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Holy Rule for Apr. 30

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Remarkable Providence, given today s reflection, that we have three separate prayer intentions, each connected to its own form of self-destructive evil
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 30 6:19 AM
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      +PAX

      Remarkable Providence, given today's reflection, that we have three separate prayer intentions, each connected to its own form of self-destructive evil zeal. God has a way of doing such things!

      Prayers for a parent separated from spouse and children, living alone, mentally ill and not taking meds or going to therapy, acting out violently. Prayers, too, for one arrested for a drug sale which occurred sometime in the past, before recent efforts to to get life in order, return to school, and stay clean from drugs. The prospect of a prison term may well be having effects to scare this individual back onto the right path. Prayers for the worried families of both these folks, especially the parents, spouse and children.

      Now, the best wine for last! HUGE Deo gratias: Virginia, also mentally ill and gone missing in another area of the country, has been found and graciously accepted her family's help and is now hospitalized and getting the treatment she needed. Her family expresses their profound gratitude for our prayers. 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 30, August 30, December 30
      Chapter 72: On the Good Zeal Which They Ought to Have

      Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness
      which separates from God and leads to hell,
      so there is a good zeal
      which separates from vices and leads to God
      and to life everlasting.
      This zeal, therefore, the sisters should practice
      with the most fervent love.
      Thus they should anticipate one another in honor (Rom. 12:10);
      most patiently endure one another's infirmities,
      whether of body or of character;
      vie in paying obedience one to another --
      no one following what she considers useful for herself,
      but rather what benefits another;
      tender the charity of sisterhood chastely;
      fear God in love;
      love their Abbess with a sincere and humble charity;
      prefer nothing whatever to Christ.
      And may He bring us all together to life everlasting!

      REFLECTION

      This chapter, full of self-evident and beautiful prose should serve
      as a short rule of life, a summary of all that has gone before it.
      Live this one, and you're all right: the details from the other
      chapters will take care of themselves. Little wonder then that its
      principal points are love, obedience and humility, practiced in the
      chastity of wholeness. (Chastity, it must be recalled, is proper to
      every state in life. It is the well-ordered, balanced and whole use
      of sexuality.) Even less wonder that, to call Scripture in to witness
      here, "the greatest of these is love." Merton's one-line Holy Rule
      summary also applies: "Love is the Rule."

      The beauty here is so great that we often do not spend enough time
      looking at its converse: "the evil zeal of bitterness." What a great
      turn of phrase! Like many of us, St. Benedict seems to have known
      some whose bitterness turned into an energetic zeal, a way of life, a
      broken power line in a windy world that could strike others or
      themselves without warning.

      And "zeal" is precisely the word! People can put such frighteningly
      zealous levels of effort into self-loathing bitterness. It becomes a
      full-time job, one which requires so much energy that it's a marvel
      that they continue. Bitter anger, self-hatred, unforgiving ill-will
      towards all or most, these are viciously involuted cycles. They turn
      on the self, malignantly. They injure and alienate others to make
      one's twisted world view remain correct. They never rest, the fist is
      always clenched, the hand never open.

      Someone years ago wrote a book about suicide titled "The Savage God."
      The premise was that the illness which caused suicide was like some
      pagan deity that destroyed its adherents, an apt enough assessment.
      But evil zeal is a savage god, too. Unlike suicide which leads to
      death, this one insists on a long and horrible end in prison.

      I have known two monks with this dreadful problem, both now long
      dead. Thank heavens, they persevered to the end and one hopes
      that was enough. One hopes that the tortured lives they endured were more
      than enough to save them. They both guaranteed that their own lives were
      hell and pretty much ensured smaller doses of hell for the rest of us living with
      them. As often happens, I made the foolish mistake of thinking myself and those
      they afflicted more worthy of pity than the sufferers themselves. What tragic lives
      they had, how wrong I was in my assessment!

      When I was much younger and living with those embittered monks, it
      was hard to look at them with much pity or calm, because I saw them as
      simply hateful or mean. It isn't, now, thank God. Both were disturbed and I
      was blind to the fact that their mental illness made their behavior far less a
      matter in their own control. I have spent considerable time praying for both
      of them, as well as for a few of their "runners-up"!

      While all things are possible with God, the terrible thing is that this self-hatred
      sometimes seems to never gets fixed in some people. It is a life sentence. Then,
      prayer is the only answer, but prayer can win a happy death, when no more activity
      or change is evident to us. The souls and God have their own timetable, their
      own relations which our eyes may not see, nor our ears hear.

      In any situation, but perhaps worse when the sufferer is one's spouse
      or parent or child, this bitterness is a terrible cross, for both the
      sufferer and those around her. It might seem cold comfort to say that
      it can make all involved saints, but it truly is not cold comfort at
      all. Being saints is the only thing, ultimately, that matters. I hope
      by now some of my crosses of the past are praying for me, protecting
      me, by their prayers, from what once ailed them!

      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 a Mom worried about two of her children falling away from their Faith. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Sr. Nancy
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 29 7:54 PM
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for a Mom worried about two of her children falling away
        from their Faith. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Sr. Nancy
        Jean, who went to God after a battle with cancer, and for her family and all who
        mourn her. Prayers for God's will in a special intention matter. Continued
        prayers for baby Ethan, that a transplant donor be found, if God wills it.
        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 30, August 30, December 30
        Chapter 72: On the Good Zeal Which They Ought to Have

        Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness
        which separates from God and leads to hell,
        so there is a good zeal
        which separates from vices and leads to God
        and to life everlasting.
        This zeal, therefore, the sisters should practice
        with the most fervent love.
        Thus they should anticipate one another in honor (Rom. 12:10);
        most patiently endure one another's infirmities,
        whether of body or of character;
        vie in paying obedience one to another --
        no one following what she considers useful for herself,
        but rather what benefits another;
        tender the charity of sisterhood chastely;
        fear God in love;
        love their Abbess with a sincere and humble charity;
        prefer nothing whatever to Christ.
        And may He bring us all together to life everlasting!

        REFLECTION

        This chapter, full of self-evident and beautiful prose should serve
        as a short rule of life, a summary of all that has gone before it.
        Live this one, and you're all right: the details from the other
        chapters will take care of themselves. Little wonder then that its
        principal points are love, obedience and humility, practiced in the
        chastity of wholeness. (Chastity, it must be recalled, is proper to
        every state in life. It is the well-ordered, balanced and whole use
        of sexuality.) Even less wonder that, to call Scripture in to witness
        here, "the greatest of these is love." Merton's one-line Holy Rule
        summary also applies: "Love is the Rule."

        The beauty here is so great that we often do not spend enough time
        looking at its converse: "the evil zeal of bitterness." What a great
        turn of phrase! Like many of us, St. Benedict seems to have known
        some whose bitterness turned into an energetic zeal, a way of life, a
        broken power line in a windy world that could strike others or
        themselves without warning.

        And "zeal" is precisely the word! People can put such frighteningly
        zealous levels of effort into self-loathing bitterness. It becomes a
        full-time job, one which requires so much energy that it's a marvel
        that they continue. Bitter anger, self-hatred, unforgiving ill-will
        towards all or most, these are viciously involuted cycles. They turn
        on the self, malignantly. They injure and alienate others to make
        one's twisted world view remain correct. They never rest, the fist is
        always clenched, the hand never open.

        Someone years ago wrote a book about suicide titled "The Savage God."
        The premise was that the illness which caused suicide was like some
        pagan deity that destroyed its adherents, an apt enough assessment.
        But evil zeal is a savage god, too. Unlike suicide which leads to
        death, this one insists on a long and horrible end in prison.

        I have known two monks with this dreadful problem, both now long
        dead. Thank heavens, they persevered to the end and one hopes
        that was enough. One hopes that the tortured lives they endured were more
        than enough to save them. They both guaranteed that their own lives were
        hell and pretty much ensured smaller doses of hell for the rest of us living
        with them. As often happens, I made the foolish mistake of thinking myself
        and those
        they afflicted more worthy of pity than the sufferers themselves. What tragic
        lives those bitter souls had and how wrong I was in my assessment!

        When I was much younger and living with those embittered monks, it
        was hard to look at them with much pity or calm, because I saw them as
        simply hateful or mean. It isn't so hard now, thank God. Both were disturbed
        and I
        was blind to the fact that their mental illness made their behavior far less
        a
        matter in their own control. I have spent considerable time praying for both
        of them, as well as for a few of their "runners-up"!

        While all things are possible with God, the terrible thing is that this
        self-hatred sometimes seems to never gets fixed in some people. It is a life
        sentence.
        Then, prayer is the only answer, but prayer can win a happy death, when no
        more
        activity or change is evident to us. The souls and God have their own
        timetable, their
        own relations which our eyes may not see, nor our ears hear.

        In any situation, but perhaps worse when the sufferer is one's spouse
        or parent or child, this bitterness is a terrible cross, for both the
        sufferer and those around her. It might seem cold comfort to say that
        it can make all involved saints, but it truly is not cold comfort at
        all. Being saints is the only thing, ultimately, that matters. I hope
        by now some of my crosses of the past are praying for me, protecting
        me, by their prayers, from what once ailed them!

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





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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        +PAX George, for whom we prayed, has died, so prayers for his happy death, ternal rest and for all who mourn him. Prayers for the spiritual, mental and
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 29 6:11 AM
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          +PAX

          George, for whom we prayed, has died, so prayers for his happy death, ternal rest and for all who mourn him.

          Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of the following and for all who take care of them:

          John, rushed to hospital with a
          pacemaker malfunction.

          Lainie, an abusive work situation with a lot of injustice.

          Chuck had a 10 foot fall from a ladder on to concrete this morning. Lay there a long time before found. Facial fractures, arm, wrist, fear of brain injury. Rhonda is his wife, beside herself with worry.

          Bill, mesothelioma, his CT scan shows that his
          remission is over and the cancer is on the move again. He and his wife
          Peggy have to decide what course of action to take.

          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 30, August 30, December 30
          Chapter 72: On the Good Zeal Which They Ought to Have

          Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness
          which separates from God and leads to hell,
          so there is a good zeal
          which separates from vices and leads to God
          and to life everlasting.
          This zeal, therefore, the sisters should practice
          with the most fervent love.
          Thus they should anticipate one another in honor (Rom. 12:10);
          most patiently endure one another's infirmities,
          whether of body or of character;
          vie in paying obedience one to another --
          no one following what she considers useful for herself,
          but rather what benefits another;
          tender the charity of sisterhood chastely;
          fear God in love;
          love their Abbess with a sincere and humble charity;
          prefer nothing whatever to Christ.
          And may He bring us all together to life everlasting!

          REFLECTION

          This chapter, full of self-evident and beautiful prose should serve
          as a short rule of life, a summary of all that has gone before it.
          Live this one, and you're all right: the details from the other
          chapters will take care of themselves. Little wonder then that its
          principal points are love, obedience and humility, practiced in the
          chastity of wholeness. (Chastity, it must be recalled, is proper to
          every state in life. It is the well-ordered, balanced and whole use
          of sexuality.) Even less wonder that, to call Scripture in to witness
          here, "the greatest of these is love." Merton's one-line Holy Rule
          summary also applies: "Love is the Rule."

          The beauty here is so great that we often do not spend enough time
          looking at its converse: "the evil zeal of bitterness." What a great
          turn of phrase! Like many of us, St. Benedict seems to have known
          some whose bitterness turned into an energetic zeal, a way of life, a
          broken power line in a windy world that could strike others or
          themselves without warning.

          And "zeal" is precisely the word! People can put such frighteningly
          zealous levels of effort into self-loathing bitterness. It becomes a
          full-time job, one which requires so much energy that it's a marvel
          that they continue. Bitter anger, self-hatred, unforgiving ill-will
          towards all or most, these are viciously involuted cycles. They turn
          on the self, malignantly. They injure and alienate others to make
          one's twisted world view remain correct. They never rest, the fist is
          always clenched, the hand never open.

          Someone years ago wrote a book about suicide titled "The Savage God."
          The premise was that the illness which caused suicide was like some
          pagan deity that destroyed its adherents, an apt enough assessment.
          But evil zeal is a savage god, too. Unlike suicide which leads to
          death, this one insists on a long and horrible end in prison.

          I have known two monks with this dreadful problem, both now long
          dead. Thank heavens, they persevered to the end and one hopes
          that was enough. One hopes that the tortured lives they endured were more
          than enough to save them. They both guaranteed that their own lives were
          hell and pretty much ensured smaller doses of hell for the rest of us living
          with them. As often happens, I made the foolish mistake of thinking myself
          and those
          they afflicted more worthy of pity than the sufferers themselves. What tragic
          lives those bitter souls had and how wrong I was in my assessment!

          When I was much younger and living with those embittered monks, it
          was hard to look at them with much pity or calm, because I saw them as
          simply hateful or mean. It isn't so hard now, thank God. Both were disturbed
          and I
          was blind to the fact that their mental illness made their behavior far less
          a
          matter in their own control. I have spent considerable time praying for both
          of them, as well as for a few of their "runners-up"!

          While all things are possible with God, the terrible thing is that this
          self-hatred sometimes seems to never gets fixed in some people. It is a life
          sentence.
          Then, prayer is the only answer, but prayer can win a happy death, when no
          more
          activity or change is evident to us. The souls and God have their own
          timetable, their
          own relations which our eyes may not see, nor our ears hear.

          In any situation, but perhaps worse when the sufferer is one's spouse
          or parent or child, this bitterness is a terrible cross, for both the
          sufferer and those around her. It might seem cold comfort to say that
          it can make all involved saints, but it truly is not cold comfort at
          all. Being saints is the only thing, ultimately, that matters. I hope
          by now some of my crosses of the past are praying for me, protecting
          me, by their prayers, from what once ailed them!

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



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