Holy Rule: Brother Jerome Aug 6
- +PAX 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. 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 Karen who fell and injured her ankle last night on the way to
her father's rosary. Today, after her father's memorial service, she
went into emergency and found out she broke a bone. She is in a boot
cast. She, Ted and the boys will be headed back to WA from Idaho on
Monday. Please pray for quick recovery, no pain, and safe trip home. ++
++ Ann requests prayers please for the grand-daughter of one of their
Oblates, Jean. 'Miracle' is the baby's name and that is what they are
wanting for her as she has multiple health problems ... was not expected
to survive long after birth but is now three months old .. prognosis is
poor... prayers for her parents and grandparents too please. ++ 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
In the interim please bless me by sending prayer requests to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OblatesOfStBenedict/ April 6, August
6, December 6
Chapter 54: Whether a Monastic Should Receive Letters or Anything Else
On no account shall a monastic be allowed
to receive letters, blessed tokens or any little gift whatsoever
from parents or anyone else,
or from her sisters,
or to give the same,
without the Abbess's permission.
But if anything is sent her even by her parents,
let her not presume to take it
before it has been shown to the Abbess.
And it shall be in the Abbess's power to decide
to whom it shall be given,
if she allows it to be received;
and the sister to whom it was sent should not be grieved,
lest occasion be given to the devil.
Should anyone presume to act otherwise,
let her undergo the discipline of the Rule.
Community, even in its Latin roots ( "com" meaning with and "unitas"
unity,) is fully dependent upon unity. Do anything to threaten or
that unity and you have threatened or destroyed the community itself.
reason, St. Benedict goes out of his way to explain why some exceptions
be made on account of infirmity or weakness and also expressly forbids
forms of favoritism. This chapter is a prime example of the Holy Rule
firm and adamant instructions about inequality.
St. Benedict has already made it clear that monastics are to be given
everything they need, truly need. He has even made some provision for
whose weakness makes further consideration necessary. Remember, our
poverty is based on lack of excess, not extreme want. If, through
principles in this chapter, excess is allowed to creep in for a few, it
result in hard feelings, jealousies and other unlovely traits that will
at the heart of common unity.
Such excess also damages the individual monastic receiving it. The
monastic struggle is stymied if one enters rich and, thanks to his
family, remains so, or if one enters poor and latches onto a
benefactor whose gifts make one rich by comparison. Just as oxygen is
necessary for fire, so is a certain equality necessary for community. We
that community, because, as Benedictines, it is our way to God. We dare
threaten it with "Animal Farm" adaptations that find us saying that
monastics are more equal than others."
What can Oblates glean here? Well, what about our attitudes towards
classism and the world at large? How smugly indifferent dare we be
about anyone in abject poverty, about any system or government that
keeps people in such dire straits? How do we assess our own economic
position in regards to sharing? How much above others do we allow
be economically, socially? There are a wealth of deep questions here,
wealth of troubling answers in the unjust inequalities that abound in
society when it is unaided by grace.
One aside to close. We ask permission before giving things to one
another and then tell the recipient we have permission, so that they
ask again to keep the item. Shortly after I arrived here, the cellaress
the Sisters' community gave me a postcard of Canada geese, because she
liked them. This woman, who could by assigned charge move large sums of
back and forth, approached me with the card and said: "I have permission
give you this." I was impressed. It may seem silly to some, but I was
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]