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Holy Rule for Mar. 29 (28) and a Yahoo glitch.....

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    Yahoo had a glitch last night, one which resulted in some message from some lists being sent over and over again and others not going through at all. They hope
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2007
      Yahoo had a glitch last night, one which resulted in some message from some
      lists being sent over and over again and others not going through at all. They
      hope it is corrected now, so I am resending today's Holy Rule, which did not
      get through to any of the Yahoo groups last night... JL


      Prayers, please, for Sr. Mary Hilary, OSB, 90, who has suffered a major
      stroke. She is a nun of Fernham Priory, which closed, and now resident at Oulton
      Abbey in England. She is also a cousin of our Brother Isidore at Petersham and
      they have corresponded regularly. Prayers for both our Brothers, Isidore and
      Vincent, and their families. Thanks so very much.

      Prayers, please, for Chris, who had surgery for diabetic abscesses on his
      back and shoulders. Deo gratias and prayers of thanks for Leigh, who was
      seriously injured in an automobile accident last January. She will be back to work
      next semester, and is doing some work at home for the university as she
      continues her recovery. She has even returned to the gym. Continued prayers for
      her wonderful recovery. Prayers for one making a very important faith
      decision, prayers, too, for a troubled marriage. 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

      ++++ Ah, the problems of doing re-runs: this is the third time I have copied
      and sent reflections for 3/28 and 3/29 in reverse order. Sigh.... Mea culpa!
      Here is the 28th to catch up. JL

      March 28, July 28, November 27
      Chapter 48: On the Daily Manual Labor

      Idleness is the enemy of the soul.
      Therefore the sisters should be occupied
      at certain times in manual labor,
      and again at fixed hours in sacred reading.
      To that end
      we think that the times for each may be prescribed as follows.

      From Easter until the Calends of October,
      when they come out from Prime in the morning
      let them labor at whatever is necessary
      until about the fourth hour,
      and from the fourth hour until about the sixth
      let them apply themselves to reading.
      After the sixth hour,
      having left the table,
      let them rest on their beds in perfect silence;
      or if anyone may perhaps want to read,
      let her read to herself
      in such a way as not to disturb anyone else.
      Let None be said rather early,
      at the middle of the eighth hour,
      and let them again do what work has to be done until Vespers.

      And if the circumstances of the place or their poverty
      should require that they themselves
      do the work of gathering the harvest,
      let them not be discontented;
      for then are they truly monastics
      when they live by the labor of their hands,
      as did our Fathers and the Apostles.
      Let all things be done with moderation, however,
      for the sake of the faint-hearted.


      With one of our several mottos, Ora et Labora, Pray and Work,
      Benedictines have developed a marvelous theology of work. Our
      centuries of reflection on the relationship of prayer and work, and
      on the dignity of work itself have been shared with the Church at
      large and have gone a long way to flesh out the Christian theology of

      There's a beautiful glimpse of St. Benedict's tenderness here,
      wrapped in one of his frequent exhortations to moderation. Here we
      have a very important "WHY" of moderation: it is done "for the sake
      of the faint-hearted." Got that? The median road of monastic
      observance is not gauged by the strong, but by the weak among us.
      Herculean ascetics that might quench the smoldering ember or break
      the bruised reed are not for us. In a very real way, God Himself
      decides the observance of a given house by sending those whom He does
      to join it.

      Neither my community nor your family or workplace is an accidental
      fluke. (Tempting to think so at times, but they aren't!) God sent
      those other people who drive you nuts there and He then placed you in
      the midst of them. Odd sense of humor He has! But He knows what He is

      Some monasteries are the only place in the world a particular member
      of that house could ever be a monastic. Don't scorn that, reverence
      it! What a great and tender mercy of God is there! We are a huge
      Order with rooms and slots for everybody on a very, very wide
      spectrum. Some work more, some pray more, but all must try to balance.

      We work AND pray: Ora et Labora. Carry either too far and the results
      will not be pretty. Too much work can wear a community out, make them
      all but useless for prayer. If this continues for too long a time, it
      can kill monastic life entirely. On the other hand, pray too much and
      work too little and you will wind up with a lot of spoiled, pampered
      lap dogs and lounge lizards of prayer, weak and soft and not much
      good for anything- INCLUDING prayer! See how important balance is?

      Oblates here are at a disadvantage. They don't usually have a
      superior living right with them to tell them when they have gone
      around the bend, off the top and over the falls. That's why those
      objective people who ARE placed around the Oblate, like spouses,
      parents, friends, employers or co-workers, are voices we should
      listen to carefully.

      Note I said "objective." The advice of others is not always and
      everywhere good, but sometimes they can very clearly
      see things to which we are completely blind. That's too important a
      gift to be written off or ignored. Besides, listening is a very
      Benedictine act and so is respect for and attention to authority, as
      well as fraternal obedience.

      The world of the Oblate is full, would we only look, with checks and
      balances to keep us moderate and on course. As Francis Thompson
      observed of the secular world at large:

      "The angels keep their ancient places,
      Turn but a stone and start a wing!
      'Tis we, 'tis our estranged faces
      That miss the many-splendored thing!"

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

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