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Holy Rule for Jan. 18

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayers, please for the happy death of Br. Andre Bennett, OSB, of St. John s Abbey, Collegeville, who has died and for his nephew, Sal, and all who
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 17, 2007
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please for the happy death of Br. Andre Bennett, OSB, of St. John's
      Abbey, Collegeville, who has died and for his nephew, Sal, and all who mourn
      him. Prayers for Dan, a heartbreaking mess of a divorce, wife left him for
      another man and has their three children. He needs lots of on-going prayers,
      really suffering emotionally and, of course, financially, too. He has to work 6
      days a week now, but he is finding God again in his life and going to daily
      Mass. Prayers for a man whose mother is sick and badly in need of help. 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

      January 18, May 19, September 18
      Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

      In the first place, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, the
      whole soul, the whole strength.
      Then, one's neighbor as oneself.
      Then not to murder.
      Not to commit adultery.
      Not to steal.
      Not to covet.
      Not to bear false witness.
      To honor all (1 Peter 2:17).
      And not to do to another what one would not have done to oneself.
      To deny oneself in order to follow Christ.
      To chastise the body.
      Not to become attached to pleasures.
      To love fasting.
      To relieve the poor.
      To clothe the naked.
      To visit the sick.
      To bury the dead.
      To help in trouble.
      To console the sorrowing.
      To become a stranger to the world's ways.
      To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.


      REFLECTION


      St. Benedict follows Christ's teaching of the two greatest
      commandments, putting them first in his list. He had, however, also
      lived in community, so look what he puts at #3: not to murder!
      In the PBS drama The Best of Friends, Dame Laurentia Maclachlan, OSB,
      Abbess of Stanford and friend of George Bernard Shaw, said that the
      miracle was not that so many nuns could live together, but that they'd never
      had a murder.

      In a very real sense, living the first two instruments would render
      the rest of the Holy Rule more or less superfluous commentary. If we
      lived them, no doubt God would reveal the rest to us in time. Ah, but
      there's the rub: in time...

      We can easily forget that the Holy Rule is a time and labor-saving
      device. It was not written for arbitrary control, it was written to
      save us the lengthy process of learning all its wisdom unaided. Given
      our hearts that God has placed in us, He probably would lead us all
      to be Benedictines sooner or later, one by one, even if there were no
      Rule. But, again, the clincher here is sooner or later. The Rule not
      only saves us a lot of time and trial and error, it also frees us to
      do good long before our own stumbling efforts could ever have
      produced as much fruit.

      A final note about preferring "nothing to the love of Christ." This
      line is so popular and frequently duplicated that we can become blind
      to it, shrugging and saying: "Oh, yeah...favorite Benedictine
      phrase..." Stop today and look at it, REALLY look at it. People often
      glance and look away because they fail to prefer nothing, but hey,
      that's the human condition! You, me and most of us strugglers are in
      the same boat, so relax and look at what it means carefully.

      If we truly preferred nothing to the love of Christ, we would be
      sinless saints. We would need no other rule! Small wonder that most
      of us read and look away in embarrassment. But ALL of us, every one,
      can chisel at that mountain day by day, resolutely. A day in which
      the seemingly tiniest and most token of obstacles to the love of
      Christ is conquered and removed is a day of great rejoicing in
      heaven! There is a tremendously humbling difference between all we
      ought to do and what we can do. Start with the latter and strive for
      the former!

      As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta observed, "We can do no great things,
      only small things with great love." We HAVE to start small, because,
      for most of us, if it weren't for small, we'd never start at all! Ah,
      but those tiniest things done with love delight the heart of the
      Divine Merciful Christ as none could ever imagine! Go for it!!!

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



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX January 18, May 19, September 18 Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works In the first place, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, the
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 17, 2008
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        +PAX

        January 18, May 19, September 18
        Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

        In the first place, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, the
        whole soul, the whole strength.
        Then, one's neighbor as oneself.
        Then not to murder.
        Not to commit adultery.
        Not to steal.
        Not to covet.
        Not to bear false witness.
        To honor all (1 Peter 2:17).
        And not to do to another what one would not have done to oneself.
        To deny oneself in order to follow Christ.
        To chastise the body.
        Not to become attached to pleasures.
        To love fasting.
        To relieve the poor.
        To clothe the naked.
        To visit the sick.
        To bury the dead.
        To help in trouble.
        To console the sorrowing.
        To become a stranger to the world's ways.
        To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.


        REFLECTION


        St. Benedict follows Christ's teaching of the two greatest
        commandments, putting them first in his list. He had, however, also
        lived in community, so look what he puts at #3: not to murder!
        In the PBS drama The Best of Friends, Dame Laurentia Maclachlan, OSB,
        Abbess of Stanford and friend of George Bernard Shaw, said that the
        miracle was not that so many nuns could live together, but that they'd never
        had a murder.

        In a very real sense, living the first two instruments would render
        the rest of the Holy Rule more or less superfluous commentary. If we
        lived them, no doubt God would reveal the rest to us in time. Ah, but
        there's the rub: in time...

        We can easily forget that the Holy Rule is a time and labor-saving
        device. It was not written for arbitrary control, it was written to
        save us the lengthy process of learning all its wisdom unaided. Given
        our hearts that God has placed in us, He probably would lead us all
        to be Benedictines sooner or later, one by one, even if there were no
        Rule. But, again, the clincher here is sooner or later. The Rule not
        only saves us a lot of time and trial and error, it also frees us to
        do good long before our own stumbling efforts could ever have
        produced as much fruit.

        A final note about preferring "nothing to the love of Christ." This
        line is so popular and frequently duplicated that we can become blind
        to it, shrugging and saying: "Oh, yeah...favorite Benedictine
        phrase..." Stop today and look at it, REALLY look at it. People often
        glance and look away because they fail to prefer nothing, but hey,
        that's the human condition! You, me and most of us strugglers are in
        the same boat, so relax and look at what it means carefully.

        If we truly preferred nothing to the love of Christ, we would be
        sinless saints. We would need no other rule! Small wonder that most
        of us read and look away in embarrassment. But ALL of us, every one,
        can chisel at that mountain day by day, resolutely. A day in which
        the seemingly tiniest and most token of obstacles to the love of
        Christ is conquered and removed is a day of great rejoicing in
        heaven! There is a tremendously humbling difference between all we
        ought to do and what we can do. Start with the latter and strive for
        the former!

        As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta observed, "We can do no great things,
        only small things with great love." We HAVE to start small, because,
        for most of us, if it weren't for small, we'd never start at all! Ah,
        but those tiniest things done with love delight the heart of the
        Divine Merciful Christ as none could ever imagine! Go for it!!!

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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