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Holy Rule for Jan. 28

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayers for Mark, taking his SAT exam for college admission. Prayers, too, for Ann, whom I visited today, dying of cancer, and for Mary, a lovely lady who
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 27, 2007
      +PAX

      Prayers for Mark, taking his SAT exam for college admission. Prayers, too,
      for Ann, whom I visited today, dying of cancer, and for Mary, a lovely lady who
      shares Ann's room at hospice. I promised prayers for both of them. Prayers
      for Sr. Lany Jo's brother, Robert, having such a terrible load of grief after
      his wife's sudden death in a car accident. The loneliness is beginning to set
      in and there is nothing to help that pain but grace and time. Like most men,
      he never expected to be widowed and it is terribly difficult for him.

      Special prayers, if you will, for vocations to Pluscarden Abbey, our
      Motherhouse in Scotland, and for vocations to St. Mary's Monastery. Our Abbot has
      asked us to set aside the time from now through Lent as a period of extra
      prayers and devotions for vocations. It would mean a lot to us if some of you
      would join us in that. 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 28, May 29, September 28
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      As for self-will,
      we are forbidden to do our own will
      by the Scripture, which says to us,
      "Turn away from your own will" (Eccles. 18:30),
      and likewise by the prayer in which we ask God
      that His will be done in us.
      And rightly are we taught not to do our own will
      when we take heed to the warning of Scripture:
      "There are ways which seem right,
      but the ends of them plunge into the depths of hell" (Prov. 16:25);
      and also when we tremble at what is said of the careless:
      "They are corrupt and have become abominable in their will."

      And as for the desires of the flesh,
      let us believe with the Prophet that God is ever present to us,
      when he says to the Lord,
      "Every desire of mine is before You" (Ps. 37:10).

      REFLECTION

      Revolutions usually have several things in common: they respond to a
      need, they go too far in some areas, not far enough in others and
      they tend to brand those not agreeing with them as criminal or
      psychotic. Look at Soviet Russia for most of the 20th century and you
      will see all of these. Look further back at the French Revolution and
      you will find that 1917 in Petrograd offered nothing new, perhaps new
      names for certain aspects, but nothing else.

      The last decades of the 20th century saw a tremendous psychological
      revolution in the West. Its effects were perhaps greatest in some
      religious circles, where those once wary of psychology now embraced
      it more or less wholesale, and not always with the best of tool kits in
      either
      theology or psychology.

      Pieces of our psycho-spiritual world view definitely needed change
      and correction. Unfortunately, however, like the Bolsheviks and the French
      before them, some ardent revolutionaries shot the Imperial family and
      guillotined a lot of otherwise very fine people. Their zeal went a bit too
      far
      and they were often followed unquestioningly.

      In those years, a close and scathing look was taken at religious
      obedience and the personal will. It certainly was necessary. Abuses
      had obtained under the accept-without-any-question syndrome.

      Sadly, but predictably, the pendulum swung in a very un-Benedictine
      fashion to the opposite extreme: question everything and accept
      nothing. Personal will, formerly maligned as a foolish, worthless and
      even dangerous entity was now elevated to lofty, noble, nearly infallible
      heights that it frankly did not deserve.

      Not astoundingly, both extremes missed the middle road of truth.
      ("Virtue stands in the middle way." Thanks very much, Aristotle and
      St. Thomas Aquinas.) Going too far in either direction is perilous,
      extremes become vices.

      Human will unaided is at once potentially noble, yet dreadfully
      flawed. Without God and grace assisting, the prognosis is not good.
      For Christians, however, God's grace and aid are available, but they
      come at the price of cooperation and cooperation demands a certain
      sacrifice of our own wills.

      It is perhaps harder for us to see that necessity of abandoning our
      wills than it has been for many before us. We are traipsing through
      the spiritual road with all kinds of extraneous 1970's baggage about
      autonomy and maturity and self-actualization carried to false
      extremes. Balance, always balance, always moderation in the
      Benedictine way!

      Our wills can be good and wonderful. It is, after all, with our wills
      that we answer God's call. But part of God's call is to forget the false self
      and forget its willful tantrums. Our wills are the natural habitat
      and environment of the false self- it thrives there!

      It is fatal to spiritual growth and to community to infer too great a
      maturity or too little. Monastics are not children, but most adults
      have not totally arrived, either! It is foolish to trust those under
      our care with nothing, but equally so to empower them to virtually
      anything.

      That's just not how monastic life works. St. Benedict
      bluntly says that his followers DESIRE to live under an abbot. We
      want and need that compass for true North, we affirm that when we
      embrace the Holy Rule, whether newest Oblate novice or Abbot
      Primate. Obedience is central to our spiritual path.

      A good superior will keep one from being too easy on oneself, but
      will also protect one from being too hard on oneself. I cannot tell
      you the number of times submitting a matter to my superior has
      resulted in something far less gruesome than what I had obsessively
      planned for myself!

      Most of the wonderful things said about personal will are true, to a
      point, but the revolution failed to emphasize the fact that our wills
      do NOT come with gyroscopes. As such, their trustworthiness as
      compasses is far from absolute.

      The the Gospel, the Rule, the superior: these are the gyroscopes that
      enable us to will true North! Without these helps, our journey could
      very easily make the first and last voyage of the Titanic look like a Sunday
      afternoon swan boat ride in Boston's Public Garden.


      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, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following and for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Robert,
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 27, 2008
        +PAX

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

        Robert, vocation discernment at the end of an observership stay.

        Tanhya, gunshot wound, lungs, liver, bowel and pancreas all involved, and for Dinah, her Mom and for Tanya's children, who are unbaptized.

        Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent, prside Him! Thanks so much. JL.

        January 28, May 29, September 28
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        As for self-will,
        we are forbidden to do our own will
        by the Scripture, which says to us,
        "Turn away from your own will" (Eccles. 18:30),
        and likewise by the prayer in which we ask God
        that His will be done in us.
        And rightly are we taught not to do our own will
        when we take heed to the warning of Scripture:
        "There are ways which seem right,
        but the ends of them plunge into the depths of hell" (Prov. 16:25);
        and also when we tremble at what is said of the careless:
        "They are corrupt and have become abominable in their will."

        And as for the desires of the flesh,
        let us believe with the Prophet that God is ever present to us,
        when he says to the Lord,
        "Every desire of mine is before You" (Ps. 37:10).

        REFLECTION

        Revolutions usually have several things in common: they respond to a
        need, they go too far in some areas, not far enough in others and
        they tend to brand those not agreeing with them as criminal or
        psychotic. Look at Soviet Russia for most of the 20th century and you
        will see all of these. Look further back at the French Revolution and
        you will find that 1917 in Petrograd offered nothing new, perhaps new
        names for certain aspects, but nothing else.

        The last decades of the 20th century saw a tremendous psychological
        revolution in the West. Its effects were perhaps greatest in some
        religious circles, where those once wary of psychology now embraced
        it more or less wholesale, and not always with the best of tool kits in
        either theology or psychology.

        Pieces of our psycho-spiritual world view definitely needed change
        and correction. Unfortunately, however, like the Bolsheviks and the French
        before them, some ardent revolutionaries shot the Imperial family and
        guillotined a lot of otherwise very fine people. Their zeal went a bit too
        far and they were often followed unquestioningly.

        In those years, a close and scathing look was taken at religious
        obedience and the personal will. It certainly was necessary. Abuses
        had obtained under the accept-without-any-question syndrome.

        Sadly, but predictably, the pendulum swung in a very un-Benedictine
        fashion to the opposite extreme: question everything and accept
        nothing. Personal will, formerly maligned as a foolish, worthless and
        even dangerous entity was now elevated to lofty, noble, nearly infallible
        heights that it frankly did not deserve.

        Not astoundingly, both extremes missed the middle road of truth.
        ("Virtue stands in the middle way." Thanks very much, Aristotle and
        St. Thomas Aquinas.) Going too far in either direction is perilous,
        extremes become vices.

        Human will unaided is at once potentially noble, yet dreadfully
        flawed. Without God and grace assisting, the prognosis is not good.
        For Christians, however, God's grace and aid are available, but they
        come at the price of cooperation and cooperation demands a certain
        sacrifice of our own wills.

        It is perhaps harder for us to see that necessity of abandoning our
        wills than it has been for many before us. We are traipsing through
        the spiritual road with all kinds of extraneous 1970's baggage about
        autonomy and maturity and self-actualization carried to false
        extremes. Balance, always balance, always moderation in the
        Benedictine way!

        Our wills can be good and wonderful. It is, after all, with our wills
        that we answer God's call. But part of God's call is to forget the false self
        and forget its willful tantrums. Our wills are the natural habitat
        and environment of the false self- it thrives there!

        It is fatal to spiritual growth and to community to infer too great a
        maturity or too little. Monastics are not children, but most adults
        have not totally arrived, either! It is foolish to trust those under
        our care with nothing, but equally so to empower them to virtually
        anything.

        That's just not how monastic life works. St. Benedict
        bluntly says that his followers DESIRE to live under an abbot. We
        want and need that compass for true North, we affirm that when we
        embrace the Holy Rule, whether newest Oblate novice or Abbot
        Primate. Obedience is central to our spiritual path.

        A good superior will keep one from being too easy on oneself, but
        will also protect one from being too hard on oneself. I cannot tell
        you the number of times submitting a matter to my superior has
        resulted in something far less gruesome than what I had obsessively
        planned for myself!

        Most of the wonderful things said about personal will are true, to a
        point, but the revolution failed to emphasize the fact that our wills
        do NOT come with gyroscopes. As such, their trustworthiness as
        compasses is far from absolute.

        The the Gospel, the Rule, the superior: these are the gyroscopes that
        enable us to will true North! Without these helps, our journey could
        very easily make the first and last voyage of the Titanic look like a Sunday
        afternoon swan boat ride in Boston's Public Garden.


        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 Daniel, that his position is not cut and that he can get funding for his grant. Ardent prayers, please. Prayers for Kevin, on his birthday,
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 27

          +PAX

           

          Prayers for Daniel, that his position is not cut and that he can get funding for his grant. Ardent prayers, please.

           

          Prayers for Kevin, on his birthday, graces galore and many more. Ad multos annos!

           

          Prayers for John James and his brother seminarians in Nigeria, writing papers and taking exams. For good marks for all of them and grace and strength to continue on their road to the priesthood.

           

          Prayers for the eternal rest of Michael K., and for his family and all who mourn him.

           

          Prayers for the eternal rest of Christy, and for all her family and all who mourn her, especially Frances.

           

          Continued prayers for Matt,  father of 8, who has a teaching evaluation next week. May truth and justice prevail for him and may the false rumors be defeated.

           

          Prayers for the eternal rest of Charles, near the anniversary of his death, and for all his family, especially Linda and Bert Ann and for all who mourn him.

           

          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 28, May 29, September 28
          Chapter 7: On Humility

          As for self-will,
          we are forbidden to do our own will
          by the Scripture, which says to us,
          "Turn away from your own will" (Eccles. 18:30),
          and likewise by the prayer in which we ask God
          that His will be done in us.
          And rightly are we taught not to do our own will
          when we take heed to the warning of Scripture:
          "There are ways which seem right,
          but the ends of them plunge into the depths of hell" (Prov. 16:25);
          and also when we tremble at what is said of the careless:
          "They are corrupt and have become abominable in their will."

          And as for the desires of the flesh,
          let us believe with the Prophet that God is ever present to us,
          when he says to the Lord,
          "Every desire of mine is before You" (Ps. 37:10).

          REFLECTION

          Revolutions usually have several things in common:

          they go too far in some areas, not far enough in others and
          they tend to brand those not agreeing with them as criminal or
          psychotic. Look at Soviet Russia for most of the 20th century and you
          will see all of these. Look further back at the French Revolution and
          you will find that 1917 in Petrograd was hardly very new, perhaps new
          names for certain aspects, but little else.

          The last decades of the 20th century saw a tremendous psychological
          revolution in the West. Its effects were perhaps greatest in some
          religious circles, where those once wary of psychology now embraced
          it more or less wholesale, and not always with the best of tool kits in
          either theology or psychology.

          Pieces of our psycho-spiritual world view definitely needed change
          and correction. Unfortunately, however, like the Bolsheviks and the French
          before them, some ardent revolutionaries shot the Imperial family and
          guillotined a lot of otherwise very fine people. Their zeal went a bit too
          far and they were often followed unquestioningly.

          In those years, a close and scathing look was taken at religious
          obedience and the personal will. It seemed like a good idea.
          Sadly, but predictably, the pendulum swung in a very un-Benedictine
          fashion to the opposite extreme: question everything and accept
          nothing. Personal will, formerly maligned as a foolish, worthless and
          even dangerous entity was now elevated to lofty, noble, nearly infallible
          heights that it frankly did not deserve.

          Not astoundingly, both extremes missed the middle road of truth.
          ("Virtue stands in the middle way." Thanks very much, Aristotle and
          St. Thomas Aquinas.) Going too far in either direction is perilous,
          extremes become vices.

          Human will unaided is at once potentially noble, yet dreadfully
          flawed. Without God and grace assisting, the prognosis is not good.
          For Christians, however, God's grace and aid are available, but they
          come at the price of cooperation and cooperation demands a certain
          sacrifice of our own wills.

          Our wills can be good and wonderful. It is, after all, with our wills
          that we answer God's call. But part of God's call is to forget the false self
          and forget its willful tantrums. Our wills are the natural habitat
          and environment of the false self- it thrives there!

          It is harmful to spiritual growth and to community to infer too great a
          maturity or too little. Monastics are not children, but many adults
          have not totally arrived, either! It is foolish to trust those under
          our care with nothing, but equally so to empower them to virtually
          anything.

          That's just not how monastic life works. St. Benedict
          bluntly says that his followers DESIRE to live under an abbot. We
          want and need that compass for true North, we affirm that when we
          embrace the Holy Rule, whether newest Oblate novice or Abbot
          Primate. Obedience is central to our spiritual path.

          A good superior will keep one from being too easy on oneself, but
          will also protect one from being too hard on oneself. I cannot tell
          you the number of times submitting a matter to my superior has
          resulted in something far less gruesome than what I had obsessively
          planned for myself!

          Most of the wonderful things said about personal will are true, to a
          point, but the revolution failed to emphasize the fact that our wills
          do NOT come with gyroscopes. As such, their trustworthiness as
          compasses is far from absolute.

          The Gospel, the Rule, the superior: these are the gyroscopes that
          enable us to will true North! Without these helps, our journey could
          very easily make the first and last voyage of the Titanic look like a Sunday
          afternoon swan boat ride in Boston's Public Garden.


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

           

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