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Holy Rule for Mar. 2

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Emily, elderly, battling cancer and in quite bad shape. Please pray for all those in the southern United States who are being
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 1, 2007
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      Prayers, please, for Emily, elderly, battling cancer and in quite bad shape.
      Please pray for all those in the southern United States who are being
      affected by multiple tornadoes, specifically for the 8 students confirmed dead in a
      high school that was struck, and for others trapped under debris. Prayers
      for the happy deaths and eternal rest of all who lost their lives there, no
      final count available, and for all who mourn them. Prayers for Anastasia,
      troubled teen we have prayed for in the past, she ran away from her group home and
      has not been heard from. Prayers, too, for her parents, especially her
      worried Mom. Deo gratias and prayers of thanksgiving for James, his lab results
      came back perfectly normal and he is so grateful. 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

      March 2, July 2, November 1
      Chapter 25: On Weightier Faults

      Let the brother who is guilty of a weightier fault
      be excluded both from the table and from the oratory.
      Let none of the brethren join him
      either for company or for conversation.
      Let him be alone at the work assigned him,
      abiding in penitential sorrow
      and pondering that terrible sentence of the Apostle
      where he says that a man of that kind is handed over
      for the destruction of the flesh,
      that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (1 Cor. 5:5).
      Let him take his meals alone
      in the measure and at the hour
      which the Abbot shall consider suitable for him.
      He shall not be blessed by those who pass by,
      nor shall the food that is given him be blessed.


      Justice demands that the punishment fit the crime, and St. Benedict
      gives the two points between which a spectrum of other methods may be
      employed. He does not want a one-size-fits-all system of correction
      and clearly says so more than once.

      Think of any parent or authority figure you have ever heard
      criticized. If punishment was in any way involved, it is most likely
      that the fault was in doing too much or too little. A cruel person
      can make employees or children or monastics live in terror.
      Punishment is relentless and swift and often comes without warning.

      This may result in slavish compliance or outright rebellion, but it
      never results in a healthy self, for authority or subject. We are not
      called to live in dread of unwittingly angering some intransigent
      despot, whose whims may be dangerous, indeed. We are called to live
      in peace and mercy: to receive it and to give it to others. That is true of
      monastics, superiors and those governed.

      But we are not called to peace at any price whatsoever, which is the
      fault of those who do too little to correct. Fear of the governed is
      as stupid and pointless as fear of the governor and neither helps
      anyone. While too much control may lead the community to fear the
      Abbess, too little will leave them equally afraid of each other!

      Note carefully that the missing ingredients in either extreme are love,
      real charity, as well as a trusting prayer for grace and guidance. God
      is NEVER in charge of such vicious extremes, and if they occur, it is
      quite likely that we either didn't ask Him for grace and help or didn't
      listen when it came. If we are not showing His love to all, something
      is very wrong. If mercy does not temper justice (and justice does not
      temper total inaction!) something is quite amiss.

      Really peaceful people do not avoid confrontation at all costs, if
      they do, even they will never have peace. They will have nothing more
      than an uneasy truce or more less perpetual fear. That is not the
      loving way to deal with a problem.

      The Benedictine way is, as usual, the middle way. Some would put down
      the middle way, call it weak, but, as we have seen, it takes a
      tremendous amount of guts and grace to do it well. Our way is quite
      the reverse of a cop-out: it requires genuine courage and grace, to
      say nothing of its chief component, a lot of very frank and truthful
      LOVE! Ah, yes, and that mercy which is a mirror of the Divine Mercy, too!

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

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