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Mar 26

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please, for a family that is breaking up. Wife and kids are moving out and it is very, very tough for them right now. Thanks so much! God s will
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 2003
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      Prayers, please, for a family that is breaking up. Wife and kids are
      moving out and it is very, very tough for them right now. Thanks so
      much! God's will be done! NRN JL

      March 26, July 26, November 25
      Chapter 46: On Those Who Fail in Any Other Matters

      When anyone is engaged in any sort of work,
      whether in the kitchen, in the cellar, in a shop,
      in the bakery, in the garden, while working at some craft,
      or in any other place,
      and she commits some fault,
      or breaks something, or loses something,
      or transgresses in any other way whatsoever,
      if she does not come immediately
      before the Abbess and the community
      of her own accord
      to make satisfaction and confess her fault,
      then when it becomes known through another,
      let her be subjected to a more severe correction.

      But if the sin-sickness of the soul is a hidden one,
      let her reveal it only to the Abbess or to a spiritual mother,
      who knows how to cure her own and others' wounds
      without exposing them and making them public.


      I can hear parents relating to this one! "When you break something,
      why don't you tell me? Don't just hide the pieces and say nothing."
      Well, truthfully, sometimes people may have been afraid to ask us
      because of ways we have reacted before, but that's not always so. As
      guest master, I can assure you that many adults have very adolescent
      habits when it comes to breaking something, even though they have
      never had any dealings with me on the matter before. Nothing is said,
      the damage is hidden and I find out a lot later.

      That's too bad, because I really like to give a monastic witness to
      the value of people before things and a broken plate or glass or
      toilet is a great way to do that. When people do come to me, always
      apologetic, and often quite sheepish as well, I say something
      like: "Oh, that's OK! We can always get another pitcher, but we can
      never get another you! People before things!"

      People before things. That is so crucial to remember, because all of
      us have lived in a very materialist world. For people of our times,
      some of the Holy Rule's insistence that we be careful of the earthly
      goods of monastery or home must be carefully balanced. Otherwise, we
      run into the trap of becoming monastic materialists, quite a
      contradiction in terms, to say the least. Yes, we must be careful of
      things, but we must always keep uppermost in our minds that the
      greatest treasures or family or monastery or workplace are the
      members themselves. If frugality becomes stinginess, if conservation
      breaks charity, we are way, way off the mark.

      There's another little gem here, right at the end. Not everyone in
      the group needs to know all your details all the time, but letting no
      one at all know is equally foolish. A balance must be obtained here,
      as in all things. Knowing whom to tell what to is a delicate art of
      paying very close attention to reality of the other person. Some
      people may not be trustworthy, others may not profit from knowing for
      other reasons, like distress or worry or even scandal. Weigh those
      considerations very, very carefully.

      Being HIV+ has given me a bit of experience in this last regard.
      There are those, I know, who think it imprudent to be as candid as I
      am about my antibody status. However, I choose the candor for very
      valid reasons and I do not apply them in every situation, with every
      person I meet. Can't do that. Wouldn't be good for them or for me.
      Might be sometime, isn't just yet. This is very different thing from
      being secretive or closety. I need- we all need- to weigh our
      audience. That's mindfulness of others. Some weigh things far too
      cautiously. My experience has shown me that, while being bold can be
      scary, it also call forth things from people that neither I nor
      sometimes they knew they had going for them! Sometimes our candor can
      bring out the best in all of us, or at least in most of us, and those
      are the times to forge ahead!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery
      Petersham, MA
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