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Holy Rule for August 23

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for good surgeries for Larry and Amanda, prayers for Jessie, having her tonsils out at 24, often not an easy time for
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 2005
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      Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for good surgeries for Larry and Amanda, prayers for Jessie, having her tonsils out at 24, often not an easy time for such surgery and prayers for Natalie, the wife and Mom who has all three of them in her heart. Prayers for Don, who has lost contact with concerned friends and efforts to locate him have proved futile. Prayers for all discerning Benedictine vocations. Prayers for John's Dad, on the anniversary of his death, and for all his Dad's fellow soldiers who died in Burma in WW II. Prayers for TM, meeting with an estranged son for the first time in 5 years. Prayers for Mary, on her birthday. 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 23, August 23, December 23
      Chapter 65: On the Prior of the Monastery

      To us, therefore, it seems expedient
      for the preservation of peace and charity
      that the Abbot have in his hands
      the full administration of his monastery.
      And if possible let all the affairs of the monastery,
      as we have already arranged,
      be administered by deans according to the Abbot's directions.
      Thus, with the duties being shared by several,
      no one person will become proud.


      But if the circumstances of the place require it,
      or if the community asks for it with reason and with humility,
      and the Abbot judges it to be expedient,
      let the Abbot himself constitute as his Prior
      whomsoever he shall choose
      with the counsel of God-fearing brethren.


      That Prior, however, shall perform respectfully
      the duties enjoined on him by his Abbot
      and do nothing against the Abbot's will or direction;
      for the more he is raised above the rest,
      the more carefully should be observe the precepts of the Rule.


      If it should be found that the Prior has serious faults,
      or that he is deceived by his exaltation and yields to pride,
      or if he should be proved to be a despiser of the Holy Rule,
      let him be admonished verbally up to four times.
      If he fails to amend,
      let the correction of regular discipline be applied to him.
      But if even then he does not reform,
      let him be deposed from the office of Prior
      and another be appointed in his place who is worthy of it.
      And if afterwards he is not quiet and obedient in the community,
      let him even be expelled from the monastery.
      But the Abbot, for his part, should bear in mind
      that he will have to render an account to God
      for all his judgments,
      lest the flame of envy or jealousy be kindled in his soul.

      REFLECTION

      St. Benedict gives a loftiness of respect to the Abbess that is
      almost scary at times. Because of that loftiness, it is refreshing to
      see how firmly he has his feet planted in reality checks, too. The
      Abbot is human, so are those he appoints. They are called to things
      higher, but they can fail them woefully and St. Benedict provides for
      those occasions.

      But the big reality check here is his caution that the Abbess must be
      careful to avoid jealousy. Wow! Right on the mark, but not the first
      idea that would have popped into someone's head unless they had lived
      in community.

      Jealousy, like any vice, isn't good for much, but let's mine the few
      treasures of information it or any vice offers. Our jealousies tell
      us a lot about ourselves, a lot about how far we have to go, a lot
      about how terribly short we fall of having made it! Skip the Abbess
      and Prioress for a minute here and do some self-inventory. Of whom or
      of what are you jealous?

      Check out the valuable leads of your own envy. What's going on here?
      Is she better looking, thinner, richer? Does he have a better
      education? Is the car in the next drive or the house on the next
      block or the apartment on the floor above so much nicer that you pine
      for it? All of these, wherever you find them, are clues. Follow them
      carefully to their source. You may be surprised at what you learn
      about yourself by doing so.

      Be a bit relentless here. WHY are you jealous of a given thing or
      person? Really! Do the better looks mean they have more of a chance
      than you have (or had,) in the marriage market? OK, valid, perhaps,
      but why is the marriage market an issue? The things we desire or envy
      are not always as valid as we think they are. Your own average looks
      or lower economic status may have spared you from a LOT of
      superficiality in dating or friendship. Ever think of that? Keep
      digging on every count and you will find some startling self-truths.

      Try (and I know this is hard from personal experience,) examining the
      things you think are woeful deprivations as tender mercies. They
      often are, perhaps even usually so! Our wishes are not necessarily
      infallible heralds of the good or the best.

      God often has to protect us from ourselves. When we force ourselves
      to finally see that, we can get down to the more important business
      of thanking Him for His infinite and unfathomable Divine Mercy! All
      truly is mercy and grace. It must be, somehow. The clincher is to
      learn to see that!

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

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