First, a recent quote from Pope John Paul II that is simply to good
"...the conquest of peace at all levels is joined to conversion of
heart and a genuine change of life."
Much to ring a Benedictine bell or two there!! JL
April 2, August 2, December 2
Chapter 51: On Brethren Who Go Not Very Far Away
A Brother who is sent out on some business
and is expected to return to the monastery that same day
shall not presume to eat while he is out,
even if he is urgently requested to do so
by any person whomsoever,
unless he has permission from his Abbot.
And if he acts otherwise, let him be excommunicated.
Remember that cloistered paradise of the heart I wrote about
yesterday? All Benedictines, monks, nuns and oblates, must cultivate
that monastic heart. Today's chapter is an excellent example.
Like our Christianity itself, our Benedictinism must become part of
us, rooted in our hearts, carried with us everywhere because it is
inseparable from us. While the issue in this chapter is keeping the
monastic who goes outside vigilant, mindful and observant, there is a
particular application to oblates here. This concept of carrying the
monastery with us becomes a principal means of evangelization, of
being leaven in the dough of the world, of being a catalyst for peace.
Remember that the Holy Rule does teach us that the observance of some
things becomes easier with time. Happy the day when one wakes to find
that even the smallest part of one's Benedictine struggle has become
one's very self, an integral part of who one is. This realization
will likely sneak up on one and catch us quite unawares, suprised by
joy, as it were. With God's mercy and grace, those areas will
increase over time. More and more we actually become the monastic we
have been striving to be. That, beloveds, is an awesome feeling of
joy, to say nothing of considerable relief!! Truly, m'dears, we shall
one day, with God's help, "run in the way of His commandments with
Love and prayers,
jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA