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Holy Rule for Jan. 29

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Bill, slowly dying, and all his family. Prayers for Pauline, still suffering terribly from a skin condition that has defied
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 29, 2006
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Bill, slowly dying, and all his family. Prayers for Pauline, still suffering terribly from a skin condition that has defied diagnosis. Prayers for a drug dealer whose family has no idea of his whereabouts, even whether or not he is still alive and for his conversion. Prayers for Elizabeth's return to the Faith. Prayers for Jean and Reggie, for God's will. 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 29, May 30, September 29
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      We must be on our guard, therefore, against evil desires,
      for death lies close by the gate of pleasure.
      Hence the Scripture gives this command:
      "Go not after your concupiscences" (Eccles. 18:30).
      So therefore,
      since the eyes of the Lord observe the good and the evil (Prov. 15:3)
      and the Lord is always looking down from heaven
      on the children of earth
      "to see if there be anyone who understands and seeks God" (Ps. 13:2),
      and since our deeds are daily,
      day and night,
      reported to the Lord by the Angels assigned to us,
      we must constantly beware, brethren,
      as the Prophet says in the Psalm,
      lest at any time God see us falling into evil ways
      and becoming unprofitable (Ps. 13:3);
      and lest, having spared us for the present
      because in His kindness He awaits our reformation,
      He say to us in the future,
      "These things you did, and I held My peace" (Ps. 49:21).

      REFLECTION


      Notice how this portion of the chapter harks back to the Prologue:
      God watches us, and His angels, as well. God waits for our
      reformation. All that beautiful prose of progress and hope in the
      Prologue is intimately linked to humility. Without humility, we
      aren't going anywhere!

      Something else is going on here, since we ourselves must watch and be
      on our guard. Without the eyes of faith, we can miss the fact that
      God or the Angels are watching, but we can never miss our own
      vigilance. We always know when we are being careful and the message
      here is to live carefully all the time, to be mindful, to be on the
      lookout for deceptions and traps.

      "Go not after your concupiscences." Some older translations render
      this "lusts", while the New English Bible has "passions." Certainly,
      concupiscence means desire, but it carries, as do the other two
      terms, a connotation of sexual desire. I am not at all sure that a
      monk of St. Benedict's time would have limited it that strongly. Read
      the Desert Fathers and the Eastern Orthodox monastics of today and
      you will find that the "passions" have, in their works, a far more
      expanded sense, encompassing any desire that can go to extremes. And,
      let us face it, just about all desires, short of the desire to love
      God, can go to extremes!

      There is something reminiscent of a Buddhist principle here: all
      suffering is rooted in desire and peace is the absence of desire.
      The Buddhists certainly did not mean just sexuality. They meant, as I
      think St. Benedict did, detachment from everything, a holy
      indifference to one's condition. That's tough to pull off, and most
      human beings will never go the whole way, but every step in the
      direction of such serenity leaves us freer, freer for God, freer to
      be what He created us to be.

      We live in a secular age that goes far beyond merely baptizing our
      desires: it GLORIFIES them! The late 20th century was unmistakably
      the zenith of the self in human thought. We are actually challenged
      to "follow your bliss." Gee, that sounded nice the first time I heard
      it, still does.

      But, on the other hand, what a trap. Let me be the first to assure
      you that my blisses have gotten me repeatedly into one heck of a lot
      of trouble. We cannot become like Rousseau and assume a noble savage
      image here. We aren't that noble, though we can usually count on the
      savage part....

      Some of our "blisses" are wrong. They are bound to be. And some of
      them, even though neutral, are bound to make us crazy if we make them
      too important. "Go not after thy lusts" means a lot more than just
      sex, it means any inordinate desire.

      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, please, for Christopher, diagnosed with a rare cancer some years ago. He has undergone many treatments since that time and with God s grace has
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 28, 2007
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for Christopher, diagnosed with a rare cancer some years
        ago. He has undergone many treatments since that time and with God's grace has
        been able to return to work and begin to live a somewhat normal life. He is
        experiencing some problems with his bones becoming brittle due to
        the treatments he received. Please pray for him and his family. They are
        also expecting their second child.

        Prayers for Michael, an atheist, that God may fill him with the gift of
        faith and that he may receive it willingly, also for his precocious little
        daughter, who just might be leading him to God. Prayers for the happy death and
        eternal rest of Edna, breast cancer, and for all who mourn her. Prayers for all
        suffering from addictions and for all who die by their own hands. 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 29, May 30, September 29
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        We must be on our guard, therefore, against evil desires,
        for death lies close by the gate of pleasure.
        Hence the Scripture gives this command:
        "Go not after your concupiscences" (Eccles. 18:30).
        So therefore,
        since the eyes of the Lord observe the good and the evil (Prov. 15:3)
        and the Lord is always looking down from heaven
        on the children of earth
        "to see if there be anyone who understands and seeks God" (Ps. 13:2),
        and since our deeds are daily,
        day and night,
        reported to the Lord by the Angels assigned to us,
        we must constantly beware, brethren,
        as the Prophet says in the Psalm,
        lest at any time God see us falling into evil ways
        and becoming unprofitable (Ps. 13:3);
        and lest, having spared us for the present
        because in His kindness He awaits our reformation,
        He say to us in the future,
        "These things you did, and I held My peace" (Ps. 49:21).

        REFLECTION


        Notice how this portion of the chapter harks back to the Prologue:
        God watches us, and His angels, as well. God waits for our
        reformation. All that beautiful prose of progress and hope in the
        Prologue is intimately linked to humility. Without humility, we
        aren't going anywhere!

        Something else is going on here, since we ourselves must watch and be
        on our guard. Without the eyes of faith, we can miss the fact that
        God or the Angels are watching, but we can never miss our own
        vigilance. We always know when we are being careful and the message
        here is to live carefully all the time, to be mindful, to be on the
        lookout for deceptions and traps.

        "Go not after your concupiscences." Some older translations render
        this "lusts", while the New English Bible has "passions." Certainly,
        concupiscence means desire, but it carries, as do the other two
        terms, a connotation of sexual desire. I am not at all sure that a
        monk of St. Benedict's time would have limited it that strongly.

        Read the Desert Fathers and the Eastern Orthodox monastics of today and
        you will find that the "passions" have, in their works, a far more
        expanded sense, encompassing any desire that can go to extremes. And,
        let us face it, just about all desires, short of the desire to love
        God, can go to extremes!

        There is something reminiscent of a Buddhist principle here: all
        suffering is rooted in desire and peace is the absence of desire.
        The Buddhists certainly did not mean just sexuality. They meant, as I
        think St. Benedict did, detachment from everything, a holy
        indifference to one's condition. That's tough to pull off, and most
        human beings will never go the whole way, but every step in the
        direction of such serenity leaves us freer, freer for God, freer to
        be what He created us to be.

        We live in a secular age that goes far beyond merely baptizing our
        desires: it GLORIFIES them! The late 20th century was unmistakably
        the zenith of the self in human thought. We are actually challenged
        to "follow your bliss." Gee, that sounded nice the first time I heard
        it.

        But, on the other hand, what a trap. Let me be the first to assure
        you that my blisses have gotten me repeatedly into one heck of a lot
        of trouble. We cannot become like Rousseau and assume a noble savage
        image here. We aren't that noble, though we can usually count on the
        savage part...

        Some of our "blisses" are wrong. They are bound to be. And some of
        them, even though neutral, are bound to make us crazy if we make them
        too important. "Go not after thy lusts" means a lot more than just
        sex, it means any inordinate desire. Balance, beloveds, always balance!

        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
        +PAX Prayers please for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Jenn, 28, recently
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 28, 2008
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          +PAX

          Prayers please for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

          Jenn, 28, recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and
          Amy,22, said first word today after stroke 2 years ago.
          Teresa, 32, who is to have surgery this week on a herniated disk in her neck. Also for her mother, Dianne, who is very worried.
          Dot's mother, Marjorie, 90+, who is recovering from surgery to repair 2 spinal fractures suffered when she slipped on ice.
          Archbishop Daniel Buchlein, OSB, of Idianapolis, newly diagmosed with Hodgkin's disese, cancer of the lymph nodes.
          Fr. Michael Ithondeka, 41, killed in post-election violence in Kenya. 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 29, May 30, September 29
          Chapter 7: On Humility

          We must be on our guard, therefore, against evil desires,
          for death lies close by the gate of pleasure.
          Hence the Scripture gives this command:
          "Go not after your concupiscences" (Eccles. 18:30).
          So therefore,
          since the eyes of the Lord observe the good and the evil (Prov. 15:3)
          and the Lord is always looking down from heaven
          on the children of earth
          "to see if there be anyone who understands and seeks God" (Ps. 13:2),
          and since our deeds are daily,
          day and night,
          reported to the Lord by the Angels assigned to us,
          we must constantly beware, brethren,
          as the Prophet says in the Psalm,
          lest at any time God see us falling into evil ways
          and becoming unprofitable (Ps. 13:3);
          and lest, having spared us for the present
          because in His kindness He awaits our reformation,
          He say to us in the future,
          "These things you did, and I held My peace" (Ps. 49:21).

          REFLECTION


          Notice how this portion of the chapter harks back to the Prologue:
          God watches us, and His angels, as well. God waits for our
          reformation. All that beautiful prose of progress and hope in the
          Prologue is intimately linked to humility. Without humility, we
          aren't going anywhere!

          Something else is going on here, since we ourselves must watch and be
          on our guard. Without the eyes of faith, we can miss the fact that
          God or the Angels are watching, but we can never miss our own
          vigilance. We always know when we are being careful and the message
          here is to live carefully all the time, to be mindful, to be on the
          lookout for deceptions and traps.

          "Go not after your concupiscences." Some older translations render
          this "lusts", while the New English Bible has "passions." Certainly,
          concupiscence means desire, but it carries, as do the other two
          terms, a connotation of sexual desire. I am not at all sure that a
          monk of St. Benedict's time would have limited it that strongly.

          Read the Desert Fathers and the Eastern Orthodox monastics of today and
          you will find that the "passions" have, in their works, a far more
          expanded sense, encompassing any desire that can go to extremes. And,
          let us face it, just about all desires, short of the desire to love
          God, can go to extremes!

          There is something reminiscent of a Buddhist principle here: all
          suffering is rooted in desire and peace is the absence of desire.
          The Buddhists certainly did not mean just sexuality. They meant, as I
          think St. Benedict did, detachment from everything, a holy
          indifference to one's condition. That's tough to pull off, and most
          human beings will never go the whole way, but every step in the
          direction of such serenity leaves us freer, freer for God, freer to
          be what He created us to be.

          We live in a secular age that goes far beyond merely baptizing our
          desires: it GLORIFIES them! The late 20th century was unmistakably
          the zenith of the self in human thought. We are actually challenged
          to "follow your bliss." Gee, that sounded nice the first time I heard
          it.

          But, on the other hand, what a trap. Let me be the first to assure
          you that my blisses have gotten me repeatedly into one heck of a lot
          of trouble. We cannot become like Rousseau and assume a noble savage
          image here. We aren't that noble, though we can usually count on the
          savage part...

          Some of our "blisses" are wrong. They are bound to be. And some of
          them, even though neutral, are bound to make us crazy if we make them
          too important. "Go not after thy lusts" means a lot more than just
          sex, it means any inordinate desire. Balance, beloveds, always balance!

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




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