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Holy Rule for June 8

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Abbot Paul, of Zevenkerken, Belgium, now being cared for at home by his Community, and for Celine, in her 30 s, mother of two young
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 8, 2005
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Abbot Paul, of Zevenkerken, Belgium, now being cared for at home by his Community, and for Celine, in her 30's, mother of two young daughters, she fell ill suddenly and is unconscious in ICU with either a brain tumor or a brain hemorrhage. Prayers, too, for Steve, 51, who went to God Sunday morning, for his happy death and eternal rest and for all his family and firends who mourn him. Prayers for Kevin, a soldier in Iraq, and for all in harm's way there. 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 7, June 8, October 8
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The tenth degree of humility
      is that he be not ready and quick to laugh,
      for it is written,
      "The fool lifts up his voice in laughter" (Eccles. 21:23).

      REFLECTION

      Note that the Holy Rule does NOT say not to laugh at all, but just
      not to laugh too fast! In another place, the Rule condemns "idle words"
      which can "provoke buffoonery" (read immoderate laughter!) We are
      not, however, forbidden to laugh at all. Life together will always produce
      some truly comical stuff, and well-ordered appreciation of that gift of
      humor is right in line with a good, balanced Benedictine life.

      WHAT do we laugh at, and how? Do we find humor at others' expense cruelly?
      Do we laugh in such a way as to make the person feel a fool, or in such a way
      as to make her feel part of a shared family joke and joy? Do we laugh with
      love and affection or with pompous derision? There are, make no mistake,
      lots of good and bad ways to laugh.

      Ever know someone who laughs too fast, too often, and at things that no one
      else finds funny? Sometimes we laugh along, in kindness and charity, just to
      keep such a one from feeling as out of place as they well might. Pejoratively,
      we might say such people were kooks, but honestly, what we really feel is that
      they lack depth or maturity or both.

      Christians, all Christians, even Benedictines, are commanded to
      rejoice. There is a Christian imperative to joy, even in the midst of
      the sufferings promised us in this life. Picture joy without one
      single moment of throw-your-head-back-in-glorious-laughter. My! What
      a tasteful, discreet and bloodless little party animal that would be!
      What a great, lifeless remove from the abandon of genuine joy, what a
      total lie!

      I have never known a Benedictine so bad as to never laugh at all, and
      I have known more than a few who seemed to be, to all appearances,
      dreadful enough. Granted, some of the holiest ones chuckled softly a
      good deal more than they roared in laughter, but ALL of them laughed!
      Even those holiest ones, who tended to occasionally just chuckle,
      smiled a LOT and warmly!

      There are, in every age, inappropriate uses of humor. Humor is often
      a nervous cover-up, an avoidance, a substitute for real
      communication. I think these examples are what the Holy Rule
      addresses. We are called to relate to people on a more honest level
      than perpetual joking about. That playfulness may be an antechamber
      to intimacy, but it is no substitute. All loving friends share jokes,
      but if jokes are ALL they share, they are, as yet, neither truly
      loving nor friends. It takes something more than that humor alone.

      It is because humor, jokes and shared laughter can be that first step
      towards intimacy that they are so very necessary for a cenobitic,
      community-loving Benedictine heart. Then, of course, there is also
      that Christian imperative to JOY!

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX An unusual prayer request this morning, one our readers from other countries may have heard little or nothing about. A laptop computer was stolen that
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 8, 2006
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        +PAX

        An unusual prayer request this morning, one our readers from other countries may have heard little or nothing about. A laptop computer was stolen that contained the personal information and codes of 26.5 million U.S. military veterans, every living veteran from in the country, as well as the personal information of many of their widows and dependents. This is an awesome problem of behemoth proportions for identity fraud and means that these folks will have to be vigilant and looking over their shoulders for all of the foreseeable future to protect their credit and financial affairs from fraud. Barring some technological advance that will protect them (which may be ardently prayed for!) even their children, in many cases, will not be safe. Prayers, please, that God protect all these folks, who have already given and suffered much, from further harm, that His will may shelter them and give them peace. May they (and all of us!) realize that they are in the hands of God, not some thief. All things work together for the good for those who love God, sometimes it just takes us plodders a while longer to see that in hindsight. 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 7, June 8, October 8
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The tenth degree of humility
        is that he be not ready and quick to laugh,
        for it is written,
        "The fool lifts up his voice in laughter" (Eccles. 21:23).

        REFLECTION

        Note that the Holy Rule does NOT say not to laugh at all, but just
        not to laugh too fast! In another place, the Rule condemns "idle words"
        which can "provoke buffoonery" (read immoderate laughter!) We are
        not, however, forbidden to laugh at all. Life together will always produce
        some truly comical stuff, and well-ordered appreciation of that gift of
        humor is right in line with a good, balanced Benedictine life.

        WHAT do we laugh at, and how? Do we find humor at others' expense cruelly?
        Do we laugh in such a way as to make the person feel a fool, or in such a way
        as to make her feel part of a shared family joke and joy? Do we laugh with
        love and affection or with pompous derision? There are, make no mistake,
        lots of good and bad ways to laugh.

        Ever know someone who laughs too fast, too often, and at things that no one
        else finds funny? Sometimes we laugh along, in kindness and charity, just to
        keep such a one from feeling as out of place as they well might. Pejoratively,
        we might say such people were kooks, but honestly, what we really feel is that
        they lack depth or maturity or both.

        Christians, all Christians, even Benedictines, are commanded to
        rejoice. There is a Christian imperative to joy, even in the midst of
        the sufferings promised us in this life. Picture joy with never one
        single moment of throw-your-head-back-in-glorious-laughter. My!
        What a prim, prudish and bloodless little party animal that would be!
        What a great, lifeless remove from the abandon of genuine joy, what a
        total lie!

        I have never known a Benedictine so bad as to never laugh at all, and
        I have known more than a few who seemed to be, to all appearances,
        dreadful enough. Granted, some of the holiest ones chuckled softly a
        good deal more than they roared in laughter, but ALL of them laughed!
        Even those holiest ones, who tended to occasionally just chuckle,
        smiled a LOT and warmly!

        There are, in every age, inappropriate uses of humor. Humor is often
        a nervous cover-up, an avoidance, a substitute for real
        communication. I think these examples are what the Holy Rule
        addresses. We are called to relate to people on a more honest level
        than perpetual joking about. That playfulness may be an antechamber
        to intimacy, but it is no substitute. All loving friends share jokes,
        but if jokes are ALL they share, they are, as yet, neither truly
        loving nor friends. It takes something more than that humor alone.

        It is because humor, jokes and shared laughter can be that first step
        towards intimacy that they are so very necessary for a cenobitic,
        community-loving Benedictine heart. Then, of course, there is also
        that Christian imperative to JOY!

        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 Rose and Mr. B, both in nursing homes. Prayers for a couple trying to conceive a child. Prayers for Donna, breast cancer surgery and
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 7, 2007
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          +PAX

          Prayers, please, for Rose and Mr. B, both in nursing homes. Prayers for a couple trying to conceive a child. Prayers for Donna, breast cancer surgery and doing well, but not in full remission yet. Prayers for a young woman struggling bravely to work a twelve step recovery program.

          Prayers for Anthony and Jeremy, both of whom took their own lives. Prayers for Danny and his wife and both their children, especially his infant son, Justin, who has some medical problems. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Eric, for all his family and all who mourn him, especially his Mom. Prayers for a couple seeking to adopt. 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 7, June 8, October 8
          Chapter 7: On Humility

          The tenth degree of humility
          is that he be not ready and quick to laugh,
          for it is written,
          "The fool lifts up his voice in laughter" (Eccles. 21:23).

          REFLECTION

          Note that the Holy Rule does NOT say not to laugh at all, but just
          not to laugh too fast! In another place, the Rule condemns "idle words"
          which can "provoke buffoonery" (read immoderate laughter!) We are
          not, however, forbidden to laugh at all. Life together will always produce
          some truly comical stuff, and well-ordered appreciation of that gift of
          humor is right in line with a good, balanced Benedictine life.

          WHAT do we laugh at, and how? Do we find humor at others' expense cruelly?
          Do we laugh in such a way as to make the person feel a fool, or in such a way
          as to make her feel part of a shared family joke and joy? Do we laugh with
          love and affection or with pompous derision? There are, make no mistake,
          lots of good and bad ways to laugh.

          Ever know someone who laughs too fast, too often, and at things that no one
          else finds funny? Sometimes we laugh along, in kindness and charity, just to
          keep such a one from feeling as out of place as they well might. Pejoratively,
          we might say such people were kooks, but honestly, what we really feel is that
          they lack depth or maturity or both.

          Christians, all Christians, even Benedictines, are commanded to
          rejoice. There is a Christian imperative to joy, even in the midst of
          the sufferings promised us in this life. Picture joy with never one
          single moment of throw-your-head-back-in-glorious-laughter. My!
          What a prim, prudish and bloodless little party animal that would be!
          What a great, lifeless remove from the abandon of genuine joy, what a
          total lie!

          I have never known a Benedictine so bad as to never laugh at all, and
          I have known more than a few who seemed to be, to all appearances,
          dreadful enough. Granted, some of the holiest ones chuckled softly a
          good deal more than they roared in laughter, but ALL of them laughed!
          Even those holiest ones, who tended to occasionally just chuckle,
          smiled a LOT and warmly!

          There are, in every age, inappropriate uses of humor. Humor is often
          a nervous cover-up, an avoidance, a substitute for real
          communication. I think these examples are what the Holy Rule
          addresses. We are called to relate to people on a more honest level
          than perpetual joking about. That playfulness may be an antechamber
          to intimacy, but it is no substitute. All loving friends share jokes,
          but if jokes are ALL they share, they are, as yet, neither truly
          loving nor friends. It takes something more than that humor alone.

          It is because humor, jokes and shared laughter can be that first step
          towards intimacy that they are so very necessary for a cenobitic,
          community-loving Benedictine heart. Then, of course, there is also
          that Christian imperative to JOY!

          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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