Holy Rule: Brother Jerome Aug 15
- Holy Rule: Brother Jerome Aug 15
+PAX ++ Please pray for the healing of Bob and his eyes, and for Ann
Marie Bob's loving wife. ++ ++ Deo Gratias! The mother, age 88, of
Ted's wife. is home and doing very well, clear as a bell; after we were
so frightened by her sudden hospitalization with fever and
disorientation. Our prayers were answered and thank you to all who
prayed for her. ++ ++ Please pray for Heather for support and
guidance from God, that if her trip is meant to be, God will help put
the right people in her life to make it happen. Also, prayers for
protection on her trip from accidents. ++ 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. In the interim please bless me by sending prayer requests
works 90% of the time. If you do not
receive a timely reply please send to: michael_oblate@...
(underline sign between michael and oblate: michael_oblate) or:
April 15, August 15, December 15
Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received
If a pilgrim monastic coming from a distant region
wants to live as a guest of the monastery,
let her be received for as long a time as she desires,
provided she is content
with the customs of the place as she finds them
and does not disturb the monastery by superfluous demands,
but is simply content with what she finds.
If, however, she censures or points out anything reasonably
and with the humility of charity,
let the Abbess consider prudently
whether perhaps it was for that very purpose
that the Lord sent her.
If afterwards she should want to bind herself to stability,
her wish should not be denied her,
especially since there has been opportunity
during her stay as a guest
to discover her character.
One of the Desert Fathers (forgive me for not recalling which one,)
said that there is nothing so careful as a monk not living in his
native land. That's very true for most of us, though part two of this
chapter makes it clear that it's not true for everyone. When we
visit, we want people to think the best of the home, the family, the
land from which we came. It is this nobility of striving, this
mindful courtesy that the Desert Father wished to praise. In fact, if
I read it correctly, the implication was that it might even be better
to be a monastic AWAY from one's native land for just those reasons.
There is something striking here. Remember how badly the gyrovagues
and Sarabaites were painted in the types of monks? Well, these were
the wandering ones, and St. Benedict knew very well that a pilgrim
monk at the door could be one of these sorts. He doesn't even mention
it. He wants them to have a chance to do better, to be healed by
community. If they blow it, fine, he's not going to lose a lot of
sleep over it, but he does insist they be given a chance to improve.
Given what the monastic world thought of gyrovagues and the like,
that says a LOT for St. Benedict's tolerance and clemency.
Not all of us are in cloisters, but all of us have doors. The people
who come to those doors may be gyrovagues and Sarabaites, but they
may not, too. We have to give them a chance to prove or reveal
themselves. This is true of anyone we encounter. Snap judgments are
not just unwise, they are forbidden. They can cheat us out of many
Being too much or too little on the side of caution are both traps.
Tread the middle way, always the middle way. Moderation in all things!
This doesn't mean we have to dupe ourselves into perpetual
vulnerability, but it does mean we have to be open, mindful and
listening, really listening to all comers. Listen first, sift later.
Do both, always both.
Love and prayers,
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