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Holy Rule for July 4

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers of Deo gratias and thanks for Maureen Tynan, a faithful Oblate of ours and a Mass and Vespers regular, on her birthday. Ad multos annos!! I think
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 4, 2005
      +PAX

      Prayers of Deo gratias and thanks for Maureen Tynan, a faithful Oblate of ours and a Mass and Vespers regular, on her birthday. Ad multos annos!! I think she turns 39 this year!

      Prayers, please, for Jim, seeking tech support employment, also for a return to the faith for J.S. and Tom. Prayers for someone hoping to found an Oblate community. Lord, help them as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much! JL

      March 4, July 4, November 3
      Chapter 27: How Solicitous the Abbot Should Be for the Excommunicated


      Let the Abbot be most solicitous
      in his concern for delinquent brethren,
      for "it is not the healthy but the sick who need a physician" (Matt
      9:12)
      And therefore he ought to use every means
      that a wise physician would use.
      Let him send senpectae,
      that is, brethren of mature years and wisdom,
      who may as it were secretly console the wavering brother
      and induce him to make humble satisfaction;
      comforting him
      that he may not "be overwhelmed by excessive grief" (2 Cor. 2:7),
      but that, as the Apostle says,
      charity may be strengthened in him (2 Cor. 2:8).
      And let everyone pray for him.

      For the Abbot must have the utmost solicitude
      and exercise all prudence and diligence
      lest he lose any of the sheep entrusted to him.
      Let him know
      that what he has undertaken is the care of weak souls
      and not a tyranny over strong ones;
      and let him fear the Prophet's warning
      through which God says,
      "What you saw to be fat you took to yourselves,
      and what was feeble you cast away" (Ezec. 34:3,4).
      Let him rather imitate the loving example of the Good Shepherd
      who left the ninety-nine sheep in the mountains
      and went to look for the one sheep that had gone astray,
      on whose weakness He had such compassion
      that He deigned to place it on His own sacred shoulders
      and thus carry it back to the flock (Luke 15:4-5).


      REFLECTION

      The Abbess is clearly expected to go the extra mile and a bit beyond
      for the erring monastic. Hope of reform is held for the longest
      possible time. However, remember balance, that Benedictine hallmark?
      Hope to the extreme would turn to damage. The balance, the moderator
      of reality demands that, at some point, if literally all else has
      failed, the situation be faced for what it is and the monastic expelled.

      This is so important for families. How many of us know adults who are
      carrying baggage all their lives from a parent's mistake in this
      regard? All attention is focused on one child (or parent!) to the
      detriment of the rest of the family. Or all attention is focused on a
      child and it ruins the marriage. St. Benedict is very orthodox here:
      he calls us to heroic efforts, but not to stupidity, which would
      damage the rest of the family.

      OK, usually you cannot permanently "excommunicate" one of your
      children, that doesn't apply. But what does apply is that you can
      (even must, for the good of the rest of the group,) stop making
      that child or spouse or sibling or co-worker the determining, pivotal
      point in a dysfunctional three ring circus.

      Bosses, superiors, teachers and parents, anyone in authority can make
      the WHOLE group suffer by mismanaging a troubled person. The untreated
      problem harries everyone and much of the blame for that rests with the one
      in a position to intervene. This is one of the very hard things the Holy Rule asks,
      to truly balance relationships that are often charged with all kinds of intense emotions.

      There are limits to our love for each sheep. Why? Because there are
      other sheep to be loved, too. The responsibility is spread over all.
      Yes, the shepherd may leave the 99 *for a while* to hunt for the lost
      one, but the rest of the flock may never be abandoned wholesale. A
      very hard saying, but, as St. Benedict so often is, right on the
      money!

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Gerry, who died suddenly, for his wife, Peggy and all his family, for all who mourn him. Prayers for
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 3, 2007
        +PAX

        Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Gerry, who died suddenly, for his wife, Peggy and all his family, for all who mourn him.

        Prayers for Bajor's son, that he come to know the fullness of God's will for him and God's protection of him.

        Deo gratias and prayers of thanksgiving for:

        Bobby, whose adoption of his wife's two daughters we prayed for; the court case went smoothly, the adoption is final and Toni-Marie and Taylor have a new Dad.

        Bill, whose bladder cancer we prayed for, he is home and doing much better than expected, still has the cancer, but treatment options will be checked out.

        Dot, whose mastectomy we prayed for, has just gotten a report that he lymph nodes are clear. She is going home today to her own apartment. Dot and Bill are related (I'm not sure how,) and all their family thanks us for our prayers.

        Brenna's Mom, who was wondering about renting her farm has rented it already! A family who badly needed it came her way just like a God-incidence! (I don't believe in COincidence...)

        Prayers for the spiritual, physical and mental health of the following and for all their families:

        Alexander, possible Marfan's syndrome, a connective tissue disease.

        Bonnie, metastatic breast cancer and for Margaret, her Mom.

        Zachary,1, surgery to reconnect his intestine, multiple intestinal troubles in his short life and may still require and intestinal transplant and liver transplant. Also for his parents, Deanna and Brian.

        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

        July 4, November 3
        Chapter 27: How Solicitous the Abbot Should Be for the Excommunicated


        Let the Abbot be most solicitous in his concern for delinquent brethren,
        for "it is not the healthy but the sick who need a physician" (Matt
        9:12) And therefore he ought to use every means
        that a wise physician would use.
        Let him send senpectae, that is, brethren of mature years and wisdom,
        who may as it were secretly console the wavering brother
        and induce him to make humble satisfaction; comforting him
        that he may not "be overwhelmed by excessive grief" (2 Cor. 2:7),
        but that, as the Apostle says, charity may be strengthened in him (2
        Cor. 2:8). And let everyone pray for him.

        For the Abbot must have the utmost solicitude and exercise all prudence
        and diligence lest he lose any of the sheep entrusted to him. Let him
        know that what he has undertaken is the care of weak souls and not a
        tyranny over strong ones; and let him fear the Prophet's warning through
        which God says, "What you saw to be fat you took to yourselves, and what
        was feeble you cast away" (Ezec. 34:3,4). Let him rather imitate the
        loving example of the Good Shepherd who left the ninety-nine sheep in
        the mountains and went to look for the one sheep that had gone astray, on whose
        weakness He had such compassion that He deigned to place it on His own
        sacred shoulders and thus carry it back to the flock (Luke 15:4-5).


        REFLECTION

        The Abbess is clearly expected to go the extra mile and a bit beyond for
        the erring monastic. Hope of reform is held for the longest possible
        time. However, remember balance, that Benedictine hallmark? Hope to the
        extreme would turn to damage. That balance, the moderator of reality,
        demands that, at some point, if literally all else has failed, the
        situation be faced for what it is and the monastic be made aware
        that conversion or departure are virtually the only options left.

        This is so important for families. How many of us know adults who are
        carrying baggage all their lives from a parent's mistake in this
        regard? All attention is focused on one child (or parent!) to the
        detriment of the rest of the family. Or all attention is focused on a
        child and it ruins the marriage. St. Benedict is very orthodox here:
        he calls us to heroic efforts, but not to stupidity, which would
        damage the rest of the family.

        OK, usually you cannot permanently "excommunicate" one of your
        children, that doesn't apply. But what does apply is that you can
        (even must, for the good of the rest of the group,) stop making
        that child or spouse or sibling or co-worker the determining, pivotal
        point in a dysfunctional three ring circus.

        Bosses, superiors, teachers and parents, anyone in authority can make
        the whole group suffer by mismanaging a troubled person. The untreated
        problem harries everyone and much of the blame for that rests with the
        one in a position to intervene. This is one of the very hard things the
        Holy Rule asks, to truly balance relationships that are often charged
        with all kinds of intense emotions.

        There are limits to our love for each sheep. Why? Because there are
        other sheep to be loved, too. The responsibility is spread over all.
        Yes, the shepherd may leave the 99 *for a while* to hunt for the lost
        one, but the rest of the flock may never be abandoned wholesale. A very
        hard saying, but, as St. Benedict so often is, right on the money!

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        +PAX Prayers for the USA on this Independence Day, we need them badly. Prayers, too, for the safety of all celebrating this weekend, accidents claim so many
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 3, 2016
          +PAX



          Prayers for the USA on this Independence Day, we need them badly. Prayers,
          too, for the safety of all celebrating this weekend, accidents claim so many
          lives and injure so many every year.



          For Abbot Aidan, newly elected Abbot of Pecos, New Mexico, and for all his
          Community.



          Prayers for Sarah and Jeff, on their 22nd wedding anniversary, and for their
          twelve children.



          Prayers for Jenny, to remain strong in practicing her Faith.



          Prayers for Ed and Suzanne, on their birthdays, graces galore and many more,
          ad multos annos!



          Prayers please for Mike, who has a lot of stress due to his wife's Parkinson
          disease. He also just found out he has to go on insulin.



          Prayers please for a special intention for Melissa and Jack.



          Prayers for Kerrie and her son, Nick.



          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

          March 4, July 4, November 3
          Chapter 27: How Solicitous the Abbot Should Be for the Excommunicated


          Let the Abbot be most solicitous
          in his concern for delinquent brethren,
          for "it is not the healthy but the sick who need a physician" (Matt
          9:12)
          And therefore he ought to use every means
          that a wise physician would use.
          Let him send senpectae,
          that is, brethren of mature years and wisdom,
          who may as it were secretly console the wavering brother
          and induce him to make humble satisfaction;
          comforting him
          that he may not "be overwhelmed by excessive grief" (2 Cor. 2:7),
          but that, as the Apostle says,
          charity may be strengthened in him (2 Cor. 2:8).
          And let everyone pray for him.

          For the Abbot must have the utmost solicitude
          and exercise all prudence and diligence
          lest he lose any of the sheep entrusted to him.
          Let him know
          that what he has undertaken is the care of weak souls
          and not a tyranny over strong ones;
          and let him fear the Prophet's warning
          through which God says,
          "What you saw to be fat you took to yourselves,
          and what was feeble you cast away" (Ezec. 34:3,4).
          Let him rather imitate the loving example of the Good Shepherd
          who left the ninety-nine sheep in the mountains
          and went to look for the one sheep that had gone astray,
          on whose weakness He had such compassion
          that He deigned to place it on His own sacred shoulders
          and thus carry it back to the flock (Luke 15:4-5).

          REFLECTION

          Here it is. The good part to all this penal code, the loving Father!
          If you remember the Prologue, the kindness and enthusiastic, loving
          zeal that St. Benedict showed there, you will find the more difficult
          things he has to write easier to read: because you will see them
          always through the lens of his loving concern, his gentle compassion.
          In this chapter, that compassion has full rein! This will have a lot
          to say to parents and others in authority, too.

          Notice at once the difference between Benedictine punishment and the
          penal system of the world- in Benedict's day and our own. The secular,
          warehousing view of punishment gives little more than idle lip-service to
          rehabilitation or genuine conversion. It is pretty much reducible to
          punishment for its own sake, a fact that should leave us far less than
          surprised at its ineffectiveness. It fails because it does not love
          the offender, nor seek to heal. Offenders are quick to grasp this fact.

          Benedictine punishment has no reason OTHER than healing, conversion
          and love. This chapter makes that perfectly clear. It is a collective
          human striving to better image the perfect will of God, Who "desires not
          the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live." Its
          entire rationale is love for and healing of the erring monastic.

          I find it interesting that St. Benedict does not stress in these
          preceding chapters the harm done to a community in dealing with
          offenses. Obviously, it sometimes happens that all are harmed, or at
          least shaken by one's actions. It would have been easy enough to
          include this as a rationale for punishment, even as a secondary one,
          but he does not. It leaves us with a pure view of loving concern for
          the guilty one.

          Look at the senpectae- the old, wise ones St. Benedict would send, as
          it were "secretly" to console the afflicted one. They are a cherished
          monastic tradition, because they point clearly to the kindness
          involved in the whole process. In a sense, St. Benedict is telling
          the Abbess to play an acceptable form of "good-cop-bad-cop" to help
          the guilty one to conversion, to a return to spiritual health.

          Parenting styles that miss this Benedictine balance and ideal are
          likely to produce angry, maladjusted kids. We have all seen examples
          of this, both in hindsight and in the noise of public places. I have
          been on trains with mothers who so abused their children with their
          yelling that I wanted to scream back at those mothers, small wonder
          the children did.

          We confuse the stewardship of authority with the selfishness
          of mere power. St. Benedict urges us to never do that, because
          he knows it will fail. Love, only love and the mercy which attends
          it triumphs! Mercy and love burnish the image of God in ourselves
          to a wondrous sheen. So polish up, folks, polish up!

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







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