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Holy Rule for August 25

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please for Brenda, surgery on her left eye, and for Muriel, also eye surgery. Prayers for Ben, his total hip is healing, but his son s move away
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 25, 2005

      Prayers, please for Brenda, surgery on her left eye, and for Muriel, also eye surgery. Prayers for Ben, his total hip is healing, but his son's move away to be with his mother and other problems can be very distressing and depressing. Prayers for Cindy, Ben's wife, on her birthday: many years more!! Prayers for David, echocardiogram and stress test today after heart palpitations for some time. Prayers of great Deo gratias for a man who found JUST the right priest to hear his Confession and return him to the sacraments, and for the wonderful priest in question! 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 25, August 25, December 25
      Chapter 67: On Brethren Who Are Sent on a Journey

      Let the brethren who are sent on a journey
      commend themselves
      to the prayers of all the brethren and of the Abbot;
      and always at the last prayer of the Work of God
      let a commemoration be made of all absent brethren.

      When brethren return from a journey,
      at the end of each canonical Hour of the Work of God
      on the day they return,
      let them lie prostrate on the floor of the oratory
      and beg the prayers of all
      on account of any faults
      that may have surprised them on the road,
      through the seeing or hearing of something evil,
      or through idle talk.
      And let no one presume to tell another
      whatever he may have seen or heard outside of the monastery,
      because this causes very great harm.
      But if anyone presumes to do so,
      let him undergo the punishment of the Rule.
      And let him be punished likewise who would presume
      to leave the enclosure of the monastery
      and go anywhere or do anything, however small,
      without an order from the Abbot.


      Rare is the person who can manage to stay employed without at least a
      slightly different persona at work. We are one thing there, because
      we have to be, but when we clock out, much, if not all of the work
      persona is shed. In fact, we usually have a whole repertoire of
      different selves, being one thing with our grandmother and quite
      another with a childhood friend we have known all our lives, one
      thing with the promising new date and quite another with the spouse
      of many years!

      Secular society has enlarged upon this tendency to its own ends.
      Because the tendency is so deeply rooted in us, we may fail to see
      its dangers when carried to extremes. Thanks to a society often
      glaringly unassisted by revelation, we have the unhappy concept of
      different umbrellas, different sets of ethics to cover different
      areas of life. "Hey, religion is fine if you want it, but this is
      BUSINESS!" or "I may be a Christian, but this is public service. I
      was elected by a constituency that expected me to leave some of that
      Gospel stuff at the door." Well, folks, such notions do not always
      wash well. In fact, they really don't wash at all.

      The message of the Holy Rule and of the Gospel is that there is one
      umbrella, period. There is one persona, period. Granted, in the
      latter, shades and gradations may last throughout most of our
      struggling lives, but the goal is clear. All monastic, all Christian,
      all the time. One heart, one umbrella, one Lord, one faith, one

      That work persona that we drop when we clock out, the totally free
      and other person we are on days off or on trips away can be an OK
      notion in relation to work. Wouldn't we find someone who was a
      salesperson or teacher or secretary or manager ALL the time to be a
      dreadful drip? The concept fails, however, when it is applied to
      vocations, to any vocation at all. One does not take a vacation from
      being married or a parent or ordained or a monastic.

      Do I hear loud screams in cyber-space as I mention BALANCE again?
      Sorry, but it is true. There is a balanced way to be under one
      umbrella all the time that we must strive to achieve. Yes, I am
      different with different friends, we all are, we have to be, charity
      demands that. But there is a commonality between all the threads of
      our behavior. We are monastics. We are freer within defined limits.
      It is to the balance of those defined limits that this chapter refers.

      At Petersham, we still follow this custom of prayer for one who will
      be away overnight. The prayers are said in the refectory, after
      grace. One is blessed leaving and returning, while kneeling in the
      center of the ref. It's just a way of saying, as a community, that we
      all know that maintaining that one umbrella can be tough, especially
      when one is away alone. We want to support each other with our
      prayers, we want our brother to know that our hearts are with him all
      the way.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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