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Mar 29

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please, for C., estranged from her children. Thanks so much. God s will be done! NRN JL March 29, July 29, November 28 Chapter 48: On the Daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2003
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      Prayers, please, for C., estranged from her children. Thanks so much.
      God's will be done! NRN JL

      March 29, July 29, November 28

      Chapter 48: On the Daily Manual Labor

      From the Calends of October until the beginning of Lent,
      let them apply themselves to reading
      up to the end of the second hour.

      At the second hour let Terce be said,
      and then let all labor at the work assigned them until None.
      At the first signal for the Hour of None
      let everyone break off from her work,
      and hold herself ready for the sounding of the second signal.
      After the meal
      let them apply themselves to their reading or to the Psalms.

      On the days of Lent,
      from morning until the end of the third hour
      let them apply themselves to their reading,
      and from then until the end of the tenth hour
      let them do the work assigned them.
      And in these days of Lent
      they shall each receive a book from the library,
      which they shall read straight through from the beginning.
      These books are to be given out at the beginning of Lent.

      But certainly one or two of the seniors should be deputed
      to go about the monastery
      at the hours when the sisters are occupied in reading
      and see that there be no lazy sister
      who spends her time in idleness or gossip
      and does not apply herself to the reading,
      so that she is not only unprofitable to herself
      but also distracts others.
      If such a one be found (which God forbid),
      let her be corrected once and a second time;
      if she does not amend,
      let her undergo the punishment of the Rule
      in such a way that the rest may take warning.

      Moreover, one sister shall not associate with another
      at inappropriate times.

      REFLECTION

      The Holy Rule quite rightly forbids us to associate with others at
      inappropriate times. What we need to realize is that inappropriate
      times can be determined by people and situations, as well as
      schedules. Sometimes some things or some people make interaction on
      certain levels not only inappropriate, but downright morally wrong.

      When another person is insistent on pursuing exchanges that are good
      for neither you nor them, it is wrong to associate with that person
      until the climate significantly changes. It is disruptive of peace:
      theirs, yours and those around both of you. Don't be surprised if you
      have difficulty convincing the other party of this state of affairs.
      People often forge full steam ahead because they are, for one reason
      or another, totally blind to the mistakes and damage of doing so.
      People who lack peace themselves are often relentless in their
      attempts to destroy it in others. Don't let them. You need your peace
      for your search for God. Pray for them and calm down.

      Always remember that people in a lot of pain or hurt or anger can
      espouse terribly false and dysfunctional rules of engagement (the war-
      like terminology was not carelessly chosen here,) which probably seem
      entirely healthy, moral and just to them. That is an illusion and
      your obligation of charity in such an instance is not to feed the
      illusion further. At some tragic point, the only help for one who
      persistently plays unhealthy games is to refuse to play at all and
      pray for them. We are morally responsible for our complicity in
      further enabling such dysfunction.

      For Christians and especially for monastics, relationships may never
      be totally sundered. There must always be prayer, always concern,
      even if it is perforce indirect, unknown and unseen by any but God.
      One must always pray for the salvation of all. On the other hand,
      even for us, relationships can become so terribly toxic that more
      direct contact is not only unwise, but sometimes even immoral, too.
      If that happens, cling to prayer. It's really all you have in such a
      morass.

      When a relationship is stalled in toxic stalemate, it is wrong to
      continue pounding one's head against the same stone wall interminably
      because of some mistaken notion by either party that charity demands
      it. Charity does no such thing, neither does justice. Charity demands
      the best for all and sometimes that can mean a lot of distance
      bolstered by prayer. Sometimes one has to say "Enough!" Failing to do
      so could be very unjust and a serious disservice to both parties.

      If someone needs help that you cannot, truly cannot provide, for
      heaven's sake urge them to get it, but don't go on delaying the
      process by helping them expend energy on useless wheel-spinning. Pray
      for them and move away. Offer to come back when you CAN be of help,
      if such a time ever arrives, but get out of the way of the paramedics
      if you can't give the help necessary. You run the risk of doing much
      more harm than good.

      Always forgive, always pray. But sometimes one can and even must do
      both without returning to business as usual. That is terribly hard
      and, since people in pain can be terribly manipulative, not likely to
      be made any easier for you. Tough it out, though. It is important.
      Neither charity nor justice nor the Gospel nor God Himself require us
      to continue to pummel a thoroughly beaten dead horse into an
      unpalatable slimy, bones, teeth, hooves and all. Don't be deluded
      into thinking that ever. When you have done what you could and
      failed, move away, give someone else a chance, and pray with all your
      heart.

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB

      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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