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Holy Rule for Sept. 4

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayer requests with Prayer in subject line to: _brjeromeleo@aol.com_ (mailto:brjeromeleo@aol.com) Prayers, please, for Adolfo and Lucy, complications in
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 3, 2006
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      +PAX

      Prayer requests with Prayer in subject line to: _brjeromeleo@..._
      (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)

      Prayers, please, for Adolfo and Lucy, complications in pregnancy. Prayers
      for Antoine, just diagnosed with colon cancer, further tests to determine extent
      of spread and surgery and chemo in the future, also for Brendan, his son,
      and all his family. Prayers for all in Pakistan suffering the effects of a 36
      hour rainfall, deaths and damage from the storm. Prayers for Trisha, second
      week out of work from terrible flu and for J., her husband.

      Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for the final profession of Sr. Connie
      Ruth and for her community, the Benedictine Sisters of Bristow, VA. Blessings
      and many years!! Prayers for Margaret, 70, a piece of arterial blockage broke
      off and affected her eye, partially blinding her. Now there is concern another
      break-off could cause a stroke. Surgery planned to remove the blockage.
      Prayers, too, for Mary and all Margaret's family, as well as the folks who treat
      her and all those for whom we pray. Lord, help us all 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

      January 4, May 5, September 4
      Prologue

      Having our loins girded, therefore,
      with faith and the performance of good works (Eph. 6:14),
      let us walk in His paths
      by the guidance of the Gospel,
      that we may deserve to see Him
      who has called us to His kingdom (1 Thess. 2:12).

      For if we wish to dwell in the tent of that kingdom,
      we must run to it by good deeds
      or we shall never reach it.

      But let us ask the Lord, with the Prophet,
      "Lord, who shall dwell in Your tent,
      or who shall rest upon Your holy mountain" (Ps. 14:1)?

      After this question,
      let us listen to the Lord
      as He answers and shows us the way to that tent, saying,
      "The one Who walks without stain and practices justice;
      who speaks truth from his heart;
      who has not used his tongue for deceit;
      who has done no evil to his neighbor;
      who has given no place to slander against his neighbor."

      This is the one who,
      under any temptation from the malicious devil,
      has brought him to naught (Ps. 14:4)
      by casting him and his temptation from the sight of his heart;
      and who has laid hold of his thoughts
      while they were still young
      and dashed them against Christ (Ps. 136:9).

      It is they who,
      fearing the Lord (Ps. 14:4),
      do not pride themselves on their good observance;
      but,
      convinced that the good which is in them
      cannot come from themselves and must be from the Lord,
      glorify the Lord's work in them (Ps. 14:4),
      using the words of the Prophet,
      "Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
      but to Your name give the glory" (Ps. 113, 2nd part:1).
      Thus also the Apostle Paul
      attributed nothing of the success of his preaching to himself,
      but said,
      "By the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).
      And again he says,
      "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord" (2 Cor. 10:17).

      REFLECTION

      If one doesn't read this portion VERY carefully and thoughtfully, it is easy
      to
      see why so many Christians, even some monastics, have been taken in by the
      heresy of Pelagianism. (Even poor Evagrius himself was accused of
      "semi-Pelagianism'!) That heresy taught that we could actually save
      ourselves,
      it was the original "bootstrap" theology. It placed far too much emphasis on
      us
      and on our efforts. There is a very delicate tension and balance which must
      be
      maintained when dealing with faith and our own works.

      Important point: we can ONLY do real good because of our inclusion into
      Christ,
      Who is Perfect Good, at Baptism. End of story there! We might, without
      Christ do
      all kinds of nice stuff, and I would be the last to say that none is in God's
      good graces for just such nice stuff: the Spirit blows (and saves!) wherever
      It
      wills. I feel sure that many people who, through no fault of their own
      cannot or
      do not, know Christ nevertheless delight Him with their sincerity of doing
      right.

      Our growth in grace, however, is made possible only by God. No manner of
      spiritual gymnastics on our own could do that. That is crucial to remember,
      and the last
      portion of this reading makes is clearly evident. It ALL comes from God. Of
      ourselves, we are less than nothing.

      Having said that, and here comes the delicate balance, we have chosen, each
      in
      our own conditions, to follow a monastic path of spirituality. Monasticism
      quite
      surely DOES involve a lot of works, of practices. That's the way it is
      designed.

      What we must school ourselves to always be aware of is that these works and
      practices, of themselves, are nada, zilch, nothing at all. It is the God for
      Whom we undertake the road and the love with which we travel that transforms
      all
      this "nada" into (your should pardon this SW U.S. phrase...) the whole
      enchilada!!

      Yes, our works matter. Yes, the monastic who deserts them entirely
      will flounder. But no, the focus here is not our own work, our presumed
      merit.
      The merit, the good, and the work of grace is God and His work in us.

      I feel sure that most of us would affirm the statement that all good in us
      comes
      from God, but we must be very, very careful to really KNOW that, believe it
      utterly, with all our hearts. Lip-service in this area can be dangerous.

      We are, truly, even the best of us, nothing more than unprofitable servants
      who
      have done only what was commanded. And, let us be truthful, few of us- myself
      included first in this failure- even do all that was commanded. Humility
      chimes in again!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
      Petersham, MA




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