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Holy Rule for Dec. 12

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayers for all our Mexican brothers and sisters, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, their patroness. May she bless all the Americas with her
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 11, 2006
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      Prayers for all our Mexican brothers and sisters, on the feast of Our Lady
      of Guadalupe, their patroness. May she bless all the Americas with her

      Prayers for Bishop-elect Robert Hennessy, one of the finest priests I have
      ever known, being consecrated an auxiliary bishop of Boston today, and for all
      of his episcopal ministry. May he always be a ready and useful instrument of
      God's will for all he serves.

      Prayers for Tom L., on his birthday, many years and graces and blessings: ad
      multos annos!!!

      Prayers for Dave and his wife on their 25th wedding anniversary, may they be
      ever more filled with God's grace in that Sacrament. Prayers for a change of
      heart for two of their kids, 20 and 21, a son and a daughter. Such a trying
      time and age, may they let God in fully!

      Prayers and thanks and Deo gratias for Rolland, 76, who has recovered from
      flu-related dehydration and is in great, positive spirits. Prayers for his
      daughter, Cynthia, who is so grateful to all and prayers for all suffering with
      flu this winter. Especially in the elderly, it can be such a devastating
      illness. Prayers for Tom, just lost his job, three kids, the youngest only a few
      months old. 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

      April 12, August 12, December 12
      Chapter 58: On the Manner of Receiving Sisters

      When she is to be received
      she promises before all in the oratory
      fidelity to monastic life
      and obedience.
      This promise she shall make before God and His Saints,
      so that if she should ever act otherwise,
      she may know that she will be condemned by Him whom she mocks.
      Of this promise of hers let her draw up a document
      in the name of the Saints whose relics are there
      and of the Abbess who is present.
      Let her write this document with her own hand;
      or if she is illiterate, let another write it at her request,
      and let the novice put her mark to it.
      Then let her place it with her own hand upon the altar;
      and when she has placed it there,
      let the novice at once intone this verse:
      "Receive me, O Lord, according to Your word, and I shall live:
      and let me not be confounded in my hope" (Ps. 118[119]:116).
      Let the whole community answer this verse three times
      and add the "Glory be to the Father."
      Then let the novice prostrate herself at each one's feet,
      that they may pray for her.
      And from that day forward
      let her be counted as one of the community.

      If she has any property,
      let her either give it beforehand to the poor
      or by solemn donation bestow it on the monastery,
      reserving nothing at all for herself,
      as indeed she knows that from that day forward
      she will no longer have power even over her own body.
      At once, therefore, in the oratory,
      let her be divested of her own clothes which she is wearing
      and dressed in the clothes of the monastery.
      But let the clothes of which she was divested
      be put aside in the wardrobe and kept there.
      Then if she should ever listen to the persuasions of the devil
      and decide to leave the monastery (which God forbid),
      she may be divested of the monastic clothes and cast out.
      Her document, however,
      which the Abbess has taken from the altar,
      shall not be returned to her, but shall be kept in the monastery.


      The Church approves religious rules. This is the basis for asserting
      that our Holy Rule is inspired by the Holy Spirit, because the Church
      gave its seal of approval. The Church, however, is indubitably older
      and often wiser (is SOME respects, but by no means ALL!) than
      monastic life. It predates every form of optional religious
      commitment. It is the blessing of the Church which makes official
      monastic life possible for any and all of us.

      This is just a prelude to saying that the wisdom of the Church long
      ago stopped people from making solemn vows, a life-long commitment
      difficult to break, right out of novitiate. Not only does this longer
      program protect people, to a certain extent, from making a mistake,
      it also spares the monastery from having a lot of undesirables with
      chapter votes running the show. There are many, many I have known who
      left in simple vows for whose exit I remain eternally grateful! Thanks be to
      that they were never chapter members with votes. What a zoo that would have

      A year may well have been enough in St. Benedict's time. People had
      vastly shorter life spans, it was a bigger chunk of their lives. They
      also had to grow up more quickly and their options were fewer by far
      than those of our own day.

      Oblates, therefore, can garner a few kernels of truth in this chapter
      about commitment, that bugbear of the baby boomer generation and
      beyond. Modern people find it terribly hard to commit, some never
      manage it at all. As such, a bit of wisdom older than our own age may
      be very useful in our everyday lives.

      Whether it's a marriage or engagement or a job or a volunteer
      chairperson position, don't jump at things. Read the Rule, so to
      speak, three times at least! Look, look, look as mindfully as you can
      at the truth and reality of the situation.

      I have a friend who has suffered terribly in relationships which he
      ALWAYS insists are just wonderful and worth the effort, any effort,
      no matter who can see otherwise. He clings to this denial until they
      dump him and I DO mean clings. His head is eternally (I have never
      known another this bad,) in the sand, invincibly trapped in ignorant
      denial. Kindly recall what part of one's anatomy is bared to the
      world at large when one's head is in the sand... Small wonder that
      his friends and I can tell otherwise.

      Benedictines are not people afraid of commitment, but we live in a
      world where many are. Our witness here must be care and balance. We
      must resolutely walk BETWEEN the extremes of foolhardy haste and
      crippling fear. In the world of today, that is no small witness and
      no easy task. Pull this one off, and you have a done a service to
      many, not just to yourself!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
      _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
      Petersham, MA

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