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Holy Rule for Apr. 5

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  • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
    +PAX Carol, for whom we have been prayed, has gone to God, for her happy death and eternal rest and for all who mourn her, including her childhood friend,
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 4, 2007
      +PAX

      Carol, for whom we have been prayed, has gone to God, for her happy death
      and eternal rest and for all who mourn her, including her childhood friend,
      Joan, who was away in another state caring for Betty, her sister, who broke her
      hip. Prayers, too, for Betty to accept her situation and work with Joan to
      become more independent in her recovery.

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Bob, who had been diagnosed
      with cancer and was beginning to suffer greatly. His death was probably a
      reaction to medication. He seems to have had no personal relationship with God,
      so special prayers for that and for his son, who has no faith, and for his
      niece and sister who have been praying for him, 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

      April 5, August 5, December 5
      Chapter 53: On the Reception of Guests

      Let there be a separate kitchen for the Abbot and guests,
      that the brethren may not be disturbed when guests,
      who are never lacking in a monastery,
      arrive at irregular hours.
      Let two brethren capable of filling the office well
      be appointed for a year to have charge of this kitchen.
      Let them be given such help as they need,
      that they may serve without murmuring.
      And on the other hand,
      when they have less to occupy them,
      let them go out to whatever work is assigned them.
      And not only in their case
      but in all the offices of the monastery
      let this arrangement be observed,
      that when help is needed it be supplied,
      and again when the workers are unoccupied
      they do whatever they are bidden.
      The guest house also shall be assigned to a brother
      whose soul is possessed by the fear of God.
      Let there be a sufficient number of beds made up in it;
      and let the house of God be managed by prudent men
      and in a prudent manner.
      On no account shall anyone who is not so ordered
      associate or converse with guests.
      But if he should meet them or see them,
      let him greet them humbly, as we have said,
      ask their blessing and pass on,
      saying that he is not allowed to converse with a guest.

      REFLECTION

      It is the last paragraph which strikes me. Most monasteries no longer
      enforce it strictly, thankfully. However, it brings to mind a rule of
      thumb that may be applied in other situations.
      Like any rule of thumb, there may be exceptions, but watch the
      reactions of monastics whose silence or enclosure is intruded upon
      very carefully. You can learn a lot about the monastic in question
      from them.

      When the reaction makes the guest (who, after all, probably didn't
      know any better,) feel dirty or small or terribly wrong, you can
      safely guess that the monastic in question has a lot of growing up to
      do. File that info any way you like, but I'd give her a LOT of
      room...I'd smile sweetly when I had to and then give her a very wide
      berth! I have never seen a truly holy and wise monastic react in such
      a way, never. Watch out for the pursed lips and narrowed eyes, the
      shaming attitude, the evident disgust. None of these things are
      monastic traits. All of them are signs that a lot of further work is
      necessary.

      Silence and enclosure are very effective tools, but they are means to an
      end. They can never be ends in themselves. The holy use of these
      tools is quite likely to produce wonderful results, but their unholy
      use can be just as likely to stall progress and growth outright.

      Both, unfortunately, lend themselves all too well to a perversion of
      their good. (Satan loves that kind of trick!) Both silence and enclosure
      can play right into the stultifying neuroses of the worst kind. People
      can protect themselves with them in order to remain incapable of relationship
      or communication. A wise superior or formation director can nip that
      mistaken notion in the bud, but, alas, not all members of either
      class are wise.

      Enclosure can be all too easily used as a weapon. Every abbess is
      called upon to respect individual weaknesses to a point, but watch
      out for a community wherein some Sisters are VERY enclosed and others
      hardly at all. Silence can be a big help to recollection, but I feel
      a lot more comfortable with a community that can generate
      considerable joyous noise when the occasion arises. People whispering
      all the time in every place do not provoke a sense of home in
      themselves, much less so in others.

      Look at the many Desert Father and Mother accounts of guests arriving
      unexpectedly. The elder dropped fast, silence and everything,
      entertaining with gratitude and evident cheer. Now and then one sees
      a different response, a very cold response, when the elder KNOWS the
      intentions of the guest are flawed, but we rarely know such things
      about guests.

      We are called to bear all things, ALL things sweetly and without a lot
      of fuss. That does not mean we have to like them, merely that we have
      to be cheerful about them and hide our displeasure. We must accept,
      rather than undergo, a wonderful principle from Dom Jean-Marie Dechanet, OSB,
      in his book on Christian Yoga.

      There is probably a good deal more grace in the smiling acceptance
      of an annoyance than there would be in lofty, untrammeled, silent prayer.
      If there were not, God, Who is always merciful and generous, would never have
      allowed the opportunity to come to us. What we make of its potential
      boon is our own affair and, sometimes, our own maturity, as well.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
      Petersham, MA








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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for Roger, who has cancer and is failing, and for his son Brian and family. Should God call him now, prayers for his happy death and for all who
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 4, 2016

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for Roger, who has cancer and is failing, and for his son Brian and family. Should God call him now, prayers for his happy death and for all who will mourn him.

         

        Prayers for Br. Paul Ortega, OSB, who made  his first profession of vows on the Solemnity of the Annunciation at St. Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California.

         

        Prayers for Bert, terminal lung cancer, prayers for his happy death and for all his family and all who will 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

        April 5, August 5, December 5
        Chapter 53: On the Reception of Guests

        Let there be a separate kitchen for the Abbot and guests,
        that the brethren may not be disturbed when guests,
        who are never lacking in a monastery,
        arrive at irregular hours.
        Let two brethren capable of filling the office well
        be appointed for a year to have charge of this kitchen.
        Let them be given such help as they need,
        that they may serve without murmuring.
        And on the other hand,
        when they have less to occupy them,
        let them go out to whatever work is assigned them.
        And not only in their case
        but in all the offices of the monastery
        let this arrangement be observed,
        that when help is needed it be supplied,
        and again when the workers are unoccupied
        they do whatever they are bidden.
        The guest house also shall be assigned to a brother
        whose soul is possessed by the fear of God.
        Let there be a sufficient number of beds made up in it;
        and let the house of God be managed by prudent men
        and in a prudent manner.
        On no account shall anyone who is not so ordered
        associate or converse with guests.
        But if he should meet them or see them,
        let him greet them humbly, as we have said,
        ask their blessing and pass on,
        saying that he is not allowed to converse with a guest.

        REFLECTION

        It is the last part which strikes me. Many monasteries no longer
        enforce it strictly. However, it brings to mind a rule of
        thumb that may be applied in other situations.
        Like any rule of thumb, there may be exceptions, but watch the
        reactions of monastics whose silence or enclosure is intruded upon
        very carefully. You can learn a lot about the monastic in question
        from them.

        When the reaction makes the guest (who, after all, probably didn't
        know any better,) feel dirty or small or terribly wrong, you can
        safely guess that the monastic in question has a lot of growing up to
        do. I have never seen a truly holy and wise monastic react in such
        a way, never.

        Silence and enclosure are very effective tools, but they are means to an
        end. They can never be ends in themselves. The holy use of these
        tools is quite likely to produce wonderful results, but their unholy
        use can be just as likely to stall progress and growth outright.

        Look at the many Desert Father accounts of guests arriving
        unexpectedly. The elder dropped fast, silence and everything,
        entertaining with gratitude. Now and then one sees
        a different response, a very cold response, when the elder KNOWS the
        intentions of the guest are flawed, but we rarely know such things
        about guests.

        We are called to bear all things, ALL things sweetly and without a lot
        of fuss. That does not mean we have to like them, merely that we have
        to be cheerful about them and hide our displeasure. We must accept,
        rather than undergo, a wonderful principle from Dom Jean-Marie Dechanet, OSB.

        There is probably a good deal more grace in the smiling acceptance
        of an annoyance than there would be in lofty, untrammeled, silent prayer.
        If there were not, God, Who is always merciful and generous, would never have
        allowed the opportunity to come to us. What we make of its potential
        boon is our own affair and, sometimes, our own maturity, as well.

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

         

         

      • russophile2002
        +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of the nine killed and for the recovery of dozens injured in the St. Petersburg, Russia, terror attack. Prayers for the
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 4

          +PAX

           

          Prayers for the eternal rest of the nine killed and for the recovery of dozens injured in the St. Petersburg, Russia, terror attack. Prayers for the families of all and for the repentance and conversion of those responsible for the bombing.

           

          Deo gratias, Michael M., 35, the man we prayed for who is in lifelong care of his mother, has improved so much that he will soon be discharged to his home.

           

          Prayers for John, 45, on his birthday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

           

          Prayers for S, job eliminated today without any warning. Prayers for him as he is shocked, but also prayers that he finds God’s will for him and that God has something better waiting for him. May all this be a blessing for him.

           

          Prayers for Gerald, very ill with brain cancer; his prognosis is 4-6 weeks. It is hoped he can go to a hospice, but he is agitated and aggressive from his disease, so it is hard to find a place that will accept him. Many prayers for all here. Prayers that he gets all the Sacraments and blessings he can.

           

          Prayers for the eternal rest of Jane’s grandmother, Elizabeth, who went to God 49 years ago today. Prayers, too, for the eternal rest of her Dad, Randall, whose first anniversary is April 13. Prayers for Jane and for all their family and all who mourn them.

           

          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

          April 5, August 5, December 5
          Chapter 53: On the Reception of Guests

          Let there be a separate kitchen for the Abbot and guests,
          that the brethren may not be disturbed when guests,
          who are never lacking in a monastery,
          arrive at irregular hours.
          Let two brethren capable of filling the office well
          be appointed for a year to have charge of this kitchen.
          Let them be given such help as they need,
          that they may serve without murmuring.
          And on the other hand,
          when they have less to occupy them,
          let them go out to whatever work is assigned them.
          And not only in their case
          but in all the offices of the monastery
          let this arrangement be observed,
          that when help is needed it be supplied,
          and again when the workers are unoccupied
          they do whatever they are bidden.
          The guest house also shall be assigned to a brother
          whose soul is possessed by the fear of God.
          Let there be a sufficient number of beds made up in it;
          and let the house of God be managed by prudent men
          and in a prudent manner.
          On no account shall anyone who is not so ordered
          associate or converse with guests.
          But if he should meet them or see them,
          let him greet them humbly, as we have said,
          ask their blessing and pass on,
          saying that he is not allowed to converse with a guest.

          REFLECTION

          It is the last part which strikes me. Many monasteries no longer
          enforce it strictly. However, it brings to mind a rule of
          thumb that may be applied in other situations.
          Like any rule of thumb, there may be exceptions, but watch the
          reactions of monastics whose silence or enclosure is intruded upon
          very carefully. You can learn a lot about the monastic in question
          from them.

          When the reaction makes the guest (who, after all, probably didn't
          know any better,) feel dirty or small or terribly wrong, you can
          safely guess that the monastic in question has some growing up to
          do. I have never seen a truly holy and wise monastic react in such
          a way, never.

          Silence and enclosure are very effective tools, but they are means to an
          end. They can never be ends in themselves. The holy use of these
          tools is quite likely to produce wonderful results, but their unholy
          use can be just as likely to stall progress and growth outright.

          Look at the many Desert Father accounts of guests arriving
          unexpectedly. The elder dropped fast, silence and everything,
          entertaining with gratitude. Now and then one sees
          a different response, a very cold response, when the elder KNOWS the
          intentions of the guest are flawed, but we rarely know such things
          about guests.

          We are called to bear all things, ALL things sweetly and without a lot
          of fuss. That does not mean we have to like them, merely that we have
          to be cheerful about them and hide our displeasure. We must accept,
          rather than undergo, a wonderful principle from Dom Jean-Marie Dechanet, OSB.

          There is possibly a good deal more grace in the smiling acceptance
          of an annoyance than there would be in lofty, untrammeled, silent prayer.
          God permitted that disturbance to come to us. What we make of its potential
          boon is our own affair and, sometimes, our own maturity, as well.

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

           


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