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Holy Rule for Oct. 28

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias: Frs. Bede and Giles returned from their Holy Land trip safe and sound. Prayers, please, for Adam and his parents and
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 27, 2006
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      Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias: Frs. Bede and Giles returned from their
      Holy Land trip safe and sound.

      Prayers, please, for Adam and his parents and Shirley his, grandmother, and
      her other three grandchildren, all on the road this weekend while Shirley
      worries for their safety at home. May God protect them all! Prayers for Brian,
      hip replacement on Monday, and for his wife, Veronica. He has cardiac trouble,
      so there are extra worries for them both. Prayers for Mattie, terminal cancer
      held off for a while by chemo, and for Paul, her husband and all their
      family.
      Pat, early fifties, has a serious health issue but hasn't divulged it to
      many yet. She needs prayers since she's discerning her career right now based
      on this health concern. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is
      best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Hi! Thanks so much.
      JL

      February 27, June 28, October 28
      Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery

      If the community is a large one,
      let there be chosen out of it
      brethren of good repute and holy life,
      and let them be appointed deans.
      These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
      observing the commandments of God
      and the instructions of their Abbot.


      Let men of such character be chosen deans
      that the Abbot may with confidence
      share his burdens among them.
      Let them be chosen not by rank
      but according to their worthiness of life
      and the wisdom of their doctrine.


      If any of these deans should become inflated with pride
      and found deserving of censure,
      let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time.
      If he will not amend,
      then let him be deposed
      and another be put in his place who is worthy of it.


      And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.

      REFLECTION

      St. Benedict reverences seniority- a traditional monastic value- in
      many places, but he also moderates that tradition, keeping it from
      turning into ageism. When considering the appointment of these deans,
      their worthy lives and teachings are the criteria, not their age.
      Unspoken here, but nevertheless evident, is the demand that seniors
      obey such young officials.

      There is no room for griping about young "whipper-snappers" here!
      Obedience is not about the age or wisdom or human perfection of the
      superior. It is about faith that God leads us through such flawed
      human beings of every sort. When "X" crosses you or breaks your heart
      or stokes your anger, it is imperative to recall that this often has
      precious little to do with "X" and his or her personality. It's is God's gift
      to your self-study. He wants you to learn something about yourself
      and tests you. "X" might not even be faintly aware of being used as
      an instrument of His will! (Recalling this all the time is a LOT
      harder than it sounds, a lifelong struggle.)

      A further check here is given by the insistence on personal holiness.
      Granted, even in monasteries, the clever and manipulatively ambitious
      sort can get around this and sometimes do, but what if all our
      offices, in monastery AND Church went to really holy people? The
      first objection (usually put forward by the ambitious who would be
      overlooked under this system!) is that they would be TERRIBLE
      administrators. So? The point there was what?

      Next time you want a fun day-dream, try to picture a Church and Order
      run entirely by the holy and wise. Wow! Now usually, day-dreaming is
      an utter waste of time, but this one is not. After you have spent
      some time envisioning all those things, go out and BE what you
      dreamed. Truly live as if the dream had come to pass. Be prepared to
      be a little lonely: none of us are likely soon to see a Church run
      entirely by saints. But we can all make that dream one person closer
      to coming true, by changing ourselves, by incarnating that ideal as
      best we can. The only ones we can surely change are ourselves!

      Of course, there will be loud complaints about saints in charge, too.
      For one thing, as Dorothy Day observed, saints are terribly hard to
      live with. For another, the problem is our lack of faith, a problem
      even good governance will not remove. Only we can remove that
      problem. It starts with us!

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



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