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Holy Rule for Oct. 17

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayers for all our Margaret Marys on their feast day. Special prayers for Sr. Margaret Mary, recovering from very serious chest surgery, also for the
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 16, 2006
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      Prayers for all our Margaret Marys on their feast day. Special prayers for
      Sr. Margaret Mary, recovering from very serious chest surgery, also for the
      happy death and eternal rest of Sr. Margaret Mary, OSF. Prayers for Bill,
      lymphoma, and for his daughter, Jeannine, cancer of the liver and pancreas.
      Prayers for Diane, having some very tough times spiritually just now, as well as
      other stresses. Prayers for Bill, discerning where to go next on his spiritual
      journey and seeking God's will.

      Prayers, please, for Mary Frances, who suffered a stroke and now is in
      kidney failure. Prayers for Michael, who has the total responsibility of the care
      of his mother-in-law. Prayers for Libbi and her children, having a very
      difficult time just now. Prayers for Bob, eye problems, and for his wife, Ann
      Marie and all their family. Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias, Chuck, for whom we
      prayed yesterday, went peacefully to God after his life support was removed,
      prayers for his eternal rest and for his family and all who mourn him.
      Prayers for Ruth and her husband. His cancer and medical needs are draining them
      financially and Ruth is understandably depressed. Spiraling medical costs have
      been assailing them for some time now, so ardent prayers, please. 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

      February 16, June 17, October 17
      Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays

      The Morning and Evening Offices
      should never be allowed to pass
      without the Superior saying the Lord's Prayer
      in its place at the end
      so that all may hear it,
      on account of the thorns of scandal which are apt to spring up.
      Thus those who hear it,
      being warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer
      when they say, "Forgive us as we forgive,"
      may cleanse themselves of faults against that covenant.

      But at the other Offices
      let the last part only of that prayer be said aloud,
      so that all may answer, "But deliver us from evil.


      The Our Father is THE Christian covenant of peace. If St. Benedict
      insists it be said aloud twice a day, it is because he knows well the
      tempests- nay, HURRICANES- in teacups that can spring up in any
      enclosed home group, be it cloister or family. Things get magnified
      inappropriately precisely because those we live with are dear to us.
      If they weren't, they would be much less able to hurt or annoy us!

      There weren't subways in St. Benedict's time, but there was a world
      outside. Picture yourself riding a subway with any or all of these
      types: an alcoholic, an abuser, a severely disturbed mental patient,
      a tragic drug addict. These are just the ones that we might notice,
      too. All of us on the subway ride daily with liars, thieves,
      adulterers and worse, we just don't know it. Even though the subway
      can offer a bit of a challenge to Christian peace, to forgiveness,
      one usually has only to wait for one's stop, hoping meanwhile that a
      transit cop will appear. If the situation is really frightening, one
      could get off early and catch the next train.

      In family or community, sometimes even in the workplace, we may not
      change trains. Not only that, but there are often no transit cops at
      all. Always remember that Christian life, Benedictine life, is never tested
      when it is easy. Sorry folks, but it is only through testing that we grow,
      our practice improves.

      On the subway or bus, or even in the artificially detached situation
      of world newscasts, it can be a LOT easier to forgive. It comes at
      little or no price at all. It's pretty easy to forgive even horrible
      criminals if they have not harmed our home circle, if they have not
      directly harmed us. Hate to say it, folks, but the easy stuff is not
      where it's at for us. A 50 yard dash may be the beginnings of an
      Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, but it is never the whole

      The key to Benedictine peace is forgiveness, which is why St.
      Benedict stresses that phrase and calls it a covenant. It truly IS a
      covenant of peace. We are daily asking God, twice out loud, but
      ideally many more times than that alone, to forgive us in the measure
      that we forgive.

      Whoa! Risky business there! Any chain's strength is
      decided by its weakest link, so think of the person you LEAST
      forgive. There you will have the model you are suggesting to God that
      He use in forgiving you. As Fr. Hugo used to say: "You love God as
      much as the one you love least."

      Fortunately, God is always offering us His infinite Divine
      Mercy, in spite of the terms we offer Him. If He did not do so, I
      imagine heaven would be a quite appallingly empty place, indeed.
      Nevertheless, I'll bet He will remind us of the terms we offered and
      how little mercy they would afford us. That is one very good reason
      why Roman Catholics believe in Purgatory- a chance to shower off the
      terms we offered God that were so limited they would never cut anyone
      much slack!

      Roman Catholicism and most other mainline Christian denominations
      have not been known as peace churches, historically. They have not
      made the dogmatic necessity of pacifism that the Mennonites or
      Quakers have. Still, it is very hard to look at the Gospel itself or
      at the daily Our Fathers and understand how so many wars have happened in
      Christian history, especially between allegedly Christian nations.

      If every monastery refectory, every dining room table and every
      workplace lunch room had perfect forgiveness and peace, there would
      likely be no war. Wouldn't happen, because genuine peace truly is
      contagious. Do you see why we have to start at home, to start small?
      It's the only place we have to begin.

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

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