everlasting,
            as soon as anything has been ordered by the Superior,
            receive it as a divine command
            and cannot suffer any delay in executing it.
            Of these the Lord says,
            "As soon as he heard, he obeyed Me" (Ps. 17:45).
            And again to teachers He says,
            "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).


            Such as these, therefore,
            immediately leaving their own affairs
            and forsaking their own will,
            dropping the work they were engaged on
            and leaving it unfinished,
            with the ready step of obedience
            follow up with their deeds the voice of him who commands.
            And so as it were at the same moment
            the master's command is given
            and the disciple's work is completed,
            the two things being speedily accomplished together
            in the swiftness of the fear of God
            by those who are moved
            with the desire of attaining life everlasting.
            That desire is their motive for choosing the narrow way,
            of which the Lord says,
            "Narrow is the way that leads to life" (Matt. 7:14),
            so that,
            not living according to their own choice
            nor obeying their own desires and pleasures
            but walking by another's judgment and command,
            they dwell in monasteries and desire to have an Abbot over them.
            Assuredly such as these are living up to that maxim of the Lord
            in which He says,
            "I have come not to do My own will,
            but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

            REFLECTION

            A few monks were talking with a Brother with a charge who was
            expressing his frustration that people did not do what he asked. He
            had tried to be polite, but his requests were ignored or excuses were
            given at every turn. He was clueless as to why this was happening and
            honestly upset.

            Finally, a senior monk interrupted him with one of the nicest remarks
            I have ever heard made to a monastic. He said: "Wait a minute, Brother,
            you don't understand. You're not like other people, you do what you
            are told without further argument." Another monk added: "For most
            people being told to do something is merely a point to begin
            negotiations."

            Sad, but true! Bluntly put, obedience doesn't do its best work until it
            messes with your life, until it disturbs you and stirs up your
            complacent, settled smugness. It's rather like a light switch. The
            bulb doesn't go on until someone throws the switch. The potential is
            always there, but no switch, no light. Potential light alone is not
            terribly enlightening, as anyone who's tried to read in a fully-wired,
            darkened room can tell you!

            There is a big difference between apathy and detachment.
            This chapter offers a prime example: one leaves one's own affairs,
            drops whatever one was in the midst of and forsakes one's own will.
            That's detachment. Apathy is selfish, detachment is selfless. Apathy
            makes oneself the center, detachment revolves around God and
            others. Detachment cares deeply, but not for the selfish will!

            Apathy, on the other hand, truly doesn't care one way or the other about
            anything. There is no ascesis in apathy, because all things are regarded with
            equal indifference. It is the LACK of indifference and the level of personal
            attachment that makes detachment work. Detachment is active, apathy
            is passive. Apathy is the uncaring state, detachment is the lover's struggle
            against undue caring. It sets our priorities aright and they need that badly!

            Satan hates monastic life, so different aspects will chafe different
            people; that's his only hope of success. Obedience may not bother one
            who goes off the deep end over chastity. Poverty may be a simple
            cinch for one who can scarcely endure stability. Having said this, if
            obedience is your thorn, any words I use to praise it will merely
            annoy. I know, because praise for the "gift" of celibacy sometimes
            drives me wild! But obedience- and celibacy- are deserving of praise.
            They work. When we allow them to work, they lead to immense freedom.

            Obedience was the victim of a lot of word play in the 60's and 70's.
            One must hope it was all sincere, but it was often misguided.
            Beloveds, if you call it "coordination" or "dialogue" or "consensus"
            you run a terrible risk of referring to a light switch more or less
            perpetually in the off position, or to one which casts light only where we'd
            like it to shine. Alas, we are not usually wise enough to request light
            where we need it most. That must be left to God and God uses obedience.

            Always be wary of euphemism, it can be a harbinger that something is askew.
            Euphemisms often stem from a chip on the shoulder and a chip on
            the shoulder usually means wood higher up- like in the cranial regions!
            When any of those euphemisms actually work, actually intervene in
            one's life dramatically, they do so as obedience, plain and simple.
            One might as well just call the rose a rose! It does smell wondrously
            sweet, but it also has thorns...

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



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