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Holy Rule for Mar. 22

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Donna, 64, hospitalized for severe depression, in an abusive marriage for many years, despite attempts to leave, and for Charlene and
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 22, 2006
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Donna, 64, hospitalized for severe depression, in an abusive marriage for many years, despite attempts to leave, and for Charlene and Betty, her worried sister and Mom, also for the conversion of the abusive husband. Prayers for Bob, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia, hospitalized and doing poorly. His grandson, David, recently lost his best friend in a car accident and fears losing his grandfather, prayers for him, for the happy death and eternal rest of his friend and for David's Mom, Lori, who doesn't think he can handle another loss so soon. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Cassie, 21, killed in a car wreck, for her Mom, Cathy, and all her friends and family who mourn her. Prayers for Hall, who died of pancreatic cancer on Valentine's Day, for his happy death and eternal rest, for his wife, Lois, and all who mourn him.

      Prayers for Br. Aelred, new novice at Pluscarden and for their postulant there. Prayers, too, for vocations to St. Mary's Monastery.
      Prayers for Brs. Lucas and Christopher, junior monks at St. Leo who renewed their vows this week, and for Br. Joshua, the new novice master there. 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 22, July 22, November 21
      Chapter 43: On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table

      At the hour for the Divine Office,
      as soon as the signal is heard,
      let them abandon whatever they may have in hand
      and hasten with the greatest speed,
      yet with seriousness, so that there is no excuse for levity.
      Let nothing, therefore, be put before the Work of God.


      If at the Night Office
      anyone arrives after the "Glory be to the Father" of Psalm 94 --
      which Psalm for this reason we wish to be said
      very slowly and protractedly --
      let him not stand in his usual place in the choir;
      but let him stand last of all,
      or in a place set aside by the Abbot for such negligent ones
      in order that they may be seen by him and by all.
      He shall remain there until the Work of God has been completed,
      and then do penance by a public satisfaction.
      the reason why we have judged it fitting
      for them so stand in the last place or in a place apart
      is that,
      being seen by all,
      they may amend for very shame.
      For if they remain outside of the oratory,
      there will perhaps be someone who will go back to bed and sleep
      or at least seat himself outside and indulge in idle talk,
      and thus an occasion will be provided for the evil one.
      But let them go inside,
      that they many not lose the whole Office,
      and may amend for the future.


      At the day Hours
      anyone who does not arrive at the Work of God
      until after the verse
      and the "Glory be to the Father" for the first Psalm following it
      shall stand in the last place,
      according to our ruling above.
      Nor shall he presume to join the choir in their chanting
      until he has made satisfaction,
      unless the Abbot should pardon him and give him permission;
      but even then the offender must make satisfaction for his fault.

      REFLECTION

      For too many years, I have read this chapter as just one more outline
      of punishments for offenses. I missed completely the message to be
      found in its title and I suspect many others have, too. The Work of
      God and Table are lumped together. They are not exactly equal, but
      they have many similarities and are, in some instances, nearly equal.

      Now, this is not something most people would have guessed, especially
      with all the details about times of fasting and amounts of food and
      drink, but it is true nonetheless. St. Benedict links the places and
      times where body and soul are nourished because he esteems both. Like
      any truly orthodox monastic, he escapes the heretical trap of making
      body and matter evil and spirit alone good. Because we sometimes
      unconsciously fall into that trap ourselves, it is easy to misread
      him.

      Neither St. Benedict nor monastic life itself hates the body. Both
      wish to discipline and control it, to remove the obstacles it
      presents to our spirits, but neither can hate the body, because God
      created it and God Himself assumed it. Our bodies are sacred
      temples of the Holy Spirit.

      Talk all you will of bodily mortifications, but the bottom line is that nobody
      (quite literally, "no body",)is getting to the spiritual banquet without a
      truck to take them and that truck is the body. Kill it and you will
      not only have no means of allowing the soul to grow in time, but may
      well have violated the 5th commandment, as well, thereby fouling up
      your total efforts rather messily. Wow! What poor God has to untangle
      in His insistent love and will to save some of us!

      Monastic reforms over the centuries have frequently proclaimed a
      return to the "full rigor of the Rule." Whoops! Missed something
      there, folks. The Rule ain't rigorous. Says so himself, right in the
      Prologue: "...nothing harsh or burdensome." Being observant is one
      thing, but rigorous is quite another. To go beyond the Holy Rule in
      laxity OR austerity is a perilous mistake. Our Rule is balance and
      moderation. Take those away and the critter you are left with is no
      longer Benedictine.

      Rather than alienate the entire camp of those with Cistercian
      leanings in one fell swoop, I will give examples of failure on this
      count on BOTH sides at the time of the Cistercian reform in 1098.
      Cluny, remembered by some Benedictine historians with a bit of pride
      that is embarrassing, was WAY off the mark liturgically. Gee gaws and
      doo-dads and little Offices and devotions for days. Ruined the
      balance. One abbot over literally hundreds of daughter houses and
      thousands of monks. Ruined local autonomy. Not surprisingly, a lot of
      other unlovely stuff crept in. Given the lack of Benedictine balance
      to hone their vision, the fact that they overlooked the mess they
      were in is hardly shocking. Lots of pruning was in order.

      Along come the first Cistercians who point out (maybe a teeny bit
      self-righteously?) that those slimy Benedictines are not only failing
      to abstain from "the flesh of four-footed animals," but are dining
      quite nicely on just about anything within reach. Well, there is a
      point there, then and now!

      But there is a point against the reforms of Citeaux and La Grande Trappe,
      too. Want to get literalist? The Holy Rule says meat from quadrupeds.
      If it meant all meat, period, that would have been easier to say; it would
      have even saved some ink and parchment, in an age when neither were
      that easy to come by.

      But it didn't say that. That left fish and poultry wide open. The
      Trappists didn't think so: meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese ALL got
      banned. Okaaay..... But if you have only one oar in the water, you
      are quite likely to wind up going in circles...

      If the literal Rule is what you want, then take it, but always,
      always remember that the literal Rule cuts a LOT of slack and demands
      a lot of balance. Miss that and you might miss the boat entirely.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@...
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
      +PAX Prayers of Deo gratias and welcome for Vincent, born 3/21, his proud grandfather, Dave, and all his family. Prayers especially that his parents, Andy and
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 21, 2007
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        +PAX

        Prayers of Deo gratias and welcome for Vincent, born 3/21, his proud
        grandfather, Dave, and all his family. Prayers especially that his parents, Andy and
        Serena will open their hearts wide to the grace of Christ.

        Prayers, please, for the Lord's help in selling a house that has been on the
        market for 3 years. Prayers for Ruth, hoping to avoid a colostomy in
        forthcoming surgery and for her husband and their finances. Prayers for Anna and
        some of her co-workers who are being given an impossible task at work,
        impossible for them because it involves working hours that conflicts with their family
        life. Prayers for Marion, a cancer survivor whose 14 year old dog, Emma, has
        been missing since yesterday from her totally enclosed yard. The dog is
        epileptic and Marion is distraught with worry. Pet lovers will well understand!

        Prayers for a Methodist clergyman charged with sexual misconduct, who might
        be going through the ordeal of a church trial. He is believed to be innocent
        and even if he is cleared there will still be so much damage done to his
        spirit and not much will be done to help him. Please pray for an elderly couple
        who are suffering terribly from a great loss, and for a change of heart in
        those who are responsible. 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 22, July 22, November 21
        Chapter 43: On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table

        At the hour for the Divine Office,
        as soon as the signal is heard,
        let them abandon whatever they may have in hand
        and hasten with the greatest speed,
        yet with seriousness, so that there is no excuse for levity.
        Let nothing, therefore, be put before the Work of God.


        If at the Night Office
        anyone arrives after the "Glory be to the Father" of Psalm 94 --
        which Psalm for this reason we wish to be said
        very slowly and protractedly --
        let him not stand in his usual place in the choir;
        but let him stand last of all,
        or in a place set aside by the Abbot for such negligent ones
        in order that they may be seen by him and by all.
        He shall remain there until the Work of God has been completed,
        and then do penance by a public satisfaction.
        the reason why we have judged it fitting
        for them so stand in the last place or in a place apart
        is that,
        being seen by all,
        they may amend for very shame.
        For if they remain outside of the oratory,
        there will perhaps be someone who will go back to bed and sleep
        or at least seat himself outside and indulge in idle talk,
        and thus an occasion will be provided for the evil one.
        But let them go inside,
        that they many not lose the whole Office,
        and may amend for the future.


        At the day Hours
        anyone who does not arrive at the Work of God
        until after the verse
        and the "Glory be to the Father" for the first Psalm following it
        shall stand in the last place,
        according to our ruling above.
        Nor shall he presume to join the choir in their chanting
        until he has made satisfaction,
        unless the Abbot should pardon him and give him permission;
        but even then the offender must make satisfaction for his fault.

        REFLECTION

        For too many years, I have read this chapter as just one more outline
        of punishments for offenses. I missed completely the message to be
        found in its title and I suspect many others have, too. The Work of
        God and Table are lumped together. They are not exactly equal, but
        they have many similarities and are, in some instances, nearly equal.

        Now, this is not something most people would have guessed, especially
        with all the details about times of fasting and amounts of food and
        drink, but it is true nonetheless. St. Benedict links the places and
        times where body and soul are nourished because he esteems both. Like
        any truly orthodox monastic, he escapes the heretical trap of making
        body and matter evil and spirit alone good. Because we sometimes
        unconsciously fall into that trap ourselves, it is easy to misread
        him.

        Neither St. Benedict nor monastic life itself hates the body. Both
        wish to discipline and control it, to remove the obstacles it
        presents to our spirits, but neither can hate the body, because God
        created it and God Himself assumed it. Our bodies are sacred
        temples of the Holy Spirit.

        Talk all you will of bodily mortifications, but the bottom line is that
        nobody
        (quite literally, "no body",) is getting to the spiritual banquet without a
        truck to take them and that truck is the body. Kill it and you will
        not only have no means of allowing the soul to grow in time, but may
        well have violated the 5th commandment, as well, thereby fouling up
        your total efforts rather messily. Wow! What poor God has to untangle
        in His insistent love and will to save some of us!

        Monastic reforms over the centuries have frequently proclaimed a
        return to the "full rigor of the Rule." Whoops! Missed something
        there, folks. The Rule ain't rigorous. Says so himself, right in the
        Prologue: "...nothing harsh or burdensome." Being observant is one
        thing, but rigorous is quite another. To go beyond the Holy Rule in
        laxity OR austerity is a perilous mistake. Our Rule is balance and
        moderation. Take those away and the critter you are left with is no
        longer Benedictine.

        Rather than alienate the entire camp of those with Cistercian
        leanings in one fell swoop, I will give examples of failure on this
        count on BOTH sides at the time of the Cistercian reform in 1098.
        Cluny, remembered by some Benedictine historians with a bit of pride
        that is embarrassing, was WAY off the mark liturgically. Gee gaws and
        doo-dads and little Offices and devotions for days. Ruined the
        balance. One abbot over literally hundreds of daughter houses and
        thousands of monks. Ruined local autonomy. Not surprisingly, a lot of
        other unlovely stuff crept in. Given the lack of Benedictine balance
        to hone their vision, the fact that they overlooked the mess they
        were in is hardly shocking. Lots of pruning was in order.

        Along come the first Cistercians who point out (maybe a teeny bit
        self-righteously?) that those slimy Benedictines are not only failing
        to abstain from "the flesh of four-footed animals," but are dining
        quite nicely on just about anything within reach. Well, there is a
        point there, then and now!

        But there is a point against the reforms of Citeaux and La Grande Trappe,
        too. Want to get literalist? The Holy Rule says meat from quadrupeds.
        If it meant all meat, period, that would have been easier to say; it would
        have even saved some ink and parchment, in an age when neither were
        that easy to come by.

        But it didn't say that. That left fish and poultry wide open. The
        Trappists didn't think so: meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese ALL got
        banned. Okaaay..... But if you have only one oar in the water, you
        are quite likely to wind up going in circles...

        If the literal Rule is what you want, then take it, but always,
        always remember that the literal Rule cuts a LOT of slack and demands
        a lot of balance. Miss that and you might miss the boat entirely.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
        Petersham, MA






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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        +PAX Prayers for Vincent, on his first birthday, for his parents, grandparents and all his family. Bonnie, a routine exam and found a large mass on her ovary
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 21, 2008
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          +PAX

          Prayers for Vincent, on his first birthday, for his parents, grandparents and all his family.

          Bonnie, a routine exam and found a large mass on her ovary and she needs a hysterectomy. Unknown if the mass is cancerous or benign. The surgeon is on vacation next week so she'll have to wait until the following week for surgery- unfortunately further time to think and worry about it.

          Bill and Carol, still grieving loss of their only son and other health problems, too.

          Noel, in hospital with renal failure and for his wife, Wendy.

          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 22, July 22, November 21
          Chapter 43: On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table

          At the hour for the Divine Office,
          as soon as the signal is heard,
          let them abandon whatever they may have in hand
          and hasten with the greatest speed,
          yet with seriousness, so that there is no excuse for levity.
          Let nothing, therefore, be put before the Work of God.


          If at the Night Office
          anyone arrives after the "Glory be to the Father" of Psalm 94 --
          which Psalm for this reason we wish to be said
          very slowly and protractedly --
          let him not stand in his usual place in the choir;
          but let him stand last of all,
          or in a place set aside by the Abbot for such negligent ones
          in order that they may be seen by him and by all.
          He shall remain there until the Work of God has been completed,
          and then do penance by a public satisfaction.
          the reason why we have judged it fitting
          for them so stand in the last place or in a place apart
          is that,
          being seen by all,
          they may amend for very shame.
          For if they remain outside of the oratory,
          there will perhaps be someone who will go back to bed and sleep
          or at least seat himself outside and indulge in idle talk,
          and thus an occasion will be provided for the evil one.
          But let them go inside,
          that they many not lose the whole Office,
          and may amend for the future.


          At the day Hours
          anyone who does not arrive at the Work of God
          until after the verse
          and the "Glory be to the Father" for the first Psalm following it
          shall stand in the last place,
          according to our ruling above.
          Nor shall he presume to join the choir in their chanting
          until he has made satisfaction,
          unless the Abbot should pardon him and give him permission;
          but even then the offender must make satisfaction for his fault.

          REFLECTION

          For too many years, I have read this chapter as just one more outline
          of punishments for offenses. I missed completely the message to be
          found in its title and I suspect many others have, too. The Work of
          God and Table are lumped together. They are not exactly equal, but
          they have many similarities and are, in some instances, nearly equal.

          Now, this is not something most people would have guessed, especially
          with all the details about times of fasting and amounts of food and
          drink, but it is true nonetheless. St. Benedict links the places and
          times where body and soul are nourished because he esteems both. Like
          any truly orthodox monastic, he escapes the heretical trap of making
          body and matter evil and spirit alone good. Because we sometimes
          unconsciously fall into that trap ourselves, it is easy to misread
          him.

          Neither St. Benedict nor monastic life itself hates the body. Both
          wish to discipline and control it, to remove the obstacles it
          presents to our spirits, but neither can hate the body, because God
          created it and God Himself assumed it. Our bodies are sacred
          temples of the Holy Spirit.

          Talk all you will of bodily mortifications, but the bottom line is that
          nobody (quite literally, "no body",) is getting to the spiritual banquet without a
          truck to take them and that truck is the body. Kill it and you will
          not only have no means of allowing the soul to grow in time, but may
          well have violated the 5th commandment, as well, thereby fouling up
          your total efforts rather messily. Wow! What poor God has to untangle
          in His insistent love and will to save some of us!

          Monastic reforms over the centuries have frequently proclaimed a
          return to the "full rigor of the Rule." Whoops! Missed something
          there, folks. The Rule ain't rigorous. Says so himself, right in the
          Prologue: "...nothing harsh or burdensome." Being observant is one
          thing, but rigorous is quite another. To go beyond the Holy Rule in
          laxity OR austerity is a perilous mistake. Our Rule is balance and
          moderation. Take those away and the critter you are left with is no
          longer Benedictine.

          Rather than alienate the entire camp of those with Cistercian
          leanings in one fell swoop, I will give examples of failure on this
          count on BOTH sides at the time of the Cistercian reform in 1098.
          Cluny, remembered by some Benedictine historians with a bit of pride
          that is embarrassing, was WAY off the mark liturgically. Gee gaws and
          doo-dads and little Offices and devotions for days. Ruined the
          balance. One abbot over literally hundreds of daughter houses and
          thousands of monks. Ruined local autonomy. Not surprisingly, a lot of
          other unlovely stuff crept in. Given the lack of Benedictine balance
          to hone their vision, the fact that they overlooked the mess they
          were in is hardly shocking. Lots of pruning was in order.

          Along come the first Cistercians who point out (maybe a teeny bit
          self-righteously?) that those slimy Benedictines are not only failing
          to abstain from "the flesh of four-footed animals," but are dining
          quite nicely on just about anything within reach. Well, there is a
          point there, then and now!

          But there is a point against the reforms of Citeaux and La Grande Trappe,
          too. Want to get literalist? The Holy Rule says meat from quadrupeds.
          If it meant all meat, period, that would have been easier to say; it would
          have even saved some ink and parchment, in an age when neither were
          that easy to come by.

          But it didn't say that. That left fish and poultry wide open. The early
          Trappists didn't think so: meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese ALL got
          banned. Okaaay..... But if you have only one oar in the water, you
          are quite likely to wind up going in circles...

          If the literal Rule is what you want, then take it, but always,
          always remember that the literal Rule cuts a LOT of slack and demands
          a lot of balance. Miss that and you might miss the boat entirely.

          Love and prayers,
          Jerome, OSB
          jeromeleo@...
          Petersham, MA

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