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Holy Rule for Sept. 9

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayer requests, with prayer in subject to: _brjeromeleo@aol.com_ (mailto:brjeromeleo@aol.com) Prayers, please, for Heather and 29 other Vespa scooter
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 8, 2006
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      Prayer requests, with prayer in subject to: _brjeromeleo@..._

      Prayers, please, for Heather and 29 other Vespa scooter drivers making a
      cross country trip from Oregon to New Jersey, Sept. 10-19, for their safety on
      the way. Prayers, too, for Jim, lung surgery on Friday and Maxine, breast
      cancer surgery on Monday, also a Deo gratias and thanksgiving for Roland, a boy
      who had a successful appendectomy, prayers, too, for his grandmother, Irene,
      who is caring for him. 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.

      January 9, May 10, September 9
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

      An Abbess who is worthy to be over a monastery
      should always remember what she is called,
      and live up to the name of Superior.
      For she is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery,
      being called by a name of His,
      which is taken from the words of the Apostle:
      "You have received a Spirit of adoption ...,
      by virtue of which we cry, 'Abba -- Father'" (Rom. 8:15)!

      Therefore the Abbess ought not to teach or ordain or command
      anything which is against the Lord's precepts;
      on the contrary,
      her commands and her teaching
      should be a leaven of divine justice
      kneaded into the minds of her disciples.


      This surely applies to all parents! Substitute "parent" for "abbess"
      and "home " for "monastery" and you have the ideal picture of a
      Christian head of household. Of course, in another sense this applies
      to ANY Oblate living in the world as the head of their own, albeit
      perhaps single, household! Many of us, in monastery and out, are
      parents to nothing other than some beloved pets, but surely we must
      treat them with love as the Holy Rule requires, too!

      It's a safe bet that any truly wise person would not think themselves
      worthy to be abbot, and perhaps equally unworthy (or at least
      unprepared!) to be a parent. In fact, conviction of one's UNworthiness
      may be one of the best qualities. There's obviously some kind of
      humility going on there!

      God blinds us to many of our good qualities, to keep us from becoming proud.
      In fact, I have known a person or two who thought they definitely WERE
      to be Abbot, or Bishop or whatever. Thanks be to God, the Holy Spirit has
      far agreed with none of them of my acquaintance!

      There's an old saying that holds that the community gets the Abbot it
      deserves (and the vocations it deserves, too!) Sometimes this may not
      hold literally true, but I do feel that we often get the Abbot (or
      parent,) that we most need. That doesn't mean that we will always be
      thrilled with the election or with our family tree. It doesn't mean
      that everything is perfect at all times from OUR point of view. Often
      this need goes unseen until years and wisdom get to work on the 20/20
      of hindsight!

      It means that God has given us great treasure in anything so
      important as His choice of an Abbot or a parent, no matter how hard
      that may sometimes be to fathom. Happy the day when one can look back
      and say: "Abbot X is exactly the man I needed at 18!" or "Without the
      parents I had, I would never be who I am today. Thank God it was not
      any different!"

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everything has to
      be rosy as a TV sit-com in the 1950's. It doesn't. It works anyhow,
      because of the miracle of God's love and infinite mercy! The miracle
      here is precisely THAT the imperfect (which includes all of us!) works,
      that all is made well by God's love and mercy and grace, if we but
      allow Him to do that for us.

      All of us do not live under the same roof with an abbot or abbess,
      but all of us, even the abbatial ones, have had parents. Some of us
      ARE parents. Tough role, as any abbot could tell you! Take heart! God
      will use you both to His ends in ways that neither of you may ever

      God will use the positive and the negative, if only we let
      Him. Parent and child inextricably build, change and shape each other.
      We often hear of grown children's baggage from their youth, but stop
      and think: there are also many parents who were changed irrevocably,
      for good or ill, by their children.

      I needed exactly the parents I got to be who
      I am. We all do. It just takes time to see God's hand in that. He
      does love us, you know.

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

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