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Holy Rule for Jan. 23: Catching up!

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Forgive me, I sent the one for the 25th yesterday and missed the 23rd altogether. Sigh.... Prayers, please, for Maggie, stage II uterine cancer, and for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 24, 2007

      Forgive me, I sent the one for the 25th yesterday and missed the 23rd
      altogether. Sigh....

      Prayers, please, for Maggie, stage II uterine cancer, and for her husband
      and all their family. Prayers that she return to practicing her faith, too.
      Prayers for R, a doctoral candidate who had his first proposal rejected and,
      while reeling from that, lost all his financial support. A young husband and
      father, he has a great many worries just now. The supporter who had promised to
      help him stopped sending funds with no explanation.

      Prayers, please, for Rodney, age 40, found dead yesterday. He was an
      alcoholic and had expressed a desire to leave this world. Had been drinking huge
      amounts, and everything his family and friends did for him was fruitless.
      Rehab had no effect. We must always remember that alcoholism is a disease and
      pray for these folks- indeed, for any addicts, with great compassion. Prayers
      for two severely ill mental patients and their worried families. Prayers for
      Nancy and her family, spiritual, physical and financial well-being, and for the
      health of Adam. 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 23, May 24, September 23
      Chapter 5: On Obedience

      But this very obedience
      will be acceptable to God and pleasing to all
      only if what is commanded is done
      without hesitation, delay, lukewarmness, grumbling, or objection.
      For the obedience given to Superiors is given to God,
      since He Himself has said,
      "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).
      And the disciples should offer their obedience with a good will,
      for "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7).
      For if the disciple obeys with an ill will
      and murmurs,
      not necessarily with his lips but simply in his heart,
      then even though he fulfill the command
      yet his work will not be acceptable to God,
      who sees that his heart is murmuring.
      And, far from gaining a reward for such work as this,
      he will incur the punishment due to murmurers,
      unless he amend and make satisfaction.


      Trust me, folks, I am not second-guessing St. Benedict on this one, I
      just think there is a chance that he is often misread and that
      something not at all contrary to his precepts needs to be emphasized.

      Few who share my cynical bent would fail to chafe at a reading of
      this passage which seems to imply that we must all be cheerful, Pollyanna
      optimists, blithely smiling automatons. Yes, we are told not to
      murmur, and to put the very best face on our obedience that we
      possibly can. Often the real miracle of grace is that we can just
      barely obey in silence, without any comment at all. No doubt that is
      a tender mercy to those who live with us! We must not read St.
      Benedict harshly, even less so God. We must keep the loving parent
      image ever before our eyes in both instances.

      I want to expand the image of the non-murmuring heart a bit. Some
      days one's heart cannot murmur, because it is numb and paralyzed,
      unable to do much of anything more explicit than ache. After being racked
      and tortured brutally in prison, St. Edmund Campion's keeper asked him
      how he felt. He replied: "Not ill, because not at all."

      Some days everything seems like another trip to the rack, some days
      one's heart is Ground Zero, and everything coming at it seems to be
      just one more horrible plane. Never, never think that St. Benedict is
      telling us to put a happy face on this. A brave face or even a blank
      expressionless one may be all one can muster. We are asked to try, to
      do our best, to be as brave as we can.

      How very great is the love of God for us at such times. A favorite
      image I have used before is very apt here: the heart of God is like a
      Mother's refrigerator door, plastered with children's bad, even
      ghastly art. (OK, I KNOW it may be age-appropriate art, but bear with
      me on this one....) God is bursting and beaming with pride at our
      struggling efforts. He cares not a wit that we are not beaming with
      false cheer ourselves. With all that mud on our faces, who could see
      the forced smile anyhow?

      There will never be a time, in this world or in the next, when God
      loves us more than He does when we are fallen, crawling toward Him on
      all fours and still barely hanging on. The effort, always the effort
      is what God sees.

      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]
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