Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Holy Rule for June 5

Expand Messages
  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Sunday bumps the Feast of St. Boniface, OSB, Apostle of Germany, today, but happy feastday anyway! For MANY of us in the US, if there had been no German
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 5, 2005
      +PAX

      Sunday bumps the Feast of St. Boniface, OSB, Apostle of Germany, today, but happy feastday anyway! For MANY of us in the US, if there had been no German Church, our Abbeys and Priories would never have been founded. Hence, we owe this Anglo-Saxon Benedictine martyr big-time, as well as St. Lioba, and the many nuns and monks who came to help him. Deo gratias!!!

      Prayers, please, for Father Basil Pennington, OCSO, noted author and former Abbot of Holy Spirit Abbey, Conyers, GA, who died on Friday, during Second Vespers of the Sacred Heart, from injuries he received a while ago in an auto accident. We had prayed for him at least once, and I should have put him on again later, too. But God is outside of time, may He grant him eternal rest!

      Prayers, too, for a tragic family: an alcoholic father killed his wife and their two children, then remained in the house with their bodies for 2-3 days. Police found him there. What a heart-breaker! Many prayers for ALL, including the father. He probably needs prayers most and many are most likely praying only for the victims and contemptuous of the father. We ought to always remember this: those who commit such horrible acts, whom people are inclined to loathe or blame, are often cut out of many needed prayers. Remember this particularly when watching or reading the news, when some dastardly deed is reported. It is our job to love the unlovable in prayer, it is our job to love everyone, because God surely does. We are called to be as much like Him as grace and our cooperation with it can make us. 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

      February 4, June 5, October 5
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The seventh degree of humility
      is that he consider himself lower and of less account
      than anyone else,
      and this not only in verbal protestation
      but also with the most heartfelt inner conviction,
      humbling himself and saying with the Prophet,
      "But I am a worm and no man,
      the scorn of men and the outcast of the people" (Ps. 21:7).
      "After being exalted, I have been humbled
      and covered with confusion" (Pa. 87:16).
      And again,
      "It is good for me that You have humbled me,
      that I may learn Your commandments" (Ps. 118:71).

      REFLECTION

      So many people get blown away arguing against the line: "I am a worm
      and no man..." that they completely miss a crucially important fact.
      Very ancient interpretation of this Psalm has the Suffering Servant,
      Jesus, as its focus. Jesus Himself quoted its opening line from the
      Cross: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" There are numerous
      allusions to the crucifixion in this Psalm, casting lots for
      garments, piercing hands and feet and the derision of the crowd, to
      name a few.

      OK, so if we dare to put these wormy terms in the mouth of Christ,
      how come we get upset about saying the same of ourselves? Good
      question! If HE can say it, even metaphorically, we surely should
      have no problem!

      But many seem to have a big problem there, so let's look at the
      matter from a different angle. We absolutely CANNOT know that others
      are worse than us. It's not possible, because we cannot see into
      their hearts, we cannot know every factor in their guilt or lack
      thereof. We cannot know that they are NOT better than us. God, and
      God alone can know all those things. Even the individual involved
      knows less about her complicity and culpability in a given action
      than God does. That knowledge is always and everywhere partially
      withheld from human consciousness. No one will ever know it all until
      they die, when everything that was hidden will be made evident.

      OK, one argues, so if we can't know anyone is worse, we sure can't
      know if they're better, either. Quite right! Our God-given natural
      assessment abilities allow us to be sure of no one's wickedness or
      goodness, not even our own state of grace. BUT we have more facility
      in self-judgement than we have in regard to others. We have more
      parts of the puzzle there, even though we still don't have them all,
      we have windows into our own hearts and minds that we have in no
      other case.

      So, with all this ironclad uncertainty, why would Scripture and the
      Holy Rule ask us to think ourselves less than anyone else? For two
      very important reasons. First, it is the safest position to take.
      Even without full knowledge of ourselves, we have more information
      there than we have anywhere else. Secondly, it is the most profitable
      position for learning and spiritual growth.

      If we think someone is less than ourselves, there is little chance we
      will learn anything from her: we're so busy with patronizing
      condescension that only now and then will the woman's REAL words come
      through to us. On the other hand, if we think everyone has something
      to teach us, knowledge and growth start popping up all over the
      place, in some very unlikely locations! This attitude is part of
      listening, really listening.

      And after all, "Listen" is where our Rule begins!

      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 soul of Dom Gregory van der Kleij, OSB, Prior of the Olivetan Monastery of Christ Our Saviour, Turvey, England, who died last
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 6, 2005
        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for the soul of Dom Gregory van der Kleij, OSB, Prior of the Olivetan Monastery of Christ Our Saviour, Turvey, England, who died last Saturday. May he rest in peace!

        Prayers for Fr. Hugo and his family, traveling to Argentina to see his Mother, Paulina, who has breast cancer and is having surgery and his brother, going blind as a side effect from chemotherapy, prayers, too, for Fr. Volodymyr and his family, who is replacing Fr. Hugo while he is away. Deo gratias that Fr. Basil has returned to Tucson, thus lightening the load on Fr. Hugo's parish duties. Prayers for Sharon's granddaughter, having surgery this Friday. 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

        February 5, June 6, October 6
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The eighth degree of humility
        is that a monk do nothing except what is commended
        by the common Rule of the monastery
        and the example of the elders.

        REFLECTION

        Well, this one looks deceptively simple enough. Just try it! I speak
        as one who has frequently failed it and who sometimes* fails it
        still. [* I only fail it on special occasions: Sunday, Monday,
        Tuesday, Wednesday.... you get the picture.] This step of humility,
        by the way, will translate very easily into family life, the
        neighborhood, or the workplace.

        The goal here is not just external uniformity so much as internal
        detachment. We are deeply attached to the things we do. Demanding to
        do things our own way is not humble. When observers come to the
        monastery, as vocations for the monks or the nuns, I often see little quirks of
        external piety in church and think: "Well, that'll have to go..."

        One cannot profitably go through monastic formation cherishing the
        notion that one has got it right and one's elders have it wrong. You
        may even be right, or the matter may be completely neutral. (The
        term "optional" comes to mind, but that was NOT used to express
        neutrality!) That's not the issue here. Detachment and humility are.

        When we singularize ourselves without real moral imperative, the
        message given to the whole community is "I know better." That this is
        not warmly received in a junior or newcomer should come as no
        surprise. A monastic family is like any spouse: you had better not
        marry what you hope to change them into, but only what they ARE. If
        we fail this, we change "Thy will be done" into "MY will be done!"
        and we do so with sorry results.

        No spouse is perfect, neither is any family, monastery or job, but if
        you expect to change them right off the bat, you're doomed to woe. In
        monastery and marriage and workplace, the only person you can REALLY
        change is yourself and the sooner you get around to doing that, the
        better for all concerned.

        The sad thing (and I am guilty here!) is that sometimes these things
        we do on our own have nothing to do with piety at all. They are,
        pure and simple, revolt, passive aggression, small, though very
        public ways of expressing our scorn for this or that concept or
        person. Having lived in the Church of the 60's and 70's, I picked up
        the idea of refusal as a kind of non-violent demonstration.

        I also must say that, in those less-than-halcyon days, I picked it up
        from my monastic seniors, just not always the best seniors! I still
        do it at times, and I still wrestle with paring those times down day
        by day. The hardest humility and obedience are to things we truly
        think are dumb and do not matter. The difficulty alone must mean
        there is great potential for growth there. The stubborn attachment to
        our own will absolutely guarantees such potential!

        An interesting aside here. The dissenter often thinks she is a grand
        and eloquent witness for justice and truth. The stubborn monk thinks
        he has scored a real victory for integrity and correctness. In fact,
        those who live with them often think they're just pathetic fools. Of the
        two impressions, this last is closer to truth!

        It is also interesting to note (again, from sorry personal experience,)
        that the rebel often looks at other rebels (with whom he does not agree,
        so they are, of course, WRONG...) as silly fools. Wow! If one can be so right
        about those other rebels, how come the other monastics aren't right about
        oneself?? Hmmmm....

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jerry Lee
        +PAX A blessed Feast of St. Boniface, OSB, Apostle of Germany! For MANY of us in the US, if there had been no German Church, our Abbeys and Priories would
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 5, 2006
          +PAX

          A blessed Feast of St. Boniface, OSB, Apostle of Germany! For MANY of us in the US, if there had been no German
          Church, our Abbeys and Priories would never have been founded. Hence, we owe this Anglo-Saxon Benedictine martyr
          big-time, as well as St. Lioba, and the many nuns and monks who came to help him. Deo gratias!!!

          Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Sr. Eileen, for whom we have prayed. She went to God yesterday. Prayers for her friend, Greg, who kept us posted, and all who mourn her. Prayers for Michael, given 6-12 months to live, and for his wife and family, youngest child is in 6th grade, also for his friends, Trish and John and all who are so concerned for him and his wife and children. Prayers for the doctors who treat us all. Prayers for two suffering terrible sexual temptations. 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

          February 4, June 5, October 5
          Chapter 7: On Humility

          The seventh degree of humility
          is that he consider himself lower and of less account
          than anyone else,
          and this not only in verbal protestation
          but also with the most heartfelt inner conviction,
          humbling himself and saying with the Prophet,
          "But I am a worm and no man,
          the scorn of men and the outcast of the people" (Ps. 21:7).
          "After being exalted, I have been humbled
          and covered with confusion" (Ps. 87:16).
          And again,
          "It is good for me that You have humbled me,
          that I may learn Your commandments" (Ps. 118:71).

          REFLECTION

          So many people get blown away arguing against the line: "I am a worm
          and no man..." that they completely miss a crucially important fact.
          Very ancient interpretation of this Psalm has the Suffering Servant,
          Jesus, as its focus. Jesus Himself quoted its opening line from the
          Cross: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" There are numerous
          allusions to the crucifixion in this Psalm, casting lots for
          garments, piercing hands and feet and the derision of the crowd, to
          name a few.

          OK, so if we dare to put these wormy terms in the mouth of Christ,
          how come we get upset about saying the same of ourselves? Good
          question! If HE can say it, even metaphorically, we surely should
          have no problem!

          But many seem to have a big problem there, so let's look at the
          matter from a different angle. We absolutely cannot know that others
          are worse than us. It's not possible, because we cannot see into
          their hearts, we cannot know every factor in their guilt or lack
          thereof. We cannot know that they are not better than us.

          God alone can know all those things. Even the individual involved
          knows less about her complicity and culpability in a given action
          than God does. That knowledge is always and everywhere partially
          withheld from human consciousness. No one will ever know it all until
          they die, when everything that was hidden will be made evident.

          OK, one argues, so if we can't know anyone is worse, we sure can't
          know if they're better, either. Quite right! Our God-given natural
          assessment abilities allow us to be sure of no one's wickedness or
          goodness, not even our own state of grace. But we have more facility
          in self-judgement than we have in regard to others. We have more
          parts of the puzzle there, even though we still don't have them all,
          we have windows into our own hearts and minds that we have in no
          other case.

          So, with all this ironclad uncertainty, why would Scripture and the
          Holy Rule ask us to think ourselves less than anyone else? For two
          very important reasons. First, it is the safest position to take.
          Even without full knowledge of ourselves, we have more information
          there than we have anywhere else. Secondly, it is the most profitable
          position for learning and spiritual growth.

          If we think someone is less than ourselves, there is little chance we
          will learn anything from her: we're so busy with patronizing
          condescension that only now and then will the woman's REAL words come
          through to us. On the other hand, if we think everyone has something
          to teach us, knowledge and growth start popping up all over the
          place, in some very unlikely locations! This attitude is part of
          listening, really listening.

          And after all, "Listen" is where our Rule begins!

          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 When I asked prayers for Brian and his family, I didn t know for sure the age of his two daughters. They are only 8 and 9 and both adored him. Continued
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 4, 2007
            +PAX

            When I asked prayers for Brian and his family, I didn't know for sure the age of his two daughters. They are only 8 and 9 and both adored him. Continued prayers for them and all the Magrath family. I was lucky to be able to see them this afternoon and told them of your prayers, for which they are most grateful.

            Prayers, please, for Chaldean Catholic Father Ragheed and Subdeacons Basman, Ghasan and Wadid, pulled from their car after Sunday Mass and murdered by militants in Mosul, Iraq, also for their families and all who mourn them. Prayers, too for the murderers and all those of any faith who are tragically misled to do violence in the name of God.

            Deo gratias, for T., the diabetic for whom we prayed after her parents arrest. To the great relief of all, she is beginning to take care of herself much better. Prayers for Jackie, an Oblate who has gone to God, for a happy death and eternal rest and for all the family. Prayers, too, for Carm, another Oblate,
            complications from heart surgery.

            Prayers, please, for Bill and for his wife, Peggy. He has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and both are deeply concerned. The stress is working havoc on Peggy's ulcers, so prayers for them both. Prayers, too, for Marianne, possible Parkinson's, but afraid to go to the doctor, and for her worried sister. Deo gratias and thanksgiving for Vic, his lymphoma is presently in remission.

            Prayers for Terry, just diagnosed with bone cancer, and for Doris, who asked for her. May God fill them both with grace and peace. Deo gratias, Kevin, for whom we prayed a while back, is doing much better though on heavy meds and tiring easily. This is quite hard on his toddler son, Declan, and on his exhausted wife, Hilda, so continued prayers for all. Prayers for Gordie, very near death from Parkinson's, and for all his family, prayers for his happy death and eternal rest. 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

            February 4, June 5, October 5
            Chapter 7: On Humility

            The seventh degree of humility
            is that he consider himself lower and of less account
            than anyone else,
            and this not only in verbal protestation
            but also with the most heartfelt inner conviction,
            humbling himself and saying with the Prophet,
            "But I am a worm and no man,
            the scorn of men and the outcast of the people" (Ps. 21:7).
            "After being exalted, I have been humbled
            and covered with confusion" (Ps. 87:16).
            And again,
            "It is good for me that You have humbled me,
            that I may learn Your commandments" (Ps. 118:71).

            REFLECTION

            So many people get blown away arguing against the line: "I am a worm
            and no man..." that they completely miss a crucially important fact.
            Very ancient interpretation of this Psalm has the Suffering Servant,
            Jesus, as its focus. Jesus Himself quoted its opening line from the
            Cross: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" There are numerous
            allusions to the crucifixion in this Psalm, casting lots for
            garments, piercing hands and feet and the derision of the crowd, to
            name a few.

            OK, so if we dare to put these wormy terms in the mouth of Christ,
            how come we get upset about saying the same of ourselves? Good
            question! If HE can say it, even metaphorically, we surely should
            have no problem!

            But many seem to have a big problem there, so let's look at the
            matter from a different angle. We absolutely cannot know that others
            are worse than us. It's not possible, because we cannot see into
            their hearts, we cannot know every factor in their guilt or lack
            thereof. We cannot know that they are not better than us.

            God alone can know all those things. Even the individual involved
            knows less about her complicity and culpability in a given action
            than God does. That knowledge is always and everywhere partially
            withheld from human consciousness. No one will ever know it all until
            they die, when everything that was hidden will be made evident.

            OK, one argues, so if we can't know anyone is worse, we sure can't
            know if they're better, either. Quite right! Our God-given natural
            assessment abilities allow us to be sure of no one's wickedness or
            goodness, not even our own state of grace. But we have more facility
            in self-judgement than we have in regard to others. We have more
            parts of the puzzle there, even though we still don't have them all,
            we have windows into our own hearts and minds that we have in no
            other case.

            So, with all this ironclad uncertainty, why would Scripture and the
            Holy Rule ask us to think ourselves less than anyone else? For two
            very important reasons. First, it is the safest position to take.
            Even without full knowledge of ourselves, we have more information
            there than we have anywhere else. Secondly, it is the most profitable
            position for learning and spiritual growth.

            If we think someone is less than ourselves, there is little chance we
            will learn anything from her: we're so busy with patronizing
            condescension that only now and then will the woman's REAL words come
            through to us. On the other hand, if we think everyone has something
            to teach us, knowledge and growth start popping up all over the
            place, in some very unlikely locations! This attitude is part of
            listening, really listening.

            And after all, "Listen" is where our Rule begins!

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

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.