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Holy Rule for May 16

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Dee, stage four cancer, sent home from the hospital, for her happy death and eternal rest and for all her family. May God s peace
    Message 1 of 5 , May 15, 2007
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Dee, stage four cancer, sent home from the hospital, for her happy death and eternal rest and for all her family. May God's peace enfold them all.Prayers, please, for Barb, pending leg surgery, for her speedy healing. Prayers for Don, headed back to Iraq for his third time, for his wife, Melissa, and all their family. He has a fatalistic attitude that this time he will not return. May God prove him wrong, or, if He does call him this time, grant him a happy death and eternal rest. Prayers for all families and military personnel dealing with the awful reality of repeated deployments into war zones. Prayers, too, for the conversion of all radical Muslim groups to peace, true peace. Let us pray that all war waged in the name of God end. 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 15, May 16, September 15
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be


      Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
      the welfare of the souls committed to her,
      in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
      but let her always bear in mind
      that she has undertaken the government of souls
      and that she will have to give an account of them.


      And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
      let her remember what is written:
      "First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
      and all these things shall be given you besides" (Ps. 33:10).
      And again:
      "Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him."


      Let her know, then,
      that she who has undertaken the government of souls
      must prepare herself to render an account of them.
      Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
      she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
      she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
      as well as of her own soul.


      Thus the constant apprehension
      about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
      concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
      and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
      make her careful of her own record.
      And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
      she herself is cleansed of her faults.


      REFLECTION

      Four times in this portion alone, St. Benedict reminds those in
      authority that theirs is a government "of souls." No wonder material
      things are not to be put first. Nothing fleeting at all must come
      before the souls of those we care for, whether abbess or parent or
      teacher or nurse. Our own souls are intricately linked with the
      welfare of those we govern or care for or serve. (BTW, ideally, in
      St. Benedict's model of authority, all three functions of ruling,
      loving and serving are present at all times. Lofty goal that!)

      It's easy to forget that this reading covers a lot more than material
      things. All things perishable, empty and earthly are included, even if more
      detailed coverage is given to the material ones. It is a sad truth
      that we often congratulate ourselves for avoiding one fault while falling
      headlong into another.

      "What would people say?" is a question sometimes necessary, but all
      too often it becomes an idol on its own. That's when trouble ensues.
      As with material things, there is a certain BALANCED (getting sick of
      that word? Welcome to Benedictine values!) concern for appearances
      here. We bear a responsibility, as any parent could tell you, for the
      material welfare of the bodies those souls we govern run around in,
      and we have to be careful of some appearances that would cause
      scandal, but there it stops.

      The parent or superior who can give an example of courage in the face
      of false values to their charges has given an inestimable gift,
      indeed. A wise person can contrast the nagging question of "What
      would people think?" with "What are they entitled to think? Have we
      all not an obligation to think the best of others?"

      One can be a genuine, confessed sinner and say to the world, "I know
      what sin is." Sinners all, we may be far more likely to listen to
      such a person than we would be to one of pretended (and pretentious!)
      perfection. We like the idea of wounded healers, but I can assure you
      from the inside that wounded healers do not play terribly well with
      many in church power. "What would people think?" Such reasoning robs
      us, sinners all, of our strongest preaching points and robs those
      wounded ones around us of the needful message that there is room
      within for them.

      One time since coming here, the issue of my telling someone
      about my HIV+ status was raised in a terribly painful way for me.
      It was my wise superior, Abbot Anselm, who healed all that in two
      beautiful phrases: "We did not accept you here on any condition of
      silence. People who ask personal questions have no right to be upset
      if they are answered." WOW!!! All the heartbreak of that mess faded
      for me instantly, thanks to one very wise and loving Father.

      See what I have been getting at here? A parent or superior with a
      genuine sense of what is real can make their charges see reality,
      too. It is always a gift to see reality, because reality is truth
      and Jesus said: "I am the truth." God IS Truth, and every fragment of
      truth we garner on this strange, checkered journey of life will make Him
      instantly more familiar to us when we meet Him face to face.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@...
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      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 Andy, who would have been 35 yesterday, and for all who mourn him, especially his parents.
      Message 2 of 5 , May 15, 2008
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Andy, who would have been 35 yesterday, and for all who mourn him, especially his parents.

        Prayers, too, for the happy death and eternal rest of the Bpatist minister and his son for whom we prayed. Their bodies have been found. Prayers for their family, a wife and five children, and all who mourn them.

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

        Mark, on retreat this weekend.

        Charlotte, 28, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago. She was operated on, now going to go through chemotherapy for a few months.

        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 15, May 16, September 15
        Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be


        Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
        the welfare of the souls committed to her,
        in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
        but let her always bear in mind
        that she has undertaken the government of souls
        and that she will have to give an account of them.


        And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
        let her remember what is written:
        "First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
        and all these things shall be given you besides" (Ps. 33:10).
        And again:
        "Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him."


        Let her know, then,
        that she who has undertaken the government of souls
        must prepare herself to render an account of them.
        Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
        she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
        she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
        as well as of her own soul.


        Thus the constant apprehension
        about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
        concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
        and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
        make her careful of her own record.
        And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
        she herself is cleansed of her faults.


        REFLECTION

        Four times in this portion alone, St. Benedict reminds those in
        authority that theirs is a government "of souls." No wonder material
        things are not to be put first. Nothing fleeting at all must come
        before the souls of those we care for, whether abbess or parent or
        teacher or nurse. Our own souls are intricately linked with the
        welfare of those we govern or care for or serve. (BTW, ideally, in
        St. Benedict's model of authority, all three functions of ruling,
        loving and serving are present at all times. Lofty goal that!)

        It's easy to forget that this reading covers a lot more than material
        things. All things perishable, empty and earthly are included, even if more
        detailed coverage is given to the material ones. It is a sad truth
        that we often congratulate ourselves for avoiding one fault while falling
        headlong into another.

        "What would people say?" is a question sometimes necessary, but all
        too often it becomes an idol on its own. That's when trouble ensues.
        As with material things, there is a certain BALANCED (getting sick of
        that word? Welcome to Benedictine values!) concern for appearances
        here. We bear a responsibility, as any parent could tell you, for the
        material welfare of the bodies those souls we govern run around in,
        and we have to be careful of some appearances that would cause
        scandal, but there it stops.

        The parent or superior who can give an example of courage in the face
        of false values to their charges has given an inestimable gift,
        indeed. A wise person can contrast the nagging question of "What
        would people think?" with "What are they entitled to think? Have we
        all not an obligation to think the best of others?"

        One can be a genuine, confessed sinner and say to the world, "I know
        what sin is." Sinners all, we may be far more likely to listen to
        such a person than we would be to one of pretended (and pretentious!)
        perfection. We like the idea of wounded healers, but I can assure you
        from the inside that wounded healers do not play terribly well with
        many in church power. "What would people think?" Such reasoning robs
        us, sinners all, of our strongest preaching points and robs those
        wounded ones around us of the needful message that there is room
        within for them.

        One time since coming here, the issue of my telling someone
        about my HIV+ status was raised in a terribly painful way for me.
        It was my wise superior, Abbot Anselm, who healed all that in two
        beautiful phrases: "We did not accept you here on any condition of
        silence. People who ask personal questions have no right to be upset
        if they are answered." WOW!!! All the heartbreak of that mess faded
        for me instantly, thanks to one very wise and loving Father.

        See what I have been getting at here? A parent or superior with a
        genuine sense of what is real can make their charges see reality,
        too. It is always a gift to see reality, because reality is truth
        and Jesus said: "I am the truth." God IS Truth, and every fragment of
        truth we garner on this strange, checkered journey of life will make Him
        instantly more familiar to us when we meet Him face to face.

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



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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