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Holy Rule for August 9

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX I apologize that I have found myself backlogged and unable to answer prayer requests individually this week. Please forgive me and accept their appearance
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 9 5:50 AM
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      +PAX

      I apologize that I have found myself backlogged and unable to answer prayer requests individually this week. Please forgive me and accept their appearance in the posts as acknowledgment. Just a lot going on right now...

      Prayers, please, for Sister Lany Jo, on her birthday, graces and blessings! Prayers for A., that she find a good job worthy of her talents, for Kaella, Siobahn, Briana and Adam, returning to regular school after 4 years of home schooling, and for Shirley, their grandmother, who worries for their adjustment, their parents and teachers and all involved. The kids are not thrilled at the transition. 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 9, August 9, December 9
      Chapter 56: On the Abbess's Table

      Let the Abbess's table always be with the guests
      and the pilgrims. But when there are no guests,
      let it be in her power to invite whom she will of the sisters.
      Yet one or two seniors must always be left with the others
      for the sake of discipline.

      REFLECTION

      Let me give you a bit of pragmatic application here. I don't know if this is
      true everywhere, but in both houses I have actually lived in, the monks
      tended to eat rather fast. Secularly speaking, I have a reputation for being a
      fast eater when dining alone, even though I have sometimes wondered about
      how good that is for digestion! Here, however, with no conversation to slow me
      down at all, the monks eat like the wind and I am always the last one, even when
      gulping down as fast as I can. This has resulted in my learning to take less
      and finish whatever I really need at the guesthouse! Sigh...

      Anyway, the upshot here is that guests OFTEN dine more slowly than
      the monastics and we all get up together for grace. If the guests are where
      the Abbot can see them, it is easier to check on who's done and who isn't. We
      wait for them to finish. (At least 99% of the time. I have known especially
      slow guests to win at this face-off once or twice! We just said grace and
      left them to finish...)

      Monastics (like children or spouses!) can be dreadful creatures of
      habit, you should pardon the pun... I can tell you that sometimes
      that waiting seems interminable. I can also tell you that it is good for us,
      for all of us, and this applies equally to families. We ALLOW, even enable
      and encourage the guest to inconvenience us to a certain extent. That's part
      of our hospitality, part of receiving Christ, often in a considerably
      distressing disguise.

      Oblates in families or the world, trust me on this one, I know
      company can sometimes be a pain. I have had company most of
      the time for the last nine years. While I relish the occasional day
      when the house is empty, they are fewer and farther between each
      year. The message here is not only for guests in our homes, but for
      others in general, at work, when shopping or (horrors!) driving. LET others
      put you out a bit. Adopt a courtesy that is greater than the world's.

      I used to work the desk in a public library. From that and from my
      hospital and teaching years, I can tell you that a courteous,
      hospitable, Christian attitude of charity can stand out, really touch
      people. You don't have to be obnoxiously preachy, in fact, that has the
      opposite effect! The subtle grace and love of courtesy will lead a lot of people to
      wonder about you and what motivates you. Some of the braver ones will one day
      even ask. And there is your chance! Go slowly and gently, but tell them why.

      (Here is a completely trivial library desk story as an addendum. Feel
      entirely free to quit now and delete if you want! A man came up to me with a
      polite and rather involved tale of why his books were late. There I sat, civil
      servant plenipotentiary, armed with the Town Manager's Power of the Keys, fines
      I could remit and bonds absolve and loose, so to speak. LOL! His plea touched,
      and sensing someone I could play a bit with, I looked at him dryly and said:
      "Go and learn the true meaning of the words 'it is mercy I desire and not
      sacrifice.' " Without so much as a beat he said: "OK, what monastery were YOU
      in? I used to be a Trappist!")

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

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