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Holy Rule: Brother Jerome July 9

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    Holy Rule for July 9 +PAX Prayers, please, for all those with prayer requests who were not able to have them posted! God knows and will receive our prayers for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9, 2006
      Holy Rule for July 9
      Prayers, please, for all those with prayer requests who were not able to
      have them posted! God knows and will receive our prayers for their
      intentions just the same. Prayers for all those who have, or will, this
      day taken their own lives. May God in His infinite forgiveness have
      mercy on them. Also, for Brother Jerome and a rapid solution to his
      computer problems. JL
      (Until our good Brother Jerome has a new email address please bless me
      with your prayer requests at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OblatesOfStBenedict/ God

      Prayers for all Benedictines preparing to celebrate the Solemnity of our
      Holy Father Benedict on Tuesday: may it be a feast of great graces for
      all. We should always remember to pray for graces BEFORE a great feast,
      to prepare ourselves better than usual so that we may profit as much as
      possible from the day at hand! It is very true that the more one puts
      into a feast, the more one gets out of it. It is also true that, as
      Abbot Francis of St. Leo used to say: "The bigger the feast, the harder
      the devil works." Protecting ourselves and our communities with some
      prayers against that can only be a great idea! 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

      March 9, July 9, November 8
      Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

      Above all things let him have humility; and if he has nothing else to
      give let him give a good word in answer for it is written, "A good word
      is above the best gift" (Eccles. 18:17).

      Let him have under his care all that the Abbot has assigned to him,
      but not presume to deal with what he has forbidden him.

      Let him give the brethren their appointed allowance of food without any
      arrogance or delay, that they may not be scandalized,
      mindful of the Word of God as to what he deserves "who shall scandalize
      one of the little ones" (Matt 18:6).

      If the community is a large one, let helpers be given him,
      that by their assistance he may fulfill with a quiet mind the office
      committed to him. The proper times should be observed in giving the
      things that have to be given and asking for the things that have to be
      asked for, that no one may be troubled or vexed in the house of God.


      Many would shrug at a chapter like this saying: "I'm not cellarer.
      What has that to do with me?" Everything, everything. This chapter, like
      those on the Abbot, is a masterful view of Benedictine authority and
      stewardship in any capacity. We should never presume to usurp roles that
      are not our own, but in covering those roles, the Holy Rule again and
      again gives models to ALL.

      I am guestmaster, not cellarer, but this chapter reminds me that no job
      is an empire, a turf, a personal fiefdom that one administers
      temperamentally and without love. Jobs, for Benedictines in world or
      monastery, are stewardships, not power trips. (At least that OUGHT to be
      true. God save us, it is often otherwise...) If people have to become so
      careful of a given official, wearing kid gloves at every possible turn,
      something is very, very wrong. Now the community is reduced to serving
      the official, when it is supposed to be the other way around!

      Of course, the needs of those who come to us at work or at home can be
      overwhelming, even oppressive at times, but we are told not to react to
      those buttons pushed, but to react with love and humility. Whatever your
      job is, the reality is that if there were none with needs, you would
      likely be unemployed. Always remember that. We serve, we do not rule.
      Our call is to forget ourselves in service, not to present our
      intransigent selves to be served.

      Our motto is Peace, because St. Benedict knew how completely
      essential to a fruitful monastic life inner peace was and is. That's
      why he gives this really rather astounding principle: "...no one may
      be troubled or vexed in the house of God." It's God's house, not
      ours. Wake up, folks, if the maid is giving orders tyrannically,
      something's wrong at the manor! It's not her house. It's His.

      A certain amount of vexation is inevitable, and part of the monastic
      struggle and very useful. A chronic, ulcerating source of repeated
      vexation is not. If that comes through an official, something must be
      done. If the numbers are too few to remove the official, then that's
      what the penal code chapters are all about. Cancers, real, malignant
      tumors on our peace are meant to be removed. If they are retained by a
      superior's blindness, the superior can become as harmful as the growth

      We may have to endure that, circumstances being what they may,
      but it is helpful to at least know its dysfunctionality. Even that
      dysfunction can be used by God to bring good. God and God alone can
      bring good out of ANYTHING, even you and me! We are not in the hands of
      bad situations, we are in the hands of God, loving hands that never
      fail, if only we trust Him!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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