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Holy Rule for Nov. 1

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX A blessed Solemnity of All Saints to everyone: happy nameday to all of us!! Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias: Marialyce was able to be on line and
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 1, 2005
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      +PAX

      A blessed Solemnity of All Saints to everyone: happy nameday to all of us!!

      Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias: Marialyce was able to be on line and reading 8 hours after her eye surgery. May she continue to recover quickly and well!

      Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Louis, and for Kathleen and all who mourn him. Prayers for Joy, ovarian cancer six years ago, other sites cropping up now, even in stomach and bones, and for all her family and friends. Prayers for Greg, 23, full-blown lymphoma and broken bones in his shoulder, for Marcie, being treated for a rare cancer, and renewed prayers for Kendall, still suffering from seizures. For C. a host of marital and parental problems are causing a lot of pain just now. Serious prayers here, please, for the spouse and parent, too; the scope is more than this simple request can reflect. 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

      +++++++++In yesterday's reflection, I said that there were times when we should NOT correct. Indeed, there are, but I should have fine-tuned it a bit more. There are situations in which one is morally obliged to say something, where one's silence could actually be complicity. Gentleness and courtesy and love are still the norm here, but one can actually harm another by not mentioning serious sinful matters. Careful assessments must be made as to whom, when and how it is best to approach the matter, but we cannot excuse ourselves by shrugging it off, saying we are not "detached" enough to correct. That might be true in monastic issues that are not seriously sinful, but it is not true in grave moral issues. When in doubt, ask a pastor or spiritual director or confessor to help you with advice.+++++++++++

      March 2, July 2, November 1
      Chapter 25: On Weightier Faults

      Let the brother who is guilty of a weightier fault
      be excluded both from the table and from the oratory.
      Let none of the brethren join him
      either for company or for conversation.
      Let him be alone at the work assigned him,
      abiding in penitential sorrow
      and pondering that terrible sentence of the Apostle
      where he says that a man of that kind is handed over
      for the destruction of the flesh,
      that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (1 Cor. 5:5).
      Let him take his meals alone
      in the measure and at the hour
      which the Abbot shall consider suitable for him.
      He shall not be blessed by those who pass by,
      nor shall the food that is given him be blessed.

      REFLECTION

      OK, here's a meditation that fits the feast today: How many of those
      Saints we are celebrating today once found themselves under this
      stringent punishment and now find themselves in heaven's bliss?
      Probably more than one or two! Punishments like this are a wake-up
      call. Not everyone will take that call, but no doubt many who are
      whooping it up in heaven today would gladly give witness to the
      wisdom of doing so!

      Saints are perfected, not perfect. The final product is very
      different from any point that came before. Punishments like those
      today's chapter suggests are dreadful as end points, but they are not
      at all so as wake-up calls, as points on the way. On the contrary, in
      such cases they can have great beauty. "Amazing Grace, how sweet the
      sound!"

      We have different ways of giving wake-up calls today. I remember a
      priest whose Abbot walked unannounced into his rectory and
      said: "Pack a bag, Father, you are going into treatment for alcohol
      today at Guest House. Right now!" In his case, as in so many, that
      drastic step worked, thanks be to God. That priest died a very
      changed man.

      The error, however, and it is often made out of cowardice, is not to
      give ANY wake-up calls at all. Dump the penal code in the Holy Rule
      and let the failing monastics figure it out for themselves. This
      approach is utterly wrong.

      In the first place, it woefully fails charity. Genuine love often
      obliges us to do unpalatable things. To shirk that demand is terribly
      wrong. Secondly, the monastic mired in whatever delusion of sin or
      illness of addiction has, more often than not, lost the ability to
      see clearly. That's what the community and superior must do for such
      a monastic. To fail to help such a one to awaken to the Light that is
      there for all is a horrible thing.

      We must always remember that Christ came to call the sinners, not
      simply the just. We can pay a lot of lip service to that concept
      without realizing that it could be rendered as: "Christ came to call
      those monastics who need excommunication, not those who don't." Get
      the picture? The ones we most roundly judge (in spite of Jesus'
      insistence that we never do so!) are the ones for whom He came. To
      deny them any opportunity to wake up and get with the program is
      awfully short of genuine love.

      St. Benedict himself says that he wrote his Holy Rule "for
      beginners." Well, folks, check out any skating rink and watch the
      beginners there. You won't have any trouble figuring out who they
      are. Their arms are awkwardly outstretched in futile attempts at
      balance. They wobble, they're clumsy and inept. They fall down a LOT.

      To assume that, in our brave new world, all monastics have lost that
      clumsy ineptitude of beginners is a tragic mistake. We are all
      beginners and we will all die beginners. That's just the way the
      monastic struggle is. Daily we begin again... as the title of one commentary
      on the Holy Rule says!

      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 Our Emma will be coming home to Enumclaw, Washington this week until Dec 11th when she moves into Children s Hospital to begin the rehab. She is still
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 31, 2006
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        +PAX

        Our Emma will be coming home to Enumclaw, Washington this week until Dec
        11th when she moves into Children's Hospital to begin the rehab. She is still
        in need of prayerful protection as she has a blood infection that is
        treatable but a hassle. Emma will need daily wound care which she will get in
        Enumclaw; keep her family in prayer as they assume the primary care giver role for
        everything else over the next couple of weeks.

        Prayers, please, for Bobbie. She has had cancer for 8 years, and has just
        been moved to a hospice, for her happy death and eternal rest, whenever God
        calls her and for all her family and those caring for her, and those who care
        for all our prayer folks. Pat, in her 80's, who is in the last stages of throat
        cancer and for her large family especially Christine. Prayers for two
        marriages in great crisis and all their families. Eternal rest for Trisha's Mom
        and her deceased family members. Prayers for her son, John, last recital before
        University graduation, and that Trisha may attend. Prayers for Barb,
        leukemia. She's been through all the chemo they can do, and is now hospitalized with
        a serious infection, lots of pain in her leg and foot, and internal bleeding.
        Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Fred, who died in a one car
        accident, possibly having had a heart attack. His wife, Eva, was driving
        behind him with her car when it happened. Prayers for her, their children and
        grandchildren and all the family and those who mourn him. 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

        +++++++++In yesterday's reflection, I said that there were times when we
        should
        NOT correct. Indeed, there are, but I should have fine-tuned it a bit more.
        There are situations in which one is morally obliged to say something, where
        one's silence could actually be complicity. Gentleness and courtesy and love
        are
        still the norm here, but one can actually harm another by not mentioning
        serious
        sinful matters. Careful assessments must be made as to whom, when and how it
        is
        best to approach the matter, but we cannot excuse ourselves by shrugging it
        off,
        saying we are not "detached" enough to correct. That might be true in
        monastic
        issues that are not seriously sinful, but it is not true in grave moral
        issues.
        When in doubt, ask a pastor or spiritual director or confessor to help you
        with
        advice.+++++++++++

        March 2, July 2, November 1
        Chapter 25: On Weightier Faults

        Let the brother who is guilty of a weightier fault
        be excluded both from the table and from the oratory.
        Let none of the brethren join him
        either for company or for conversation.
        Let him be alone at the work assigned him,
        abiding in penitential sorrow
        and pondering that terrible sentence of the Apostle
        where he says that a man of that kind is handed over
        for the destruction of the flesh,
        that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (1 Cor. 5:5).
        Let him take his meals alone
        in the measure and at the hour
        which the Abbot shall consider suitable for him.
        He shall not be blessed by those who pass by,
        nor shall the food that is given him be blessed.

        REFLECTION

        OK, here's a meditation that fits the feast today: How many of those
        Saints we are celebrating today once found themselves under this
        stringent punishment and now find themselves in heaven's bliss?
        Probably more than one or two! Punishments like this are a wake-up
        call. Not everyone will take that call, but no doubt many who are
        whooping it up in heaven today would gladly give witness to the
        wisdom of doing so!

        Saints are perfected, not perfect. The final product is very
        different from any point that came before. Punishments like those
        today's chapter suggests are dreadful as end points, but they are not
        at all so as wake-up calls, as points on the way. On the contrary, in
        such cases they can have great beauty. "Amazing Grace, how sweet the
        sound!"

        We have different ways of giving wake-up calls today. I remember a
        priest whose Abbot walked unannounced into his rectory and
        said: "Pack a bag, Father, you are going into treatment for alcohol
        today at Guest House. Right now!" In his case, as in so many, that
        drastic step worked, thanks be to God. That priest died a very
        changed man.

        The error, however, and it is often made out of cowardice, is not to
        give ANY wake-up calls at all. Dump the penal code in the Holy Rule
        and let the failing monastics figure it out for themselves. This
        approach is utterly wrong.

        In the first place, it woefully fails charity. Genuine love often
        obliges us to do unpalatable things. To shirk that demand is terribly
        wrong. Secondly, the monastic mired in whatever delusion of sin or
        illness of addiction has, more often than not, lost the ability to
        see clearly. That's what the community and superior must do for such
        a monastic. To fail to help such a one to awaken to the Light that is
        there for all is a horrible thing.

        We must always remember that Christ came to call the sinners, not
        simply the just. We can pay a lot of lip service to that concept
        without realizing that it could be rendered as: "Christ came to call
        those monastics who need excommunication, not those who don't." Get
        the picture? The ones we most roundly judge (in spite of Jesus'
        insistence that we never do so!) are the ones for whom He came. To
        deny them any opportunity to wake up and get with the program is
        awfully short of genuine love.

        St. Benedict himself says that he wrote his Holy Rule "for
        beginners." Well, folks, check out any skating rink and watch the
        beginners there. You won't have any trouble figuring out who they
        are. Their arms are awkwardly outstretched in futile attempts at
        balance. They wobble, they're clumsy and inept. They fall down a LOT.

        To assume that, in our brave new world, all monastics have lost that
        clumsy ineptitude of beginners is a tragic mistake. We are all
        beginners and we will all die beginners. That's just the way the
        monastic struggle is. Daily we begin again... as the title of one commentary
        on the Holy Rule says!

        Love and prayers,

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







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