Holy Rule for Sept. 4
Prayer requests with Prayer in subject line to: _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
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;
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,
"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).
If one doesn't read this portion VERY carefully and thoughtfully, it is easy
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
it was the original "bootstrap" theology. It placed far too much emphasis on
and on our efforts. There is a very delicate tension and balance which must
maintained when dealing with faith and our own works.
Important point: we can ONLY do real good because of our inclusion into
Who is Perfect Good, at Baptism. End of story there! We might, without
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
wills. I feel sure that many people who, through no fault of their own
do not, know Christ nevertheless delight Him with their sincerity of doing
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
our own conditions, to follow a monastic path of spirituality. Monasticism
surely DOES involve a lot of works, of practices. That's the way it is
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
this "nada" into (your should pardon this SW U.S. phrase...) the whole
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
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
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
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,
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