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Holy Rule for August 16

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers of Deo gratias and thanks: Mary Ann got the job in her home state, and Siobahn and Brianna are going back to being home schooled. Prayers, please,
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 16, 2005
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      Prayers of Deo gratias and thanks: Mary Ann got the job in her home state, and Siobahn and Brianna are going back to being home schooled.

      Prayers, please, for Dunstan, on a vocation discernment trip to Christ in the Desert, continued prayers for P., also discerning, for grace for all involved to see what God wills. Prayers for Br. Ralph, a serious bike accident required skin grafts on his arms, and for Br. Bosco, professing vows, God willing, next month. Prayers for John, torn retina requiring surgery. Prayers for all the Conventual Franciscan Friars I met yesterday and their ministries. 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 16, August 16, December 16
      Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received

      But if as a guest he was found exacting or prone to vice,
      not only should he be denied membership in the community,
      but he should even be politely requested to leave,
      lest others be corrupted by his evil life.

      If, however, he has not proved to be the kind
      who deserves to be put out,
      he should not only on his own application be received
      as a member of the community,
      but he should even be persuaded to stay,
      that the others may be instructed by his example,
      and because in every place it is the same Lord who is served,
      the same King for whom the battle is fought.

      Moreover, if the Abbot perceives that he is worthy,
      he may put him in a somewhat higher rank.
      And not only with regard to a monk,
      but also with regard to those in priestly or clerical orders
      previously mentioned,
      the Abbot may establish them in a higher rank
      than would be theirs by date of entrance
      if he perceives that their life is deserving.

      Let the Abbot take care, however,
      never to receive a monk from another known monastery
      as a member of his community
      without the consent of his Abbot or a letter of recommendation;
      for it is written,
      "Do not to another what you would not want done to yourself" (Tob.


      Not all criticism is good. Every person at the door of your
      workplace, home or monastery has been sent or allowed there by God.
      They may even be doing His will unwittingly by their pickiness or
      crankiness. That doesn't mean that every single criticism should be
      taken to heart. Sometimes the message God sends is positive,
      sometimes negative, sometimes merely an exercise in endurance! Trust
      me, I have worked in the guest house for over nine years...

      Some of us are so complacent that we badly need to be taken down a
      bit. Others, however, have such wounded self-esteem that they will
      need protection, need to be careful and yes, MINDFUL enough to
      balance what is said to them by critical types. Hear what people say,
      but sift it very carefully.

      Critics might be right, but they might be wrong, too. Some people, I
      have no doubt, are sent to us for no reason other than to teach us to
      recognize such fools as those of whom St. Paul speaks and suffer them
      [hopefully!] gladly, or at least start working at suffering them
      civilly. I usually find myself STILL working at "civilly." Gladly is
      a pretty tall order!

      Some of us, too, need to listen to this while putting ourselves in
      the role of the one criticizing. At St. Leo, when I was a novice in the mid
      1970's, we had one priest who thought every single homily
      should "shake 'em up a bit." Well, yes and no and never at all
      times. Most of us had moved through and beyond what he was stuck in
      and this resulted in a good deal of frustration for all concerned.

      For one thing, he missed the fact that, by now, most of the
      community had been "shaken up" quite regularly for 7 years or so, and
      not always for the better nor always by the brightest. People quite
      rightly got weary of that. He got his chance at first, but it wasn't
      long before our only response was annoyance, followed soon thereafter
      by relative deafness. ("Oh no, look who's celebrant today...") He
      missed the balance and when we miss balances, we largely fail.

      Watch out for terribly angry or unhappy people who work hard- whether
      consciously or not- at making everyone else as miserable as themselves,
      finding fault with absolutely everything. Such people will be terribly unhappy
      and bored in heaven if it really turns out to be so perfect that they
      cannot suggest any improvements. These types set themselves up. After
      a while, others do not listen to them, even on the occasions when
      they are right.

      Learn, if you don't already know, how to discount people like that.
      Don't let them destroy your inner peace, you need that too badly!
      Strive to never be a person like that. Don't make a life calling out
      of shaking people up, they'll get over you fast. But neither should a
      timid, uncharitable politeness make you afraid to speak when it is
      really necessary and might actually help. Balance, ALWAYS balance!

      All of us, guests and hosts, critics and sufferers, need to be guided
      by charity and gentleness. I know people with whom talking is as
      dangerous as skipping through a field of land-mines. One never knows
      what will set them off. The most innocent and sincere exchange can
      trigger an explosion.

      Monastics must never, never be like that. We must work at eradicating
      every possible trace of that in ourselves. Such pettiness is all too
      full of self, beyond which, it actually hurts and harms people. What
      on earth shall we say to God if He ever asks us about that?

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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