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Holy Rule: Brother Jeroms July 26

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    Holy Rule for July 26 +PAX Prayers for all our Anns and Joachims on this feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim. Deo Gratias! Bob, for whom we prayed, will not have
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2006
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      Holy Rule for July 26

      Prayers for all our Anns and Joachims on this feast of Sts. Ann and
      Joachim. Deo Gratias! Bob, for whom we prayed, will not have to have
      his knee re-broken to fix his leg. Deo Gratias! Ann writes that
      Mother Rachel has had contact from her brother in southern Lebanon ..
      they are unharmed as yet ( please God it will stay that way). Mother
      asks all of us to please keep up our prayers for them and for all who
      are being hurt in any way in this conflict. Please pray for all
      those whose prayer requests are not able to be posted for whatever
      reason. God is outside of time and our prayers are never, ever late.
      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 Please pray
      for all those who have ended or will,this day end their earthly lives by
      their own hands. May Almighty God in His infinite mercy grant them
      eternal rest. Amen. Please pray for our good Brother Jerome and a
      solution to his computer problems. In the interim please bless me by
      sending prayer requests to: mlopiccolo@... or:

      March 26, July 26, November 25
      Chapter 46: On Those Who Fail in Any Other Matters

      When anyone is engaged in any sort of work, whether in the kitchen, in
      the cellar, in a shop, in the bakery, in the garden, while working at
      some craft, or in any other place, and she commits some fault, or breaks
      something, or loses something, or transgresses in any other way
      whatsoever, if she does not come immediately
      before the Abbess and the community of her own accord
      to make satisfaction and confess her fault, then when it becomes known
      through another, let her be subjected to a more severe correction.

      But if the sin-sickness of the soul is a hidden one, let her reveal it
      only to the Abbess or to a spiritual mother, who knows how to cure her
      own and others' wounds without exposing them and making them public.


      The Chapter of Faults, wherein monastics confessed public, external
      faults, had become rather silly the way it was practiced before Vatican
      II. I remember, years ago, seeing a glossary list of Latin phrases used
      to describe different faults. As practiced, I'm not sure it was the most
      useful thing in the world at all.

      However, look at the kernel here, important for both monasteries and
      families: communication. What St. Benedict wrote about was not the
      formalized and largely empty ritual that the late 20th century had come
      to know, it was an airing session of sorts. These can be very useful.
      People in any life are often reluctant to open up about what bothers
      them, monastics are often even more so! To provide a structured way and
      time to do so might have given some just the extra distance and
      protection they needed.

      Slights and wrongs and hurts that lie hidden and unexpressed can
      fester into a spreading, malignant growth. Note that the Holy Rule
      bids us never let the sun set on our anger. We have to get the things
      that REALLY bother us out. This hardly means a free for all, that would
      be very contrary to the whole spirit of the Rule, but it does mean that
      genuine differences must be solved in an open and
      respectful and humble way.

      The way for today's community or family may not be to do this all
      together- but then again that might not be all bad, occasionally. At
      any rate and however we do it, St. Benedict asks us to own up to our
      failures and those of others because he knows it is terribly damaging
      not to do so. A important item here is that the all the members must
      feel safe to express themselves. How many kids who were afraid to open
      their mouths to a parent about really serious troubles in their
      relationship are still in therapy years later?

      Whether alone or in a group, when we confess our fault to others, we
      lighten our load. When we honestly and gently tell others that they have
      hurt us or wronged us, we are often surprised to find that they were
      unaware of having done so- no wonder they "kept right on doing it!" We
      can also be wonderfully surprised at the depth of feeling with which
      apologies may be made. Very often the gentle and loving exposure of a
      problem between people gives us remarkable opportunities to show our
      nobler side and to see that side of our brothers and sisters.

      The goal of this is peace, so it must never be done for any other
      motive, for anything less than loving. There is the danger that we
      lose track of the important "difference between the virtue of honesty
      and the vice of brutal frankness" as my friend, Fr. Roger used to say.
      This must never become an accepted arena for getting back at one
      another. The whole purpose here is to end strife, not perpetuate it.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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