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Holy Rule for Feb. 9

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Sal, who is very ill and for his son, Fr. Rosa, and all their family. Mary Ann, for whom we have been praying, went to God at 55.
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 8, 2007
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Sal, who is very ill and for his son, Fr. Rosa, and all
      their family. Mary Ann, for whom we have been praying, went to God at 55.
      Prayers for her happy death and eternal rest and for all her family and those
      who mourn her. Continued prayers for Ann, in hospice but nearing death, for her
      husband, Lou and their children. Prayers, too, for her three roommates in
      hospice, for the happy death and eternal rest of them all.

      A terribly sad and difficult prayer request for Br. Patrick, a Benedictine
      in the Midwestern US, who apparently attempted suicide. He is still alive,
      however, condition unknown. Also for Fr. Sigfried, who jumped to his death when
      faced with child molestation charges. Religious suicides are among them most
      tragic of all and so badly need our prayers. Our prayers now can win people
      like Fr. Sigfried (+2003, I just found out today,) the grace of a happy death.
      God is outside of time and knew from all eternity our prayers would be
      coming.

      Prayers for Sr. Lany Jo and all the teens she is on retreat with this
      weekend (beginning Thursday,) and for the rest of the retreat team. May God's Holy
      Spirit bless and fill them all with abundant graces. Prayers for Michelle,
      daughter of our beloved Michael, who fills in for me from time to time and his
      wife, Genny. Michelle has a very serious form of hepatitis and insurance
      problems delay the very costly treatment till June or July. Prayers for Michael
      and Genny, too, please. Prayers, too, for Michelle's faith.

      Prayers for Bob, who has gone to God, for his happy death and eternal rest
      and for his wife, Virginia and all their family. Prayers of thanks and Deo
      gratias for Pat, whose job search we prayed for. The job desired came through.
      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

      February 9, June 10, October 10
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The twelfth degree of humility
      is that a monk not only have humility in his heart
      but also by his very appearance make it always manifest
      to those who see him.
      That is to say that whether he is at the Work of God,
      in the oratory, in the monastery, in the garden, on the road,
      in the fields or anywhere else,
      and whether sitting, walking or standing,
      he should always have his head bowed
      and his eyes toward the ground.
      Feeling the guilt of his sins at every moment,
      he should consider himself already present at the dread Judgment
      and constantly say in his heart
      what the publican in the Gospel said
      with his eyes fixed on the earth:
      "Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up my eyes to heaven"
      (Luke 18:13; Matt. 8:8);
      and again with the Prophet:
      "I am bowed down and humbled everywhere" (Ps. 37:7,9; 118:107).

      REFLECTION

      Alcoholics Anonymous jokes about what they call "Two-steppers," that
      is, people who decide to jump right from Step 1, acknowledging their
      problem, to Step 12, carrying the message to others, with nothing in
      between! Wrong! Doesn't work that way...

      Benedictines sometimes see a similar mistake in novices and humility.
      Bingo, they go right to the twelfth degree with nothing to build
      their external humility on but the images of popular fiction and such.

      My friend, Bishop Basil, tells me that his Spiritual Father used to tell him:
      "Beware the monk whose humility you're always tripping over." Amen!!!
      Genuine humility is not affected or showy, it is quite the reverse!
      People who learn that have a chance to stay, people who don't often
      leave because no monastery fits their model, though they
      may keep looking for one that does!

      Second Section of the Reading:

      Having climbed all these steps of humility, therefore,
      the monk will presently come to that perfect love of God
      which casts out fear.
      And all those precepts
      which formerly he had not observed without fear,
      he will now begin to keep by reason of that love,
      without any effort,
      as though naturally and by habit.
      No longer will his motive be the fear of hell,
      but rather the love of Christ,
      good habit
      and delight in the virtues
      which the Lord will deign to show forth by the Holy Spirit
      in His servant now cleansed from vice and sin.

      This crucially important second part is why none of those two-steppers
      quite make it AND why the first section is spared from
      Jansenism. (Jansenism, you may recall, was a heresy which held that
      we could NEVER be worthy, NEVER do enough penance and so forth. In
      its sad extremes, it harked to a sort of Pelagian attitude, implying
      that we might be able to do something to save ourselves if we did a lot of
      harsh stuff!
      But, of course, even that would never be enough. It was a terribly mean
      idea of God.)

      Humility is NOT affected, not presupposing, hence efforts to LOOK
      humble when one is not so will fall woefully short of the mark. No
      Academy Awards for this one! When they call for the envelope, it will
      be empty!

      Genuine humility is the most unself-conscious thing in the
      world. It produces the external demeanor without any further ado,
      because the person actually (and usually unwittingly!) BECOMES the
      truth they are striving to live. Humility shows up in the face, in
      everything, just as years of bitterness or years of love often do.

      You couldn't hide humility if you wanted to, but you don't need to,
      because the true humility is rarely even noticed and those who are
      less humble tend to discount the really humble as nobodies. In one
      sense, they are quite right! Both would agree on that!

      If one never gets to the joy and love of the end of this passage,
      there will be no reason not to look artificially rather glum over
      sins that one probably doesn't believe at heart are great anyhow.
      This is where some monastics miss the mark. They can stop at the
      perpetual gloom and dread point, without realizing the contemplative
      joy and love beyond that.

      Monasticism is true, but the Gospel is more so. Neither Jansenism nor
      perpetual gloom would play very well with Matthew, Mark, Luke or
      John. That means they wouldn't play well with St. Benedict, either,
      as his second portion surely guarantees. Love and joy and humility
      are an inseparable trio! When fear is cast out, gloom goes right
      along with it!

      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 happy death and eternal rest of Blanche Harubin, mother of our Sister Julian, who died this morning, and for all her family and
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 8, 2008
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Blanche Harubin, mother of our Sister Julian, who died this morning, and for all her family and all who mourn her.

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

        Ruth and her Mom; Ruth has been trying to care for her Mom, who has Alzheimer's, at home, but now she has turned violent and must be institutionalized. Ruth remains at risk till a bed is found. Prayers for both.

        Mary, turning 97 on Saturday, and for her family, especially Carol, who asked for prayers for her.

        Deo gratias, Elaine's leg lesion was not cancerous, continued prayers for her healing,

        Deo gratias, Bev, whose cancer we prayed ofr a while back, has come back cancer-free after treatment. May her remission continue.

        Don, a gentle young man in his early twenties. He has been unable to find steady work for over a year and has just learned that his parents obtained credit cards in his name (without his knowledge) and charged over $16,000!

        John, whose wife died recently. He is now having serious health problems himself and is in the same nursing home his wife was just in. The family asks for prayers for him. And for all of them, who are still grieving the death of their mother.

        a young man who has fallen away from the faith and who is treating his mother terribly, blaming her for all his problems. The family fears for his life. He seems so out of control right now.

        a young mother in Texas with 2 small children. She left the husband, who is on serious drugs, and came back up north where her family is. She had a job and was doing okay, but the courts in Texas have demanded she return. She's having trouble finding a job and the husband and his family aren't helping her at all. It's really a bad situation.

        Linda undergoing serious cancer surgery today.

        For Cindi who has serious 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

        February 9, June 10, October 10
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The twelfth degree of humility
        is that a monk not only have humility in his heart
        but also by his very appearance make it always manifest
        to those who see him.
        That is to say that whether he is at the Work of God,
        in the oratory, in the monastery, in the garden, on the road,
        in the fields or anywhere else,
        and whether sitting, walking or standing,
        he should always have his head bowed
        and his eyes toward the ground.
        Feeling the guilt of his sins at every moment,
        he should consider himself already present at the dread Judgment
        and constantly say in his heart
        what the publican in the Gospel said
        with his eyes fixed on the earth:
        "Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up my eyes to heaven"
        (Luke 18:13; Matt. 8:8);
        and again with the Prophet:
        "I am bowed down and humbled everywhere" (Ps. 37:7,9; 118:107).

        REFLECTION

        Alcoholics Anonymous jokes about what they call "Two-steppers," that
        is, people who decide to jump right from Step 1, acknowledging their
        problem, to Step 12, carrying the message to others, with nothing in
        between! Wrong! Doesn't work that way...

        Benedictines sometimes see a similar mistake in novices and humility.
        Bingo, they go right to the twelfth degree with nothing to build
        their external humility on but the images of popular fiction and such.

        My friend, Bishop Basil, tells me that his Spiritual Father used to tell him:
        "Beware the monk whose humility you're always tripping over." Amen!!!
        Genuine humility is not affected or showy, it is quite the reverse!
        People who learn that have a chance to stay, people who don't often
        leave because no monastery fits their model, though they
        may keep looking for one that does!

        Second Section of the Reading:

        Having climbed all these steps of humility, therefore,
        the monk will presently come to that perfect love of God
        which casts out fear.
        And all those precepts
        which formerly he had not observed without fear,
        he will now begin to keep by reason of that love,
        without any effort,
        as though naturally and by habit.
        No longer will his motive be the fear of hell,
        but rather the love of Christ,
        good habit
        and delight in the virtues
        which the Lord will deign to show forth by the Holy Spirit
        in His servant now cleansed from vice and sin.

        This crucially important second part is why none of those two-steppers
        quite make it AND why the first section is spared from
        Jansenism. (Jansenism, you may recall, was a heresy which held that
        we could NEVER be worthy, NEVER do enough penance and so forth. In
        its sad extremes, it harked to a sort of Pelagian attitude, implying
        that we might be able to do something to save ourselves if we did a lot of
        harsh stuff!
        But, of course, even that would never be enough. It was a terribly mean
        idea of God.)

        Humility is NOT affected, not presupposing, hence efforts to LOOK
        humble when one is not so will fall woefully short of the mark. No
        Academy Awards for this one! When they call for the envelope, it will
        be empty!

        Genuine humility is the most unself-conscious thing in the
        world. It produces the external demeanor without any further ado,
        because the person actually (and usually unwittingly!) BECOMES the
        truth they are striving to live. Humility shows up in the face, in
        everything, just as years of bitterness or years of love often do.

        You couldn't hide humility if you wanted to, but you don't need to,
        because the true humility is rarely even noticed and those who are
        less humble tend to discount the really humble as nobodies. In one
        sense, they are quite right! Both would agree on that!

        If one never gets to the joy and love of the end of this passage,
        there will be no reason not to look artificially rather glum over
        sins that one probably doesn't believe at heart are great anyhow.
        This is where some monastics miss the mark. They can stop at the
        perpetual gloom and dread point, without realizing the contemplative
        joy and love beyond that.

        Monasticism is true, but the Gospel is more so. Neither Jansenism nor
        perpetual gloom would play very well with Matthew, Mark, Luke or
        John. That means they wouldn't play well with St. Benedict, either,
        as his second portion surely guarantees. Love and joy and humility
        are an inseparable trio! When fear is cast out, gloom goes right
        along with 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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