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Holy Rule for Nov. 8

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  • Jerry Lee
    PAX Prayers for AJ, drug addiction and attempted suicide, for his parents, uncle and all his family. Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 8 6:14 AM
      PAX

      Prayers for AJ, drug addiction and attempted suicide, for his parents, uncle and all his family. Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Leon, who died suddenly, for his wife, Marty, his sister and all his family. Prayers for Donna's Dad, 92, hospitalized after a fall and needing a skilled nursing facility, for Donna and Ned, her husband and her sister, all trying to make arrangements for their Dad's care. 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

      March 9, July 9, November 8
      Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

      Above all things let him have humility;
      and if he has nothing else to give
      let him give a good word in answer
      for it is written,
      "A good word is above the best gift" (Eccles. 18:17).


      Let him have under his care
      all that the Abbot has assigned to him,
      but not presume to deal with what he has forbidden him.


      Let him give the brethren their appointed allowance of food
      without any arrogance or delay,
      that they may not be scandalized,
      mindful of the Word of God as to what he deserves
      "who shall scandalize one of the little ones" (Matt 18:6).


      If the community is a large one,
      let helpers be given him,
      that by their assistance
      he may fulfill with a quiet mind the office committed to him.
      The proper times should be observed
      in giving the things that have to be given
      and asking for the things that have to be asked for,
      that no one may be troubled or vexed in the house of God.

      REFLECTION

      "A good word is above the best gift." This applies to us all and it
      is so very true. I know we have bad days, I know that sometimes
      emotions can all but overpower us, but for the most part, the self-
      discipline to say something nice, or at least to refrain from saying
      anything harsh, is available and ought to be employed.

      One good word, one kind, caring phrase, can change a person's whole
      day, whole outlook on a given matter, and sometimes even change another's
      whole life. One word can be remembered for years, for decades, for a
      lifetime. Unfortunately, this is equally true if the word was hurtful.

      The power of the tongue, an awesome, wondrous power to foster growth
      or stunt it, to expand or contract the heart of the hearer, this
      power is not the cellarer's alone, it belongs to us all. The tongue
      can figuratively kill, it can distance others from us, leaving us
      finally alone with the predictable isolation of our crankiness.

      It can ruin lives, others' and our own. Very often the harsh word is
      the one never forgotten, the word whose hurt will surface years and
      years after its speaker is off the scene. Think carefully of the harsh
      words you recall being said to you, then think with double caution
      about joining those "unforgettable" ranks by saying such hurtful
      things to others.

      Yet there is a further and even more treacherous trap of the hurtful
      word: it is cyclical evil. It tempts the one hurt to rehearse all
      kinds of comebacks, to hurt the one who hurt first. Never doubt that
      when we provoke others to sin we share in their guilt.

      Even if, by dint of grace, those hurtful replies are never uttered by the one
      we have hurt, great harm is done to another's heart, another's peace, another's
      life in the time wasted focusing on the hurt and plotting revenge. It can
      also tempt another to throw in the towel, to quit altogether, to remove
      oneself from whatever the situation of vulnerability to attack, whether that
      be a job, a marriage or a monastery.

      Those feelings of flee or fight are triggered by adrenalin, to be
      sure, which makes them natural enough, but also very difficult to
      combat. Our smart aleck mouths can place another in a painful morass
      of flee/fight tortures that we may never know about at all. If they
      triumph through grace, we never hear any more of what they suffered,
      but their suffering is no less real and no less surely laid at our
      own feet.

      How many times are we surprised at what another remembers us having
      said (even good stuff!) or the details about a shared day that stand
      out in one mind and not in another? Be very, very careful of the
      memories we give to others. Those memories will live in their minds,
      continuing to potentially cause good or evil, long after we are gone.
      Not for nothing did St. James assert that if we have religion and
      bridle not our tongues, our "religion is in vain." Truly,
      truly, "death and life are in the power of the tongue."

      A last caution: if you are the recipient of harsh words, try hard to
      make yourself a beneficiary, not a victim. Hurt can focus far too
      much on our own imagined worth and importance. Learn the treasure
      of a humility that can thrive on the correct management of such situations
      and feelings. Don't obsess, don't focus on revenge or compose an
      equally cruel comeback.

      Face it, roles change. Some days we are the statue, others we are the
      pigeons. Everything comes to us as a means for grace, but also as a
      possible means for a fall. Choose grace. Minimize the situation rather than
      magnify it. That can make a huge difference!

      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 Forgive my lateness: couldn t get on-line last night, as another monk needed the connection. That may happen from time to time, as 3 of us share this
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 8 6:18 AM
        +PAX

        Forgive my lateness: couldn't get on-line last night, as another monk needed
        the connection. That may happen from time to time, as 3 of us share this
        account, so don't worry if I am a but late now and then.

        Prayers, please, for Carol, as she starts a new school year of teaching.
        Prayers for Rita, 91, for her happy death, eternal rest, and for her children
        and all who mourn her. Prayers for Gertie, who just had quadruple bypass
        surgery, in ICU, struggling against the ventilator, having a rough time post-op and
        for her husband Terry. For Julie, living alone and facing scary medical
        tests and potentially serious health issues. For Denise and Arthur on the
        anniversaries of their deaths, for their happy deaths and eternal rest and for all
        who mourn them. 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

        March 9, July 9, November 8
        Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

        Above all things let him have humility;
        and if he has nothing else to give
        let him give a good word in answer
        for it is written,
        "A good word is above the best gift" (Eccles. 18:17).


        Let him have under his care
        all that the Abbot has assigned to him,
        but not presume to deal with what he has forbidden him.


        Let him give the brethren their appointed allowance of food
        without any arrogance or delay,
        that they may not be scandalized,
        mindful of the Word of God as to what he deserves
        "who shall scandalize one of the little ones" (Matt 18:6).


        If the community is a large one,
        let helpers be given him,
        that by their assistance
        he may fulfill with a quiet mind the office committed to him.
        The proper times should be observed
        in giving the things that have to be given
        and asking for the things that have to be asked for,
        that no one may be troubled or vexed in the house of God.

        REFLECTION

        "A good word is above the best gift." This applies to us all and it
        is so very true. I know we have bad days, I know that sometimes
        emotions can all but overpower us, but for the most part, the self-
        discipline to say something nice, or at least to refrain from saying
        anything harsh, is available and ought to be employed.

        One good word, one kind, caring phrase, can change a person's whole
        day, whole outlook on a given matter, and sometimes even change another's
        whole life. One word can be remembered for years, for decades, for a
        lifetime. Unfortunately, this is equally true if the word was hurtful.

        The power of the tongue, an awesome, wondrous power to foster growth
        or stunt it, to expand or contract the heart of the hearer, this
        power is not the cellarer's alone, it belongs to us all. The tongue
        can figuratively kill, it can distance others from us, leaving us
        finally alone with the predictable isolation of our crankiness.

        It can ruin lives, others' and our own. Very often the harsh word is
        the one never forgotten, the word whose hurt will surface years and
        years after its speaker is off the scene. Think carefully of the harsh
        words you recall being said to you, then think with double caution
        about joining those "unforgettable" ranks by saying such hurtful
        things to others.

        Yet there is a further and even more treacherous trap of the hurtful
        word: it is cyclical evil. It tempts the one hurt to rehearse all
        kinds of comebacks, to hurt the one who hurt first. Never doubt that
        when we provoke others to sin we share in their guilt.

        Even if, by dint of grace, those hurtful replies are never uttered by the one
        we have hurt, great harm is done to another's heart, another's peace,
        another's
        life in the time wasted focusing on the hurt and plotting revenge. It can
        also tempt another to throw in the towel, to quit altogether, to remove
        oneself from whatever the situation of vulnerability to attack, whether that
        be a job, a marriage or a monastery.

        Those feelings of flee or fight are triggered by adrenalin, to be
        sure, which makes them natural enough, but also very difficult to
        combat. Our smart aleck mouths can place another in a painful morass
        of flee/fight tortures that we may never know about at all. If they
        triumph through grace, we never hear any more of what they suffered,
        but their suffering is no less real and no less surely laid at our
        own feet.

        How many times are we surprised at what another remembers us having
        said (even good stuff!) or the details about a shared day that stand
        out in one mind and not in another? Be very, very careful of the
        memories we give to others. Those memories will live in their minds,
        continuing to potentially cause good or evil, long after we are gone.
        Not for nothing did St. James assert that if we have religion and
        bridle not our tongues, our "religion is in vain." Truly,
        truly, "death and life are in the power of the tongue."

        A last caution: if you are the recipient of harsh words, try hard to
        make yourself a beneficiary, not a victim. Hurt can focus far too
        much on our own imagined worth and importance. Learn the treasure
        of a humility that can thrive on the correct management of such situations
        and feelings. Don't obsess, don't focus on revenge or compose an
        equally cruel comeback.

        Face it, roles change. Some days we are the statue, others we are the
        pigeons. Everything comes to us as a means for grace, but also as a
        possible means for a fall. Choose grace. Minimize the situation rather than
        magnify it. That can make a huge difference!

        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 for the happy death and eternal rest of the following and for all their families and all who mourn them: Sister Elaine, OSB, of Holy Name
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 7 2:45 PM
          +PAX

          Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following and for all their families and all who mourn them:

          Sister Elaine, OSB, of Holy Name Monastery, FL. She spent most of her religious life serving migrant farm workers.

          George's Mom, on her death anniversary.

          Prayers for the spiritual, mental and phsical health of the following, and for all their families, all who treat them:

          Annette, possible abdominal cancer, has already dealt with many orthopedic suregries and has more to come, and for her husband, Arthur.

          Viola, strangulating tumor in her throat, malignancy uncertain, but she is in ICU, treament decisions pending.

          Brittany, that she have the strength to end a relationship that may be bad for her, if that is God's will, and for her worried Mom.

          Theodora, surgery this week for removal of a malignant facial/nasal cavity tumor, then radiation and chemo.
          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

          March 9, July 9, November 8
          Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

          Above all things let him have humility;
          and if he has nothing else to give
          let him give a good word in answer
          for it is written,
          "A good word is above the best gift" (Eccles. 18:17).


          Let him have under his care
          all that the Abbot has assigned to him,
          but not presume to deal with what he has forbidden him.


          Let him give the brethren their appointed allowance of food
          without any arrogance or delay,
          that they may not be scandalized,
          mindful of the Word of God as to what he deserves
          "who shall scandalize one of the little ones" (Matt 18:6).


          If the community is a large one,
          let helpers be given him,
          that by their assistance
          he may fulfill with a quiet mind the office committed to him.
          The proper times should be observed
          in giving the things that have to be given
          and asking for the things that have to be asked for,
          that no one may be troubled or vexed in the house of God.

          REFLECTION

          "A good word is above the best gift." This applies to us all and it
          is so very true. I know we have bad days, I know that sometimes
          emotions can all but overpower us, but for the most part, the self-
          discipline to say something nice, or at least to refrain from saying
          anything harsh, is available and ought to be employed.

          One good word, one kind, caring phrase, can change a person's whole
          day, whole outlook on a given matter, and sometimes even change another's
          whole life. One word can be remembered for years, for decades, for a
          lifetime. Unfortunately, this is equally true if the word was hurtful.

          The power of the tongue, an awesome, wondrous power to foster growth
          or stunt it, to expand or contract the heart of the hearer, this
          power is not the cellarer's alone, it belongs to us all. The tongue
          can figuratively kill, it can distance others from us, leaving us
          finally alone with the predictable isolation of our crankiness.

          It can ruin lives, others' and our own. Very often the harsh word is
          the one never forgotten, the word whose hurt will surface years and
          years after its speaker is off the scene. Think carefully of the harsh
          words you recall being said to you, then think with double caution
          about joining those "unforgettable" ranks by saying such hurtful
          things to others.

          Yet there is a further and even more treacherous trap of the hurtful
          word: it is cyclical evil. It tempts the one hurt to rehearse all
          kinds of comebacks, to hurt the one who hurt first. Never doubt that
          when we provoke others to sin we share in their guilt.

          Even if, by dint of grace, those hurtful replies are never uttered by the one
          we have hurt, great harm is done to another's heart, another's peace,
          another's life in the time wasted focusing on the hurt and plotting revenge.
          It can also tempt another to throw in the towel, to quit altogether, to remove
          oneself from whatever the situation of vulnerability to attack, whether that
          be a job, a marriage or a monastery.

          Those feelings of flee or fight are triggered by adrenalin, to be
          sure, which makes them natural enough, but also very difficult to
          combat. Our smart aleck mouths can place another in a painful morass
          of flee/fight tortures that we may never know about at all. If they
          triumph through grace, we never hear any more of what they suffered,
          but their suffering is no less real and no less surely laid at our
          own feet.

          How many times are we surprised at what another remembers us having
          said (even good stuff!) or the details about a shared day that stand
          out in one mind and not in another? Be very, very careful of the
          memories we give to others. Those memories will live in their minds,
          continuing to potentially cause good or evil, long after we are gone.
          Not for nothing did St. James assert that if we have religion and
          bridle not our tongues, our "religion is in vain." Truly,
          truly, "death and life are in the power of the tongue."

          A last caution: if you are the recipient of harsh words, try hard to
          make yourself a beneficiary, not a victim. Hurt can focus far too
          much on our own imagined worth and importance. Learn the treasure
          of a humility that can thrive on the correct management of such situations
          and feelings. Don't obsess, don't focus on revenge or compose an
          equally cruel comeback. We can waste hours rehearsing comeback
          lines for situations that never arise. Time is too precious for that!

          Face it, roles change. Some days we are the statue, others we are the
          pigeons. Everything comes to us as a means for grace, but also as a
          possible means for a fall. Choose grace. Minimize the situation rather than
          magnify it. That can make a huge difference!

          Love and prayers,

          Jerome, OSB
          http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
          Petersham, MA

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Margaret, and for the eternal rest of her husband, Russell, who predeceased her. Prayers, too for Michael S. and all her
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 7 3:44 PM

            +PAX

             

            Prayers for the eternal rest of Margaret, and for the eternal rest of her husband, Russell, who predeceased her. Prayers, too for Michael S. and all her family and all who mourn her.

             

            Prayers for the eternal rest of Michael LoPiccolo’s cousin, Fran, 86, who died in her sleep. Prayers, too, for Michael and all her family and all who mourn her.

             

            Prayers for the eternal rest of Adam, on his birthday, and for his parents and all his family and all who mourn him.

             

            Prayers for the eternal rest of Rheanna, 35, and prayers for her husband, Mark and their two small children, and all her family, and all who mourn her.

             

            Prayers for Anne, who suffered brain injuries when she hit her head during a seizure, and for the doctors treating her, may all go well.

             

            Prayers for safe travels for Brittany and Orest, may they have a good visit with family and friends.

             

            Prayers for Elaine, writing two exams and having a job interview today. Prayers she gets the job.

             

            Prayers for Renick, having gall bladder surgery.  Please keep him and family in your prayers.

             

            Prayers for Taylor, a teen who is pregnant.  Taylor has had many issues for years with mental and emotional problems and addictions.  She is now dealing with the court system.   Prayers, too, for her grandparents and family and especially for the baby.

             

            Prayers for Samantha and her dad, Rick, she learned a few weeks ago that her Dad has end stage lung cancer.   Prayers for his happy death and for all his family. Prayers, too, for the eternal rest of her Mom, whom she lost to colon cancer last year.

             

            Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Emilie, who has completed her chemo after breast cancer surgery and is thrilled her hair is growing back.

             

            Please pray for healing for James. He is back in the hospital and cannot be allowed back home, which leaves him either
            on the streets or in a shelter. Please pray for God to save him, protect and heal him. Prayers too for his family, please.

             

            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

            March 9, July 9, November 8
            Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

            Above all things let him have humility;
            and if he has nothing else to give
            let him give a good word in answer
            for it is written,
            "A good word is above the best gift" (Eccles. 18:17).


            Let him have under his care
            all that the Abbot has assigned to him,
            but not presume to deal with what he has forbidden him.


            Let him give the brethren their appointed allowance of food
            without any arrogance or delay,
            that they may not be scandalized,
            mindful of the Word of God as to what he deserves
            "who shall scandalize one of the little ones" (Matt 18:6).


            If the community is a large one,
            let helpers be given him,
            that by their assistance
            he may fulfill with a quiet mind the office committed to him.
            The proper times should be observed
            in giving the things that have to be given
            and asking for the things that have to be asked for,
            that no one may be troubled or vexed in the house of God.

            REFLECTION

            "A good word is above the best gift." This applies to us all and it
            is so very true. I know we have bad days, I know that sometimes
            emotions can all but overpower us, but for the most part, the self-
            discipline to say something nice, or at least to refrain from saying
            anything harsh, is available and ought to be employed.

            One good word, one kind, caring phrase, can change a person's whole
            day, whole outlook on a given matter, and sometimes even change another's
            whole life. One word can be remembered for years, for decades, for a
            lifetime. Unfortunately, this is equally true if the word was hurtful.

            The power of the tongue, a tremendous power to foster growth
            or stunt it, to expand or contract the heart of the hearer, this
            power belongs to us all. The tongue can figuratively kill, it can

            distance others from us, leaving us finally alone with the predictable

            isolation of our crankiness.

            It can ruin lives, others' and our own. Very often the harsh word is
            the one never forgotten, the word whose hurt will surface years and
            years after its speaker is off the scene. Think carefully of the harsh
            words you recall being said to you, then think with double caution
            about joining those "unforgettable" ranks by saying such hurtful
            things to others.

            Yet there is a further and even more treacherous trap of the hurtful
            word: it is cyclical evil. It tempts the one hurt to rehearse all
            kinds of comebacks, to hurt the one who hurt first. Never doubt that
            when we provoke others to sin we share in their guilt.

            Even if, by dint of grace, those hurtful replies are never uttered by the one
            we have hurt, great harm is done to another's heart, another's peace,
            another's life in the time wasted focusing on the hurt and plotting revenge.
            It can also tempt another to throw in the towel, to quit altogether, to remove
            oneself from whatever the situation of vulnerability to attack, whether that
            be a job, a marriage or a monastery.

            Those feelings of flee or fight are triggered by adrenalin, to be
            sure, which makes them natural enough, but also very difficult to
            combat. Our smart aleck mouths can place another in a painful morass
            of flee/fight tortures that we may never know about at all. If they
            triumph through grace, we never hear any more of what they suffered,
            but their suffering is no less real and no less surely laid at our
            own feet.

            How many times are we surprised at what another remembers us having
            said (even good stuff!) or the details about a shared day that stand
            out in one mind and not in another? Be very, very careful of the
            memories we give to others. Those memories will live in their minds,
            continuing to potentially cause good or evil, long after we are gone.
            Not for nothing did St. James assert that if we have religion and
            bridle not our tongues, our "religion is in vain." Truly,
            truly, "death and life are in the power of the tongue."

            A caution: if you are the recipient of harsh words, try hard to
            make yourself a beneficiary, not a victim. Hurt can focus far too
            much on our own imagined worth and importance. Learn the treasure
            of a humility that can thrive on the correct management of such situations
            and feelings. Don't obsess, don't focus on revenge or compose an
            equally cruel comeback. We can waste hours rehearsing comeback
            lines for situations that never arise. Time is too precious for that!

            Strive to learn not to remember hurtful things said to you in the past.

            Strive to forget such things, not to carry a grudge years afterwards. So

            much time and effort is wasted in that endeavor and it is wrong and harmful.

            Forgive and try not to dwell on hurts and snubs. Let things go, lest they

            eat you up like a cancer.

             

            Everything comes to us as a means for grace, but also as a
            possible means for a fall. Choose grace. Minimize the situation rather than
            magnify it. That can make a huge difference!

            Love and prayers,

            Jerome, OSB
            http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
            Petersham, MA

             

          • russophile2002
            +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Elwood, for whom we prayed, and for all his family, especially Michael, and for all who mourn him. Prayers for the happy
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 7 3:29 PM

              +PAX

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Elwood, for whom we prayed, and for all his family, especially Michael, and for all who mourn him.

               

              Prayers for the happy death of Mary H., terminal cancer, nearing death, and for all her family and all who will mourn her, especially Daniel.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Jack, and of his wife, who predeceased him, and for all his family and all who mourn him, especially his granddaughter, Janel.

               

              Judith asks prayers that a transfer from hospital to rehab may be expedited.

               

              Prayers  for Jennifer F., that the Holy Spirit will continue to help her pass the Nursing Board Exam.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Isabelle G. and for her families and all who mourn her.

               

              Ardent prayers that Melissa returns to the Church.

               

              Prayers for the health of Ginger, spiritual and mental and physical. Many needs.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Adam, on his birthday, and for his family and all 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

              March 9, July 9, November 8
              Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

              Above all things let him have humility;
              and if he has nothing else to give
              let him give a good word in answer
              for it is written,
              "A good word is above the best gift" (Eccles. 18:17).


              Let him have under his care
              all that the Abbot has assigned to him,
              but not presume to deal with what he has forbidden him.


              Let him give the brethren their appointed allowance of food
              without any arrogance or delay,
              that they may not be scandalized,
              mindful of the Word of God as to what he deserves
              "who shall scandalize one of the little ones" (Matt 18:6).


              If the community is a large one,
              let helpers be given him,
              that by their assistance
              he may fulfill with a quiet mind the office committed to him.
              The proper times should be observed
              in giving the things that have to be given
              and asking for the things that have to be asked for,
              that no one may be troubled or vexed in the house of God.

              REFLECTION

              "A good word is above the best gift." This applies to us all and it
              is so very true. I know we have bad days, I know that sometimes
              emotions can all but overpower us, but for the most part, the self-
              discipline to say something nice, or at least to refrain from saying
              anything harsh, is available and ought to be employed.

              One good word, one kind, caring phrase, can change a person's whole
              day, whole outlook on a given matter, and sometimes even change another's
              whole life. One word can be remembered for years, for decades, for a
              lifetime. Unfortunately, this is equally true if the word was hurtful.

              The power of the tongue, a tremendous power to foster growth
              or stunt it, to expand or contract the heart of the hearer, this
              power belongs to us all. The tongue can figuratively kill, it can

              distance others from us, leaving us finally alone with the predictable

              isolation of our crankiness.

              It can ruin lives, others' and our own. Very often the harsh word is
              the one never forgotten, the word whose hurt will surface years and
              years after its speaker is off the scene. Think carefully of the harsh
              words you recall being said to you, then think with double caution
              about joining those "unforgettable" ranks by saying such hurtful
              things to others.

              Yet there is a further and even more treacherous trap of the hurtful
              word: it is cyclical evil. It tempts the one hurt to rehearse all
              kinds of comebacks, to hurt the one who hurt first. Never doubt that
              when we provoke others to sin we share in their guilt.

              Even if, by dint of grace, those hurtful replies are never uttered by the one
              we have hurt, great harm is done to another's heart, another's peace,
              another's life in the time wasted focusing on the hurt and plotting revenge.
              It can also tempt another to throw in the towel, to quit altogether, to remove
              oneself from whatever the situation of vulnerability to attack, whether that
              be a job, a marriage or a monastery.

              Those feelings of flee or fight are triggered by adrenalin, to be
              sure, which makes them natural enough, but also very difficult to
              combat. Our smart aleck mouths can place another in a painful morass
              of flee/fight tortures that we may never know about at all. If they
              triumph through grace, we never hear any more of what they suffered,
              but their suffering is no less real and no less surely laid at our
              own feet.

              How many times are we surprised at what another remembers us having
              said (even good stuff!) or the details about a shared day that stand
              out in one mind and not in another? Be very, very careful of the
              memories we give to others. Those memories will live in their minds,
              continuing to potentially cause good or evil, long after we are gone.
              Not for nothing did St. James assert that if we have religion and
              bridle not our tongues, our "religion is in vain." Truly,
              truly, "death and life are in the power of the tongue."

              A caution: if you are the recipient of harsh words, try hard to
              make yourself a beneficiary, not a victim. Hurt can focus far too
              much on our own imagined worth and importance. Learn the treasure
              of a humility that can thrive on the correct management of such situations
              and feelings. Don't obsess, don't focus on revenge or compose an
              equally cruel comeback. We can waste hours rehearsing comeback
              lines for situations that never arise. Time is too precious for that!

              Strive to learn not to remember hurtful things said to you in the past.

              Strive to forget such things, not to carry a grudge years afterwards. So

              much time and effort is wasted in that endeavor and it is wrong and harmful.

              Forgive and try not to dwell on hurts and snubs. Let things go, lest they

              eat you up like a cancer.

               

              Everything comes to us as a means for grace, but also as a
              possible means for a fall. Choose grace. Minimize the situation rather than
              magnify it. That can make a huge difference!

              Love and prayers,

              Jerome, OSB
              http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
              Petersham, MA

               

               


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