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Holy Rule for Jan. 20

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayers, please for Lorie, 37, who has died, for her happy death and eternal rest and for the husband and three children she left behind. Prayers for
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 19, 2007
      +PAX

      Prayers, please for Lorie, 37, who has died, for her happy death and eternal
      rest and for the husband and three children she left behind. Prayers for the
      happy death and eternal rest of Very Rev. Dom Daniel Rees, OSB, of Downside
      Abbey. Lily, the child for whom we have prayed, had emergency surgery today.
      Even if it is successful, it can only prolong the inevitable. Prayers for her
      happy death, eternal rest and all her family, especially her parents and
      grandfather. Prayers for Cathy, mother of a seminarian, in her last agony. She
      is resigned, her son is with her, friends are gathering, but her suffering
      may last up to two weeks. 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 20, May 21, September 20
      Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

      To fear the Day of Judgment.
      To be in dread of hell.
      To desire eternal life with all the passion of the spirit.
      To keep death daily before one's eyes.
      To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life.
      To know for certain that God sees one everywhere.
      When evil thoughts come into one's heart, to dash them against Christ
      immediately.
      And to manifest them to one's spiritual mother.
      To guard one's tongue against evil and depraved speech.
      Not to love much talking.
      Not to speak useless words or words that move to laughter.
      Not to love much or boisterous laughter.
      To listen willingly to holy reading.
      To devote oneself frequently to prayer.
      Daily in one's prayers, with tears and sighs, to confess one's past
      sins to God, and to amend them for the future.
      Not to fulfil the desires of the flesh; to hate one's own will.
      To obey in all things the commands of the Abbess, even though she
      herself (which God forbid) should act otherwise, mindful of the
      Lord's precept, "Do what they say, but not what they do."
      Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy; but first to be
      holy, that one may be truly so called.

      REFLECTION


      The first four on today's list are not very palatable to many modern
      ears, but, like all of the Instruments of Good Works, they are
      important, they are interrelated and each one helps one fulfill the
      others. Arguably, one could say that the focus of the first four is
      the fifth: "To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life."

      We have largely "gotten over" dreading Judgment. We went from a
      paralyzing, Jansenistic, scrupulous fear of it right into a smug
      assurance that everyone passes the test with honors. Well, there's got to
      be truth hidden between those two false extremes somewhere!

      I know, beyond any doubt that I shall be both delighted and very,
      very embarrassed and ashamed to meet God face to face, to find that
      my faith has been confirmed. Ah, joy at the confirmation, but oh,
      crushing shame at the simultaneous confirmation of how very far short
      of Him I have fallen, through choice, through laziness, through
      negligence, through sin.

      One can dread that realization without thinking that God is some
      intrinsically mean sort, just waiting for one to trip up, hunting for the
      slightest loophole to nail us. Quite the opposite is the truth! God's awesome
      Divine Mercy seeks every possible way to bring us to Himself and
      His rewards of bliss. Every possible way!!

      Let us admit that we have been all too good at tripping
      on our own: God has no need to duplicate services there! Fearing
      judgment is part and parcel of knowing who we are. We have all
      sinned. And I know I have failed faith, hope and love, again and again
      and again, usually with no more excuse than selfishness.

      We keep goals in sight while training. Forget the Olympic gold and
      you will quite likely forget why you are training so hard. For us,
      between now and the "Olympics" of death, it is only the training that
      matters. It is also good to recall that, as Benedictines, our goal is
      NOT simply to "pass", but to stand on the podium. (Figuratively
      speaking. Don't carry this limping analogy too far, or you'll wind up
      with only three people getting saved, all of them Benedictine. Not
      only is that NOT where I am heading, but it would annoy the Jesuits
      terribly.)

      That's not because we are any better, it is only because
      we ourselves have added great holiness to our goal. Why else embrace
      the Rule? Keeping "death daily before our eyes," we are ALWAYS at
      the Olympics, thanks to our vow of conversion of manner of life, we
      are daily in training, every minute, in fact.

      All of these four lead to the fifth, keeping guard over one's
      actions, or mindfulness. Here is a great connection between the
      Benedictine way and the Buddhist way. Mindfulness is the vestibule of
      ecstasy. That is no exaggeration!

      So, also with religious mystical experience. St. Teresa of Avila
      could not make it through the Our Father without falling into
      ecstasy. Whoa! How many times do we make it through without ecstasy,
      even with full attention? The ordinary becomes ecstatic in mysticism
      because of grace, working on mindfulness and purity of heart, which
      are so clearly linked.

      Kierkegaard was right about this one: "Purity of heart is to will one
      thing." When that one thing is God, grace can lead us to dizzying
      heights. And purity of heart is a very, very Benedictine concept!

      The Buddhists have a saying that monastics can preach a sermon just
      by the way they walk. That's what the care of mindfulness can do!
      Just wait till we get to the 12th degree of humility, which says that
      the monastics' humility will shine through their outward appearance,
      whether walking or sitting or working or praying.

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





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following, for all their families and loved ones and all who mourn them: Jane s Dad, whom we have
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 18, 2008
        +PAX

        Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following, for all their families and loved ones and all who mourn them:

        Jane's Dad, whom we have prayed for, passed away this morning.

        Tim, three small children. Lost his wife to breast cancer 2 1/2 years ago and took his own life at her gravesite, having given no clues to any he was so depressed. He had been very active raising funds for cancer since her death and his suicide was a total shock.

        Ivan, who died in his sleep, and for his wife, Carol.

        Darla, for whom we prayed, passed away peacefully last night.

        Fr. Reynaldo Roda, OMI, 55, a missionary in the Philippines, murdered in a kidnap attempt.

        Jennie, and peace for her daughter Jeanie and her husband Sam

        Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and for all who take care of them:

        Adrian, post-op hip follow-up, and for his Mother, who has been ill.

        Deo gratias, Al, for whom we prayed, came through his kidney removal surgery very well and is already up and walking about.

        J, first doctoral comprehensive exams tomorrow, and dealing with a stomach virus for the past two weeks, so not really ready. Finances are really difficult (as for most grad students), and struggling with my chronic depression and alcoholism.

        Karen, and a business partner.

        Cathy, newly diagnosed with breast cancer, double masectomy scheduled.
        Alice, about to have an evaluation by hospice, and for her family who have been in denial
        Evelyn - health concerns

        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 19, May 20, September 19
        Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

        Not to give way to anger.
        Not to nurse a grudge.
        Not to entertain deceit in one's heart.
        Not to give a false peace.
        Not to forsake charity.
        Not to swear, for fear of perjuring oneself.
        To utter truth from heart and mouth.
        Not to return evil for evil.
        To do no wrong to anyone, and to bear patiently wrongs done to
        oneself.
        To love one's enemies.
        Not to curse those who curse us, but rather to bless them.
        To bear persecution for justice' sake.
        Not to be proud.
        Not addicted to wine.
        Not a great eater.
        Not drowsy.
        Not lazy.
        Not a grumbler.
        Not a detractor.
        To put one's hope in God.
        To attribute to God, and not to self, whatever good one sees in
        oneself.
        But to recognize always that the evil is one's own doing, and to
        impute it to oneself.

        REFLECTION

        A beginning warning as we read these instruments of good works: don't
        focus on the few you already can more or less manage! Lots of people
        do that, carefully skimming over the ones they can't dream of doing
        or fathoming, patting themselves on the back for the stray one here
        and there they can. (E.g., "Hey, I don't murder anybody...") None of
        us could do any of these things at all without grace and mercy. It is
        all God's gift that allows us to do good. The most important
        instruments of good works are the ones we HAVEN'T mastered... yet!!

        Just a quickie on one of these: "Not to forsake charity." St. Paul
        tells us that love never gives up. There is a similarity here to the
        vow of conversion of manners: one never gives up striving for
        holiness or the vow is broken. So it is with love: if we give up, it
        is broken.

        If we deny that a person can ever change, we deny an important truth: all
        people can change, even those who annoy or hurt us the most. Insisting that a
        person will never be any better is clinging to a falsehood. The person MIGHT
        never change, sure, but to insist that we KNOW someone never will improve is a
        lie. We know nothing of the sort. Every lie diminishes our sharing in truth.
        Since Jesus said He is the Truth, we must grasp and gather every bit of truth
        that we can. To cling to a false (and uncharitable,) conviction of a
        person's perpetual inability to become better is to work against ourselves. we
        should be gathering truth, not lies.

        One of the Dominican applications of their motto, "Veritas", Truth,
        to spirituality is to justify study by Jesus' statement that He is
        the Truth. Hence, every bit and fragment of real truth that
        Dominicans gain in their learning is like one more piece of the
        puzzle, one more shard of the shattered mirror of human consciousness
        that reflects Christ. The more we learn of truth, the more familiar
        His face will be to us when we finally see Him.

        Jesus said He was the Truth, St. John tells us God is love. The two
        are intertwined in the essence of God. They must also be wound
        together tightly in our ways of loving, forgiving and knowing each
        other.

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








        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        +PAX Prayers, please, for the mother we prayed for, killed with her 4 and 5 year old on a highway, suspicions now arise that it may have been intentional on
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 19, 2008
          +PAX

          Prayers, please, for the mother we prayed for, killed with her 4 and 5 year old on a highway, suspicions now arise that it may have been intentional on the Mom's part.

          Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Joanna, for many years a faithful cook at Holy Name Monastery, St. Leo, FL. and for all her loved ones and those who mourn her.

          Prayers, please, for the physical, mental an spiritual health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

          Aida, 45, who has a cyst in her brain. Still undergoing tests to determine treatment.
          Reggie, 50's, suffering from shingles and stress of caring for her elderly Mom.

          J2., another doctoral candidate with a host of problems employment and haelth-related, many obstacles as she tries to write her dissertation.

          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 20, May 21, September 20
          Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

          To fear the Day of Judgment.
          To be in dread of hell.
          To desire eternal life with all the passion of the spirit.
          To keep death daily before one's eyes.
          To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life.
          To know for certain that God sees one everywhere.
          When evil thoughts come into one's heart, to dash them against Christ
          immediately.
          And to manifest them to one's spiritual mother.
          To guard one's tongue against evil and depraved speech.
          Not to love much talking.
          Not to speak useless words or words that move to laughter.
          Not to love much or boisterous laughter.
          To listen willingly to holy reading.
          To devote oneself frequently to prayer.
          Daily in one's prayers, with tears and sighs, to confess one's past
          sins to God, and to amend them for the future.
          Not to fulfil the desires of the flesh; to hate one's own will.
          To obey in all things the commands of the Abbess, even though she
          herself (which God forbid) should act otherwise, mindful of the
          Lord's precept, "Do what they say, but not what they do."
          Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy; but first to be
          holy, that one may be truly so called.

          REFLECTION


          The first four on today's list are not very palatable to many modern
          ears, but, like all of the Instruments of Good Works, they are
          important, they are interrelated and each one helps one fulfill the
          others. Arguably, one could say that the focus of the first four is
          the fifth: "To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life."

          We have largely "gotten over" dreading Judgment. We went from a
          paralyzing, Jansenistic, scrupulous fear of it right into a smug
          assurance that everyone passes the test with honors. Well, there's got to
          be truth hidden between those two false extremes somewhere!

          I know, beyond any doubt that I shall be both delighted and very,
          very embarrassed and ashamed to meet God face to face, to find that
          my faith has been confirmed. Ah, joy at the confirmation, but oh,
          crushing shame at the simultaneous confirmation of how very far short
          of Him I have fallen, through choice, through laziness, through
          negligence, through sin.

          One can dread that realization without thinking that God is some
          intrinsically mean sort, just waiting for one to trip up, hunting for the
          slightest loophole to nail us. Quite the opposite is the truth! God's awesome
          Divine Mercy seeks every possible way to bring us to Himself and
          His rewards of bliss. Every possible way!!

          Let us admit that we have been all too good at tripping
          on our own: God has no need to duplicate services there! Fearing
          judgment is part and parcel of knowing who we are. We have all
          sinned. And I know I have failed faith, hope and love, again and again
          and again, usually with no more excuse than selfishness.

          We keep goals in sight while training. Forget the Olympic gold and
          you will quite likely forget why you are training so hard. For us,
          between now and the "Olympics" of death, it is only the training that
          matters. It is also good to recall that, as Benedictines, our goal is
          NOT simply to "pass", but to stand on the podium. (Figuratively
          speaking. Don't carry this limping analogy too far, or you'll wind up
          with only three people getting saved, all of them Benedictine. Not
          only is that NOT where I am heading, but it would annoy the Jesuits
          terribly.)

          That's not because we are any better, it is only because
          we ourselves have added great holiness to our goal. Why else embrace
          the Rule? Keeping "death daily before our eyes," we are ALWAYS at
          the Olympics, thanks to our vow of conversion of manner of life, we
          are daily in training, every minute, in fact.

          All of these four lead to the fifth, keeping guard over one's
          actions, or mindfulness. Here is a great connection between the
          Benedictine way and the Buddhist way. Mindfulness is the vestibule of
          ecstasy. That is no exaggeration!

          So, also with religious mystical experience. St. Teresa of Avila
          could not make it through the Our Father without falling into
          ecstasy. Whoa! How many times do we make it through without ecstasy,
          even with full attention? The ordinary becomes ecstatic in mysticism
          because of grace, working on mindfulness and purity of heart, which
          are so clearly linked.

          Kierkegaard was right about this one: "Purity of heart is to will one
          thing." When that one thing is God, grace can lead us to dizzying
          heights. And purity of heart is a very, very Benedictine concept!

          The Buddhists have a saying that monastics can preach a sermon just
          by the way they walk. That's what the care of mindfulness can do!
          Just wait till we get to the 12th degree of humility, which says that
          the monastics' humility will shine through their outward appearance,
          whether walking or sitting or working or praying.

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







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers for Toni Marie, suffering from Chiari syndrome, exhibiting some worrying new symptoms.. Prayers for the eternal rest of Br. Thomas, OCSO, of Mt.
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 19

            +PAX

            Prayers for Toni Marie, suffering from Chiari syndrome, exhibiting some worrying new symptoms..

             

            Prayers for the eternal rest of Br. Thomas, OCSO, of Mt. St. Bernard Abbey, in the UK. Prayers, too, for all his family, Community and all who mourn him.

             

            Prayers for Leo, chemo and radiation were not effective, having surgery for urinary tract cancer. Prayers that the surgery is effective and for a speedy recovery.

             

            Prayers for the eternal rest of Rocky, who was killed by a drunk driver. He leaves behind a loving wife and 2 little children, prayers for them and all his family and all who mourn him.

             

            Prayers for Cindy, seriously injured in a car accident, and for her parents, Nace and Sannie.

             

            Prayers for P., she died in a fire, but it may have been suicide; she had been depressed for a long time and suicidal at times before. Prayers for her eternal rest and for all her family and all who mourn her.

             

            Prayers for Ray, mental illness.

             

            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 20, May 21, September 20
            Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

            To fear the Day of Judgment.
            To be in dread of hell.
            To desire eternal life with all the passion of the spirit.
            To keep death daily before one's eyes.
            To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life.
            To know for certain that God sees one everywhere.
            When evil thoughts come into one's heart, to dash them against Christ
            immediately.
            And to manifest them to one's spiritual mother.
            To guard one's tongue against evil and depraved speech.
            Not to love much talking.
            Not to speak useless words or words that move to laughter.
            Not to love much or boisterous laughter.
            To listen willingly to holy reading.
            To devote oneself frequently to prayer.
            Daily in one's prayers, with tears and sighs, to confess one's past
            sins to God, and to amend them for the future.
            Not to fulfil the desires of the flesh; to hate one's own will.
            To obey in all things the commands of the Abbess, even though she
            herself (which God forbid) should act otherwise, mindful of the
            Lord's precept, "Do what they say, but not what they do."
            Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy; but first to be
            holy, that one may be truly so called.

            REFLECTION


            The first four on today's list are not very palatable to many modern
            ears, but, like all of the Instruments of Good Works, they are
            important, they are interrelated and each one helps one fulfill the
            others. Arguably, one could say that the focus of the first four is
            the fifth: "To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life."

            We seem to have largely "gotten over" dreading Judgment. We went from a
            paralyzing, Jansenistic, scrupulous fear of it right into a smug
            assurance that everyone passes the test with honors. Well, there's got to
            be truth hidden between those two false extremes somewhere!

            I know, beyond any doubt that I shall be both delighted and very,
            very embarrassed and ashamed to meet God face to face, to find that
            my faith has been confirmed. Ah, joy at the confirmation, but oh,
            crushing shame at the simultaneous confirmation of how very far short
            of Him I have fallen, through choice, through laziness, through
            negligence, through sin.

            One can dread that realization without thinking that God is some
            intrinsically mean sort, just waiting for one to trip up, hunting for the
            slightest loophole to nail us. Quite the opposite is the truth! God's awesome
            Divine Mercy seeks every possible way to bring us to Himself and
            His rewards of bliss. Every possible way!!

            Let us admit that we have been all too good at tripping
            on our own: God has no need to duplicate services there! Fearing
            judgment is part and parcel of knowing who we are. We have all
            sinned. And I know I have failed faith, hope and love, again and again
            and again, usually with no more excuse than selfishness.

            We keep goals in sight while training. Forget the Olympic gold and
            you will quite likely forget why you are training so hard. For us,
            between now and the "Olympics" of death, it is only the training that
            matters. It is also good to recall that, as Benedictines, our goal is
            NOT simply to "pass", but to stand on the podium.

            That's not because we are any better, it is only because
            we ourselves have added great holiness to our goal. Why else embrace
            the Rule? Keeping "death daily before our eyes," we are ALWAYS at
            the Olympics, thanks to our vow of conversion of manner of life, we
            are daily in training, every minute, in fact.

            All of these four lead to the fifth, keeping guard over one's
            actions, or mindfulness. Here is a great connection between the
            Benedictine way and the Buddhist way.

            The Buddhists have a saying that monastics can preach a sermon just
            by the way they walk. That's what the care of mindfulness can do!
            Just wait till we get to the 12th degree of humility, which says that
            the monastics' humility will shine through their outward appearance,
            whether walking or sitting or working or praying.

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

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