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Holy Rule for Mar. 1

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Now that we have both Eastern Christians (whose Lent began on Monday,) and Western Christian on board, a holy and grace-filled and blessed Lent to all!
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 1, 2006
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      +PAX

      Now that we have both Eastern Christians (whose Lent began on Monday,) and Western Christian on board, a holy and grace-filled and blessed Lent to all! May we all move closer to the Lord in these 40 days.

      Prayers, please, for Val, father of the missing woman, Jessie in Alaska, for whom we have been praying. Authorities called off the search, but locals are continuing as volunteers. Val is recovering from a near fatal infection and the effect of all this stress could be very risky. Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Alix's Father, who is home from the hospital and recovering slowly. She thanks all for their prayers!

      Prayers for Alan, who is very kind to our community here and for his elderly Mother, Lucille, who had a very threatening bout with pneumonia and ICU, but seems to be doing better slowly. Prayers, too, for Barbara, Mother of our Sister Julian. She is elderly and spry, but a recent flu has really wiped her out, she has been so very sick. Prayers for them both and for all the doctors who care for us and those we love. 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

      March 1, July 1, October 31
      Chapter 24: What the Measure of Excommunication Should Be

      The measure of excommunication or of chastisement
      should correspond to the degree of fault,
      which degree is estimated by the judgment of the Abbess.


      If a sister is found guilty of lighter faults,
      let her be excluded from the common table.
      Now the program for one deprived of the company of the table
      shall be as follows:
      In the oratory she shall intone neither Psalm nor antiphon
      nor shall she recite a lesson
      until she has made satisfaction;
      in the refectory she shall take her food alone
      after the community meal,
      so that if they eat at the sixth hour, for instance,
      that sister shall eat at the ninth,
      while if they eat at the ninth hour
      she shall eat in the evening,
      until by a suitable satisfaction she obtains pardon.

      REFLECTION

      Let's face it, St. Benedict has a lot to say about excommunication- a
      clumsy term, perhaps, because people often assume it means
      excommunication from the Church, which is the only sense of the word
      we commonly have today. It does not, of course mean that, just a
      punishment of exclusion from certain community functions.

      Let's face something else, at least in this chapter. Fasting an extra
      three hours might not be lovely, but no intoning in choir? What bad
      news! Gosh... Even many of us who CAN sing would look at that as a
      nice break!

      And eating alone? Well, the extra fast was a drag, but I
      sure missed that droning reader and the tedious book we've been
      reading. What awful luck!

      See the difference in perception a millennium or so can make? That
      may be a large part of why the penal code is not followed today: some
      of its punishments simply make little sense to modern monastics, some
      seem mean, and others (as above,) seem like downright vacations.

      The rest of this applies with great ease to family situations,
      marital situations and the workplace. Something must be gleaned from
      all this legislation for punishment: the one at fault must be told
      when something is wrong. That, after all, is the only reason for
      punishment, to be a wake up call to the less than brilliant.

      Unfortunately, the monastic hatred of personal confrontation endemic
      in our ranks assumes (because it is easiest to do so,) sufficient
      brilliance for all to sooner or later figure out that they are amiss.
      It just ain't so, folks, sorry! Things fester when they go ignored
      for years. Things that someone should have dealt with gently, but
      firmly and even summarily, in formation or childhood, torture the
      family in later years.

      Look, it is hard, VERY hard, to confront a predictably stubborn or
      difficult child or monastic or spouse or employee on a bad day. It's
      easy to see why one would rather not do so. But the Holy Rule asks
      many things that are difficult of us, and this one is unquestionably
      for the good of all, both the offender and the offended. The false
      charity, (really just cowardice in polite drag,) that omits to make
      these difficult corrections goes a long way to making everyone's life
      hellish in the future.

      Also, in workplace especially, bear in mind that the authority figure
      here is the abbot, not the rank and file. One dare not assume all
      those prerogatives as a peer and equal. Fraternal correction will get
      a chapter of its own later on, but it is not a mantle to be assumed
      lightly. We must beware of the other extreme: becoming universal
      policing agents for all and sundry. A tiny spark of Gestapo flickers
      in many, if not most human hearts. Do nothing to fan the flame!

      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 Mark, who stepped on a land mine Saturday in Iraq and had two feet blown off, but survived unscathed otherwise. Deo gratias that his life
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 28, 2007
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        +PAX

        Prayers for Mark, who stepped on a land mine Saturday in Iraq and had two
        feet blown off, but survived unscathed otherwise. Deo gratias that his life was
        spared. It appears from his story that intercession to St. Joseph has had a
        lot to do with protecting him. His Mom, Debbie is so grateful. We had prayed
        for Mark when he was deployed earlier. Please continue to pray for him as he
        begins the long road of recovery and rehab. He still has so many hurdles, but
        God is so good. Prayers, too, for Debbie, for all their family, and for all
        those who care for Mark and all of us medically or spiritually.

        Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for C., a very promising job offer!
        Prayers for the team and retreatants of a young adult retreat in Texas, a Bayou
        Awakening, rather like a Cursillo retreat, held later this month. May God fill
        them all with his Holy Spirit and blessings. 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 1, July 1, October 31
        Chapter 24: What the Measure of Excommunication Should Be

        The measure of excommunication or of chastisement
        should correspond to the degree of fault,
        which degree is estimated by the judgment of the Abbess.


        If a sister is found guilty of lighter faults,
        let her be excluded from the common table.
        Now the program for one deprived of the company of the table
        shall be as follows:
        In the oratory she shall intone neither Psalm nor antiphon
        nor shall she recite a lesson
        until she has made satisfaction;
        in the refectory she shall take her food alone
        after the community meal,
        so that if they eat at the sixth hour, for instance,
        that sister shall eat at the ninth,
        while if they eat at the ninth hour
        she shall eat in the evening,
        until by a suitable satisfaction she obtains pardon.

        REFLECTION

        Let's face it, St. Benedict has a lot to say about excommunication- a
        clumsy term, perhaps, because people often assume it means
        excommunication from the Church, which is the only sense of the word
        we commonly have today. It does not, of course mean that, just a
        punishment of exclusion from certain community functions.

        Let's face something else, at least in this chapter. Fasting an extra
        three hours might not be lovely, but no intoning in choir? What bad
        news! Gosh... Even many of us who CAN sing would look at that as a
        nice break!

        And eating alone? Well, the extra fast was a drag, but I
        sure missed that droning reader and the tedious book we've been
        reading. What awful luck!

        See the difference in perception a millennium or so can make? That
        may be a large part of why the penal code is not followed today: some
        of its punishments simply make little sense to modern monastics, some
        seem mean, and others (as above,) seem like downright vacations.

        The rest of this applies with great ease to family situations,
        marital situations and the workplace. Something must be gleaned from
        all this legislation for punishment: the one at fault must be told
        when something is wrong. That, after all, is the only reason for
        punishment, to be a wake up call to the less than brilliant.

        Unfortunately, the monastic hatred of personal confrontation endemic
        in our ranks assumes (because it is easiest to do so,) sufficient
        brilliance for all to sooner or later figure out that they are amiss.
        It just ain't so, folks, sorry! Things fester when they go ignored
        for years. Things that someone should have dealt with gently, but
        firmly and even summarily, in formation or childhood, torture the
        family in later years.

        Look, it is hard, VERY hard, to confront a predictably stubborn or
        difficult child or monastic or spouse or employee on a bad day. It's
        easy to see why one would rather not do so. But the Holy Rule asks
        many things that are difficult of us, and this one is unquestionably
        for the good of all, both the offender and the offended. The false
        charity, (really just cowardice in polite drag,) that omits to make
        these difficult corrections goes a long way to making everyone's life
        hellish in the future.

        Also, in workplace especially, bear in mind that the authority figure
        here is the abbot, not the rank and file. One dare not assume all
        those prerogatives as a peer and equal. Fraternal correction will get
        a chapter of its own later on, but it is not a mantle to be assumed
        lightly. We must beware of the other extreme: becoming universal
        policing agents for all and sundry. A tiny spark of Gestapo flickers
        in many, if not most human hearts. Do nothing to fan the flame!

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

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