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Holy Rule for Sept. 22

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the faith of B., sorely tried just now. Prayers, too, for Linda, Freddie and Riannon, also for Shirley, having a very tough time with
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 22, 2005
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      Prayers, please, for the faith of B., sorely tried just now. Prayers, too, for Linda, Freddie and Riannon, also for Shirley, having a very tough time with expressing her grief and letting those who love her share her burden. Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias: for Michael, about to begin his Oblate program at St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, PA, and for Allison, whose surgery went well. She still needs prayers as she convalesces, and Michael needs them all through his formation. For choice graces for them, and for all! Lord, help them as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy ad grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL

      January 22, May 23, September 22
      Chapter 5: On Obedience

      The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.
      This is the virtue of those
      who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ;
      who, because of the holy service they have professed,
      and the fear of hell,
      and the glory of life everlasting,
      as soon as anything has been ordered by the Superior,
      receive it as a divine command
      and cannot suffer any delay in executing it.
      Of these the Lord says,
      "As soon as he heard, he obeyed Me" (Ps. 17:45).
      And again to teachers He says,
      "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).


      Such as these, therefore,
      immediately leaving their own affairs
      and forsaking their own will,
      dropping the work they were engaged on
      and leaving it unfinished,
      with the ready step of obedience
      follow up with their deeds the voice of him who commands.
      And so as it were at the same moment
      the master's command is given
      and the disciple's work is completed,
      the two things being speedily accomplished together
      in the swiftness of the fear of God
      by those who are moved
      with the desire of attaining life everlasting.
      That desire is their motive for choosing the narrow way,
      of which the Lord says,
      "Narrow is the way that leads to life" (Matt. 7:14),
      so that,
      not living according to their own choice
      nor obeying their own desires and pleasures
      but walking by another's judgment and command,
      they dwell in monasteries and desire to have an Abbot over them.
      Assuredly such as these are living up to that maxim of the Lord
      in which He says,
      "I have come not to do My own will,
      but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

      REFLECTION

      Ever wonder what was so great about obedience? I sure have and I
      vowed it, still wondering a bit. What is so hot about dumping our own
      wills? Sometimes our wills are innocent, sometimes they're even
      downright good. Let's be truthful, sometimes our own wills seem even
      BETTER than the choices presented to us by other circumstances. What
      gives?

      Good rhetorical question, that one: what GIVES. Genuine obedience is
      a gift, to God and to all His people. Make the monastic better and
      you have made the home or monastery better, and so the neighborhood,
      the city, the state and onwards to the whole world. We forget the
      ripple effect, because we cannot clearly see it. We are not giving
      that gift to falsehood, but to truth.

      Every exercise of that gift heightens truth in the world, and Jesus
      is the Truth. There is a very incarnational aspect of obedience. Like
      Mary, we are, in our own halt and lame, partial ways, birthing God.
      In our actions alone can Christ today become visibly human, in our
      tiniest drop of fresh water, the sea becomes less salty, the desert,
      less dry. No one can make the Sahara a rain forest alone, and God
      knows that, but He wants us to try, to be part of the solution, not
      the problem. Enough drops together WOULD make the Sahara bloom.

      Obedience and humility are conjoined twins which share one heart:
      both will die if they are separated. Humility, in its healthiest
      perfection, is truth and that truth births bits of God into the
      world, confetti mosaics that the wind of the Spirit can blow into
      fuller, more accurate portraits. Yes, humility is the most often
      mentioned of connections, but the root of humility is truth and the
      root of truth is God.

      All of us spend large portions of our lives carefully building a
      false self, who lives in a false world, with matching false
      imperatives. Merton speaks of this false self again and again. The
      goal of monastic struggle is to uncover and nurture the TRUE self,
      the true world view and values.

      We often cheerfully ignore the real imperatives of God and life,
      substituting our own and elevating them to a level they truthfully
      (literally!) do not deserve. It's a moral displacement activity. We fail
      altogether in one area, so we compensate by raising another. Trouble
      is, the other one raised is false. Sigh... As Merton also once said:
      "Round and round the mulberry bush..."

      Give a good parent a critically ill child and you will find out
      what's true or important in a hurry. Everything gets dropped at once,
      without hesitation or care. Everything. Give a single person a really
      bad case of the flu and you will soon find imperatives pared to very
      few. (The flu or any illness is a superlative teacher: if it doesn't
      matter when you're that sick, it usually doesn't matter, period!)

      The sentiment is not mine originally, but I have often said that the
      truly neat thing about being HIV+ is that it hit me over the head
      with a 2x4 board and woke me up to a fact that is true for all of us:
      I'm gonna die. Big deal. Didn't happen when I thought it would, may
      not for a long time, I'm quite healthy, but I'm gonna die. So are
      you. Who knows when? Maybe both of us by lunch and neither of us from
      AIDS!

      See what obedience points us toward? Obedience says: here is the
      truth. Embrace it now, don't wait for the threatened child or the
      ghastly flu or AIDS to scare you into appropriate action. The truth
      we only see in crisis is here all along. Keep what you have learned
      from crisis. Live it all the time. Make it a gift, because it is one
      that will enrich others AND yourself!

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
      +PAX Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias, Nina, for whose eye surgery we prayed, is recovering very well. Thanks from her family for all your prayers. A HUGE
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 21, 2006
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        Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias, Nina, for whose eye surgery we prayed, is
        recovering very well. Thanks from her family for all your prayers. A HUGE Deo
        gratias for a special intention of Susan and Shirley that was granted. God
        is good! Prayers for Barb's Mom, who broke her hip this week and had hip
        replacement surgery. She is having respiratory complications post-op. Prayers for
        her and Barb and all their family. prayers for those who care for all our
        prayer folks, spiritually and physically. Prayers for all who die by their own
        hand, may God's mercy call to them with such power that they rush to embrace
        Him.

        Sadly, the three Catholic men in Indonesia were shot early this morning,
        prayers for their happy deaths and eternal rest. Their last requests, including
        Mass and Confession were refused. (By one account, they had been able to
        receive Communion and the Sacrament of Reconciliation earlier in the week, but
        their request to do so at the end was denied.) Many prayers for this very sad
        affair, and for the families of the men and all who mourn them. Prayers, too,
        that their execution does not result in further violence between Christians
        and Muslims. Lord, help us 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

        January 22, May 23, September 22
        Chapter 5: On Obedience

        The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.
        This is the virtue of those
        who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ;
        who, because of the holy service they have professed,
        and the fear of hell,
        and the glory of life everlasting,
        as soon as anything has been ordered by the Superior,
        receive it as a divine command
        and cannot suffer any delay in executing it.
        Of these the Lord says,
        "As soon as he heard, he obeyed Me" (Ps. 17:45).
        And again to teachers He says,
        "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).


        Such as these, therefore,
        immediately leaving their own affairs
        and forsaking their own will,
        dropping the work they were engaged on
        and leaving it unfinished,
        with the ready step of obedience
        follow up with their deeds the voice of him who commands.
        And so as it were at the same moment
        the master's command is given
        and the disciple's work is completed,
        the two things being speedily accomplished together
        in the swiftness of the fear of God
        by those who are moved
        with the desire of attaining life everlasting.
        That desire is their motive for choosing the narrow way,
        of which the Lord says,
        "Narrow is the way that leads to life" (Matt. 7:14),
        so that,
        not living according to their own choice
        nor obeying their own desires and pleasures
        but walking by another's judgment and command,
        they dwell in monasteries and desire to have an Abbot over them.
        Assuredly such as these are living up to that maxim of the Lord
        in which He says,
        "I have come not to do My own will,
        but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

        REFLECTION

        Ever wonder what was so great about obedience? I sure have and I
        vowed it, still wondering a bit. What is so hot about dumping our own
        wills? Sometimes our wills are innocent, sometimes they're even
        downright good. Let's be truthful, sometimes our own wills seem even
        BETTER than the choices presented to us by other circumstances. What
        gives?

        Good rhetorical question, that one: what GIVES. Genuine obedience is
        a gift, to God and to all His people. Make the monastic better and
        you have made the home or monastery better, and so the neighborhood,
        the city, the state and onwards to the whole world. We forget the
        ripple effect, because we cannot clearly see it. We are not giving
        that gift to falsehood, but to truth.

        Every exercise of that gift heightens truth in the world, and Jesus
        is the Truth. There is a very incarnational aspect of obedience. Like
        Mary, we are, in our own halt and lame, partial ways, birthing God.
        In our actions alone can Christ today become visibly human, in our
        tiniest drop of fresh water, the sea becomes less salty, the desert,
        less dry. No one can make the Sahara a rain forest alone, and God
        knows that, but He wants us to try, to be part of the solution, not
        the problem. Enough drops together WOULD make the Sahara bloom.

        Obedience and humility are conjoined twins which share one heart:
        both will die if they are separated. Humility, in its healthiest
        perfection, is truth and that truth births bits of God into the
        world, confetti mosaics that the wind of the Spirit can blow into
        fuller, more accurate portraits. Yes, humility is the most often
        mentioned of connections, but the root of humility is truth and the
        root of truth is God.

        All of us spend large portions of our lives carefully building a
        false self, who lives in a false world, with matching false
        imperatives. Merton speaks of this false self again and again. The
        goal of monastic struggle is to uncover and nurture the TRUE self,
        the true world view and values.

        We often cheerfully ignore the real imperatives of God and life,
        substituting our own and elevating them to a level they truthfully
        (literally!) do not deserve. It's a moral displacement activity. We fail
        altogether in one area, so we compensate by raising another. Trouble
        is, the other one raised is false. Sigh... As Merton also once said:
        "Round and round the mulberry bush..."

        Give a good parent a critically ill child and you will find out
        what's true or important in a hurry. Everything gets dropped at once,
        without hesitation or care. Everything. Give a single person a really
        bad case of the flu and you will soon find imperatives pared to very
        few. (The flu or any illness is a superlative teacher: if it doesn't
        matter when you're that sick, it usually doesn't matter, period!)

        The sentiment is not mine originally, but I have often said that the
        truly neat thing about being HIV+ is that it hit me over the head
        with a 2x4 board and woke me up to a fact that is true for all of us:
        I'm gonna die. Big deal. Didn't happen when I thought it would, may
        not for a long time, I'm quite healthy, but I'm gonna die. So are
        you. Who knows when? Maybe both of us by lunch and neither of us from
        AIDS!

        See what obedience points us toward? Obedience says: here is the
        truth. Embrace it now, don't wait for the threatened child or the
        ghastly flu or HIV to scare you into appropriate action. The truth
        we only see in crisis is here all along. Keep what you have learned
        from crisis. Live it all the time. Make it a gift, because it is one
        that will enrich others AND yourself!

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
        Petersham, MA




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        +PAX Prayers, please, for Robert, newly diagnosed as legally blind, and for Ann Marie, his wife. Prayers for Mary Frances, having tests, and for John and his
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 21, 2007
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          Prayers, please, for Robert, newly diagnosed as legally blind, and for Ann Marie, his wife. Prayers for Mary Frances, having tests, and for John and his family and business. 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

          January 22, May 23, September 22
          Chapter 5: On Obedience

          The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.
          This is the virtue of those
          who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ;
          who, because of the holy service they have professed,
          and the fear of hell,
          and the glory of life everlasting,
          as soon as anything has been ordered by the Superior,
          receive it as a divine command
          and cannot suffer any delay in executing it.
          Of these the Lord says,
          "As soon as he heard, he obeyed Me" (Ps. 17:45).
          And again to teachers He says,
          "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).


          Such as these, therefore,
          immediately leaving their own affairs
          and forsaking their own will,
          dropping the work they were engaged on
          and leaving it unfinished,
          with the ready step of obedience
          follow up with their deeds the voice of him who commands.
          And so as it were at the same moment
          the master's command is given
          and the disciple's work is completed,
          the two things being speedily accomplished together
          in the swiftness of the fear of God
          by those who are moved
          with the desire of attaining life everlasting.
          That desire is their motive for choosing the narrow way,
          of which the Lord says,
          "Narrow is the way that leads to life" (Matt. 7:14),
          so that,
          not living according to their own choice
          nor obeying their own desires and pleasures
          but walking by another's judgment and command,
          they dwell in monasteries and desire to have an Abbot over them.
          Assuredly such as these are living up to that maxim of the Lord
          in which He says,
          "I have come not to do My own will,
          but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

          REFLECTION

          Ever wonder what was so great about obedience? I sure have and I
          vowed it, still wondering a bit. What is so hot about dumping our own
          wills? Sometimes our wills are innocent, sometimes they're even
          downright good. Let's be truthful, sometimes our own wills seem even
          BETTER than the choices presented to us by other circumstances. What
          gives?

          Good rhetorical question, that one: what GIVES. Genuine obedience is
          a gift, to God and to all His people. Make the monastic better and
          you have made the home or monastery better, and so the neighborhood,
          the city, the state and onwards to the whole world. We forget the
          ripple effect, because we cannot clearly see it. We are not giving
          that gift to falsehood, but to truth.

          Every exercise of that gift heightens truth in the world, and Jesus
          is the Truth. There is a very incarnational aspect of obedience. Like
          Mary, we are, in our own halt and lame, partial ways, birthing God.
          In our actions alone can Christ today become visibly human, in our
          tiniest drop of fresh water, the sea becomes less salty, the desert,
          less dry. No one can make the Sahara a rain forest alone, and God
          knows that, but He wants us to try, to be part of the solution, not
          the problem. Enough drops together WOULD make the Sahara bloom.

          Obedience and humility are conjoined twins which share one heart:
          both will die if they are separated. Humility, in its healthiest
          perfection, is truth and that truth births bits of God into the
          world, confetti mosaics that the wind of the Spirit can blow into
          fuller, more accurate portraits. Yes, humility is the most often
          mentioned of connections, but the root of humility is truth and the
          root of truth is God.

          All of us spend large portions of our lives carefully building a
          false self, who lives in a false world, with matching false
          imperatives. Merton speaks of this false self again and again. The
          goal of monastic struggle is to uncover and nurture the TRUE self,
          the true world view and values.

          We often cheerfully ignore the real imperatives of God and life,
          substituting our own and elevating them to a level they truthfully
          (literally!) do not deserve. It's a moral displacement activity. We fail
          altogether in one area, so we compensate by raising another. Trouble
          is, the other one raised is false. Sigh... As Merton also once said:
          "Round and round the mulberry bush..."

          Give a good parent a critically ill child and you will find out
          what's true or important in a hurry. Everything gets dropped at once,
          without hesitation or care. Everything. Give a single person a really
          bad case of the flu and you will soon find imperatives pared to very
          few. (The flu or any illness is a superlative teacher: if it doesn't
          matter when you're that sick, it usually doesn't matter, period!)

          The sentiment is not mine originally, but I have often said that the
          truly neat thing about being HIV+ is that it hit me over the head
          with a 2x4 board and woke me up to a fact that is true for all of us:
          I'm gonna die. Big deal. Didn't happen when I thought it would, may
          not for a long time, I'm quite healthy, but I'm gonna die. So are
          you. Who knows when? Maybe both of us by lunch and neither of us from
          AIDS!

          See what obedience points us toward? Obedience says: here is the
          truth. Embrace it now, don't wait for the threatened child or the
          ghastly flu or HIV to scare you into appropriate action. The truth
          we only see in crisis is here all along. Keep what you have learned
          from crisis. Live it all the time. Make it a gift, because it is one
          that will enrich others AND yourself!

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

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