Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Mar 18

Expand Messages
  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Pat F., biopsy for spreading cancer, and for her Mom, Ellen, who was buried last week. A very tough time for Pat! God s will be done.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 18, 2003
    • 0 Attachment

      Prayers, please, for Pat F., biopsy for spreading cancer, and for her
      Mom, Ellen, who was buried last week. A very tough time for Pat!
      God's will be done. NRN JL

      March 18, July 18, November 17
      Chapter 39: On the Measure of Food

      We think it sufficient for the daily dinner,
      whether at the sixth or the ninth hour,
      that every table have two cooked dishes
      on account of individual infirmities,
      so that he who for some reason cannot eat of the one
      may make his meal of the other
      Therefore let two cooked dishes suffice for all the brethren;
      and if any fruit or fresh vegetables are available,
      let a third dish be added.

      Let a good pound weight of bread suffice for the day,
      whether there be only one meal or both dinner and supper.
      If they are to have supper,
      the cellarer shall reserve a third of that pound,
      to be given them at supper.

      But if it happens that the work was heavier,
      it shall lie within the Abbot's discretion and power,
      should it be expedient,
      to add something to the fare.
      Above all things, however,
      over-indulgence must be avoided
      and a monk must never be overtaken by indigestion;
      for there is nothing so opposed to the Christian character
      as over-indulgence
      according to Our Lord's words,
      "See to it that your hearts be not burdened
      with over-indulgence" (Luke 21:34).

      Young boys
      shall not receive the same amount of food as their elders,
      but less;
      and frugality shall be observed in all circumstances.

      Except the sick who are very weak,
      let all abstain entirely
      from eating the flesh of four-footed animals.


      The Benedictine golden mean is that of the Lord Himself: we avoid
      over-indulgence because it burdens our hearts. This is true of any
      over-indulgence: food, drink, property. Our hearts are truly burdened
      by our excess, weighed down, kept from flight. Our hearts lag and
      fall with the awful results of having ourselves in charge of them!

      For those in the developed countries, this chapter on food can be a
      very good starting point of surrender. The Western nations in general
      and the U.S. in particular are spoiled rotten with food. Obesity in
      the U.S. is nearly epidemic and even moderately overweight people
      face loads of unnecessary added health risks. Might then food not be
      one of the healthiest and most logical places for ascetic striving to

      We have, so often, all but lost the ability to say no to ourselves,
      yet we all know what a child who is never told "no" is like! Small
      wonder that our souls are like restlessly spoiled, antsy children.
      They are inner children that long for a bit of order and discipline.
      Food is a great place to offer that to the soul!

      We need our hearts (figuratively and literally!) in this struggle. A
      starving heart is just as crippled as a surfeited one. We need to
      find the balance- and that is often hard. But, with God's help and
      mercy, we can do all!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.