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Holy Rule for Dec. 29

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Al, stuck in a foreign country on a home visit and having extreme difficulty getting a US visa to return. He is a long-time resident
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 29, 2005
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Al, stuck in a foreign country on a home visit and having extreme difficulty getting a US visa to return. He is a long-time resident here and has much to lose if this isn't resolved soon. Prayers, too for, Amy, her recovery and those treating her. Prayers for Sheila, radiation for benign brain growths that are causing epileptic seizure, and for those treating her. Prayers for Kris, recovering from an accident which totaled her car, but mercifully left her with only a few scrapes. Deo gratias! Prayers for Fr. Van, and for the happy death and eternal rest of his Mother. She died in Viet Nam before he could get a flight there. For a woman who suffered a heart attack and is also in a diabetic coma. Numerous cardiac problems and diabetic issues for years. She is in ICU. Prayers for Russ, her husband and for all her family. Prayers for Shirley, burying her dear uncle, Joe, today. For his happy death and eternal rest and for all his family. Prayers for Francisco, in ICU with a stroke and respiratory problems. 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 29, August 29, December 29
      Chapter 71: That the Brethren Be Obedient to One Another

      Not only is the boon of obedience
      to be shown by all to the Abbot,
      but the brethren are also to obey one another,
      knowing that by this road of obedience they are going to God.
      Giving priority, therefore, to the commands of the Abbot
      and of the Superior appointed by him
      (to which we allow no private orders to be preferred),
      for the rest
      let all the juniors obey their seniors
      with all charity and solicitude.
      But if anyone is found contentious,
      let him be corrected.

      And if any brother,
      for however small a cause,
      is corrected in any way by the Abbot or by any of his Superiors,
      or if he faintly perceives
      that the mind of any Superior is angered or moved against him,
      however little,
      let him at once, without delay,
      prostrate himself on the ground at his feet
      and lie there making satisfaction
      until that emotion is quieted with a blessing.
      But if anyone should disdain to do this,
      let him undergo corporal punishment
      or, if he is stubborn, let him be expelled from the monastery.

      REFLECTION

      OK, now we're getting into radical. Any human group, from the
      military to a kindergarten at recess expects one to obey the leader.
      But each other? Give me a break! How many jobs would you have quit if
      you had to obey all of your co-workers? Yet St. Benedict calls such
      obedience a "boon", a wonderfully good thing.

      Well, giving a break is exactly what is intended here. The Kingdom of
      God, which the Holy Rule seeks to guide us to, is ruled by love, not
      hierarchy per se. It includes a hierarchy, yes, but that, too, is
      founded on love. The Kingdom of God strives for peace and serenity.

      The quickest way to soften an environment and let peace flourish is
      to keep people more or less happy, and the quickest way to do that is
      to give in to their legitimate wishes whenever possible. So long as the
      matter at hand is morally neutral, why not give way?

      Now we're getting to the heroic stuff. There are ulterior benefits to
      obeying the boss, but another peer? What's the big deal there? The
      big deal is love, the big deal is forgetfulness of self, the big deal
      is the abdication of control issues.

      Monastic struggle will not free one who is attached to control. It
      will thwart the good of the struggle. Don't beat yourself up too
      badly on this one if you live in the world, because many, many
      monastics in cloisters fail it as well. It is one of Satan's
      sneakiest tricks and he enjoys its effectiveness immensely. What
      could be better than something the poor victims hardly notice at all,
      that eats up their hard work like a ravenous cancer? Very, very handy.

      I am tempted to say that anyone who is addicted to control- at any
      stage of monastic life- ought to be set to cleaning bathrooms until
      the feeling passes. Hey, that would be a great idea, but most
      monasteries do not have that many toilets. Sad, but true. Rather than
      worry about the pathetic individuals so addicted, who can make life
      so unpleasant for those they live with, why not just focus on
      changing ourselves? We can be part of the solution. We can go out of
      our way to make life easier for each other. We can pray for those who
      don't.

      A horrible truth of monastic life is that if one waits for everyone
      to get perfect (according, of course, to one's own standards!) the
      result will be futile and frustrated stagnation. Community we may be,
      but all on the same page we shall never be till heaven, and maybe not
      even there!

      It's a snap to be a pain. Any fool can pull that off with no effort at
      all. Lots of them do, all the time! The harvest, however, is
      isolation and loneliness, which result in bitterness that only fuels
      the vicious cycle.

      In contrast, it is a bit difficult at first to be easy, but it is
      ALSO addictive when done right! One will soon be hunting for ways to
      be easy, because every drop of water makes the ocean a tiny bit less
      salty. The harvest, too, is far more precious: a growing warmth that
      makes one ever more gentle, more open, more loving and glad to be so.
      The harvest is joy and love, not the lie of possession and bitterness.
      You may not change the world alone, but the change in yourself will be
      awesome and dramatic. That alone will go farther still to improve the
      world, to build up the Mystical Body of Christ.

      It is very unlikely that you will ever be able to cure a control
      freak. Give them a lot of room, because (harsh saying here!) they are
      truly a danger to your soul. Cultivate among your peers an attitude
      of complete non-control, of nearly total indifference to detail,
      rather like the old peace poster that said: "What if they gave a war
      and no one came?".

      Maybe, just maybe, the wizard might one day wake up to actually see
      that Oz is not with her! That's about your only hope. People like
      this can profit us by being crosses and we can grow from praying for
      them, but getting sucked into their hopelessly false view of reality
      is a fatal mistake.

      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 for Brenda and George, both seriously ill with cancer. Prayers for our Oblate, Tom Pio, having sinus surgery this morning on both sides. Continued
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 28, 2006
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        +PAX

        Prayers for Brenda and George, both seriously ill with cancer. Prayers for
        our Oblate, Tom Pio, having sinus surgery this morning on both sides. Continued
        prayers for Mark, who broke his leg in Sept. We have prayed for him then and
        his Dad just sent an update. He is healing, but still on crutches and
        despondent over missing his last (senior year,) season of playing football. Still,
        he is grateful for the effect of our prayers and God's grace. Prayers for his
        Dad and family, too. Prayers for our novice, Br. Dominic, who decided to
        leave, for his health and safety and the perfect will of God is his life.

        An astounding update on our Emma's rehab: she will not have to go to
        Children's for rehab, but can stay at home and do it locally. She began teaching
        herself to walk and progressed so well she does not require further admission to
        the hospital. Deo gratias! 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

        April 29, August 29, December 29
        Chapter 71: That the Brethren Be Obedient to One Another

        Not only is the boon of obedience
        to be shown by all to the Abbot,
        but the brethren are also to obey one another,
        knowing that by this road of obedience they are going to God.
        Giving priority, therefore, to the commands of the Abbot
        and of the Superior appointed by him
        (to which we allow no private orders to be preferred),
        for the rest
        let all the juniors obey their seniors
        with all charity and solicitude.
        But if anyone is found contentious,
        let him be corrected.

        And if any brother,
        for however small a cause,
        is corrected in any way by the Abbot or by any of his Superiors,
        or if he faintly perceives
        that the mind of any Superior is angered or moved against him,
        however little,
        let him at once, without delay,
        prostrate himself on the ground at his feet
        and lie there making satisfaction
        until that emotion is quieted with a blessing.
        But if anyone should disdain to do this,
        let him undergo corporal punishment
        or, if he is stubborn, let him be expelled from the monastery.

        REFLECTION

        OK, now we're getting into radical. Any human group, from the
        military to a kindergarten at recess expects one to obey the leader.
        But each other? Give me a break! How many jobs would you have quit if
        you had to obey all of your co-workers? Yet St. Benedict calls such
        obedience a "boon", a wonderfully good thing.

        Well, giving a break is exactly what is intended here. The Kingdom of
        God, which the Holy Rule seeks to guide us to, is ruled by love, not
        hierarchy per se. It includes a hierarchy, yes, but that, too, is
        founded on love. The Kingdom of God strives for peace and serenity.

        The quickest way to soften an environment and let peace flourish is
        to keep people more or less happy, and the quickest way to do that is
        to give in to their legitimate wishes whenever possible. So long as the
        matter at hand is morally neutral, why not give way?

        Now we're getting to the heroic stuff. There are ulterior benefits to
        obeying the boss, but another peer? What's the big deal there? The
        big deal is love, the big deal is forgetfulness of self, the big deal
        is the abdication of control issues.

        Monastic struggle will not free one who is attached to control. It
        will thwart the good of the struggle. Don't beat yourself up too
        badly on this one if you live in the world, because many, many
        monastics in cloisters fail it as well. It is one of Satan's
        sneakiest tricks and he enjoys its effectiveness immensely. What
        could be better than something the poor victims hardly notice at all,
        that eats up their hard work like a ravenous cancer? Very, very handy.

        I am tempted to say that anyone who is addicted to control- at any
        stage of monastic life- ought to be set to cleaning bathrooms until
        the feeling passes. Hey, that would be a great idea, but most
        monasteries do not have that many toilets. Sad, but true.

        Rather than worry about the pathetic individuals so addicted, who can
        make life so unpleasant for those they live with, why not just focus on
        changing ourselves? We can be part of the solution. We can go out of
        our way to make life easier for each other. We can pray for those who
        don't.

        A horrible truth of monastic life is that if one waits for everyone
        to get perfect (according, of course, to one's own standards!) the
        result will be futile and frustrated stagnation. Community we may be,
        but all on the same page we shall never be till heaven, and maybe not
        even there!

        It's a snap to be a pain. Any fool can pull that off with no effort at
        all. Lots of them do, all the time! The harvest, however, is
        isolation and loneliness, which result in bitterness that only fuels
        the vicious cycle.

        In contrast, it is a bit difficult at first to be easy, but it is
        ALSO addictive when done right! One will soon be hunting for ways to
        be easy, because every drop of water makes the ocean a tiny bit less
        salty. The harvest, too, is far more precious: a growing warmth that
        makes one ever more gentle, more open, more loving and glad to be so.
        The harvest is joy and love, not the lie of possession and bitterness.
        You may not change the world alone, but the change in yourself will be
        awesome and dramatic. That alone will go farther still to improve the
        world, to build up the Mystical Body of Christ.

        It is very unlikely that you will ever be able to cure a control
        freak. Give them a lot of room, because (harsh saying here!) they can be
        truly a danger to your serenity. Cultivate among your peers an attitude
        of complete non-control, of nearly total indifference to detail,
        rather like the old peace poster that said: "What if they gave a war
        and no one came?".

        Maybe, just maybe, the wizard might one day wake up to actually see
        that Oz is not with her! That's about your only hope. People like
        this can profit us by being crosses and we can grow from praying for
        them, but getting sucked into their hopelessly false view of reality
        is a fatal mistake.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
        _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
        Petersham, MA


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        April 29, August 29, December 29 Chapter 71: That the Brethren Be Obedient to One Another Not only is the boon of obedience to be shown by all to the Abbot,
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 28, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          April 29, August 29, December 29
          Chapter 71: That the Brethren Be Obedient to One Another

          Not only is the boon of obedience
          to be shown by all to the Abbot,
          but the brethren are also to obey one another,
          knowing that by this road of obedience they are going to God.
          Giving priority, therefore, to the commands of the Abbot
          and of the Superior appointed by him
          (to which we allow no private orders to be preferred),
          for the rest
          let all the juniors obey their seniors
          with all charity and solicitude.
          But if anyone is found contentious,
          let him be corrected.

          And if any brother,
          for however small a cause,
          is corrected in any way by the Abbot or by any of his Superiors,
          or if he faintly perceives
          that the mind of any Superior is angered or moved against him,
          however little,
          let him at once, without delay,
          prostrate himself on the ground at his feet
          and lie there making satisfaction
          until that emotion is quieted with a blessing.
          But if anyone should disdain to do this,
          let him undergo corporal punishment
          or, if he is stubborn, let him be expelled from the monastery.

          REFLECTION

          OK, now we're getting into radical. Any human group, from the
          military to a kindergarten at recess expects one to obey the leader.
          But each other? Give me a break! How many jobs would you have quit if
          you had to obey all of your co-workers? Yet St. Benedict calls such
          obedience a "boon", a wonderfully good thing.

          Well, giving a break is exactly what is intended here. The Kingdom of
          God, which the Holy Rule seeks to guide us to, is ruled by love, not
          hierarchy per se. It includes a hierarchy, yes, but that, too, is
          founded on love. The Kingdom of God strives for peace and serenity.

          The quickest way to soften an environment and let peace flourish is
          to keep people more or less happy, and the quickest way to do that is
          to give in to their legitimate wishes whenever possible. So long as the
          matter at hand is morally neutral, why not give way?

          Now we're getting to the heroic stuff. There are ulterior benefits to
          obeying the boss, but another peer? What's the big deal there? The
          big deal is love, the big deal is forgetfulness of self, the big deal
          is the abdication of control issues.

          Monastic struggle will not free one who is attached to control. It
          will thwart the good of the struggle. Don't beat yourself up too
          badly on this one if you live in the world, because many, many
          monastics in cloisters fail it as well. It is one of Satan's
          sneakiest tricks and he enjoys its effectiveness immensely. What
          could be better than something the poor victims hardly notice at all,
          that eats up their hard work like a ravenous cancer? Very, very handy.

          I am tempted to say that anyone who is addicted to control- at any
          stage of monastic life- ought to be set to cleaning bathrooms until
          the feeling passes. Hey, that would be a great idea, but most
          monasteries do not have that many toilets. Sad, but true.

          Rather than worry about the pathetic individuals so addicted, who can
          make life so unpleasant for those they live with, why not just focus on
          changing ourselves? We can be part of the solution. We can go out of
          our way to make life easier for each other. We can pray for those who
          don't.

          A horrible truth of monastic life is that if one waits for everyone
          to get perfect (according, of course, to one's own standards!) the
          result will be futile and frustrated stagnation. Community we may be,
          but all on the same page we shall never be till heaven, and maybe not
          even there!

          It's a snap to be a pain. Any fool can pull that off with no effort at
          all. Lots of them do, all the time! The harvest, however, is
          isolation and loneliness, which result in bitterness that only fuels
          the vicious cycle.

          In contrast, it is a bit difficult at first to be easy, but it is
          ALSO addictive when done right! One will soon be hunting for ways to
          be easy, because every drop of water makes the ocean a tiny bit less
          salty. The harvest, too, is far more precious: a growing warmth that
          makes one ever more gentle, more open, more loving and glad to be so.
          The harvest is joy and love, not the lie of possession and bitterness.
          You may not change the world alone, but the change in yourself will be
          awesome and dramatic. That alone will go farther still to improve the
          world, to build up the Mystical Body of Christ.

          It is very unlikely that you will ever be able to cure a control
          freak. Give them a lot of room, because (harsh saying here!) they can be
          truly a danger to your serenity. Cultivate among your peers an attitude
          of complete non-control, of nearly total indifference to detail,
          rather like the old peace poster that said: "What if they gave a war
          and no one came?".

          Maybe, just maybe, the wizard might one day wake up to actually see
          that Oz is not with her! That's about your only hope. People like
          this can profit us by being crosses and we can grow from praying for
          them, but getting sucked into their hopelessly false view of reality
          is a fatal mistake.

          Love and prayers,
          Jerome, OSB

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