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Apr 14

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX More detail than usual- these are unusual prayer requests and I think it will help. For Sal, 48, very advanced ALS/Lou Gehrig s disease, now colon cancer.
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 14, 2003

      More detail than usual- these are unusual prayer requests and I think
      it will help. For Sal, 48, very advanced ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease,
      now colon cancer. He has two teenagers and his wife died two years
      ago at 43. For a terribly messy divorce. Wife has already had one
      annulment, so very unlikely she (or the husband in this case,) will
      ever get another one. Very tough for all the family., Also for Dave,
      who will need surgery for and esophageal abnormality, and for Melinda
      and her Mom and husband. She has deep mania and has filed for divorce.

      Please note that I get so many requests that I might not always be
      able to reply to yours. Sometimes the only "reply" I can pull off is
      to mention the needs in the next Holy Rule. Hope you will understand.
      Thanks! God's will be done! NRN JL

      April 14, August 14, December 14
      Chapter 60: On Priests Who May Wish to Live in the Monastery

      If any ordained priest
      should ask to be received into the monastery,
      permission shall not be granted too readily.
      But if he is quite persistent in his request,
      let him know
      that he will have to observe the whole discipline of the Rule
      and that nothing will be relaxed in his favor,
      that it may be as it is written:
      "Friend, for what have you come (Matt. 26:50)?"

      It shall be granted him, however, to stand next after the Abbot
      and to give blessings and to celebrate Mass,
      but only by order of the Abbot.
      Without such order let him not make any exceptions for himself,
      knowing that he is subject to the discipline of the Rule;
      but rather let him give an example of humility to all.

      If there happens to be question of an appointment
      or of some business in the monastery,
      let him expect the rank due him
      according to the date of his entrance into the monastery,
      and not the place granted him
      out of reverence for the priesthood.

      If any clerics, moved by the same desire,
      should wish to join the monastery,
      let them be placed in a middle rank.
      But they too are to be admitted only if they promise
      observance of the Rule and stability.


      My late friend, Bob Deaton, was very close to one of Franklin Delano
      Roosevelt's sons. One day, as he was talking with his friend's wife,
      about Eleanor Roosevelt, she said to him: "You know, Bob, to you
      she's Eleanor Roosevelt, but to me she's my mother-in-law." Sad, but
      true. Familiarity can breed contempt, or at the very least, diminish

      This is so very true of priests and religious. The daily closeness of
      God can let us get lazy, used to Him. Just as spouses can learn to
      pay little or less attention to one another over years, so can we. I
      fear, because of the very unique sacramental relationship involved,
      this is an even greater danger for priests.

      An unfortunate truth about ecclestiastical politics and priestly
      ambition, both in St. Benedict's time and in our own, is that it
      allows, even rather encourages a savvy that will advance one, but not
      in piety! A dichotomy often exists between getting ahead and getting
      holy and few manage to pull off both.

      Think of the holiest priests you have known. That daily contact has
      increased their awe and deepened their humility and love. It can,
      after all, go either way. St. Benedict wanted to do all he could to
      ensure that shallow ambition and priesthood without piety would not
      be welcome in his monasteries. Sadly, there are priests- and nuns and
      brothers!- who have ignored his precautions.

      That message about ambition is for all of us. All. I have had the
      sadness of knowing monastic men and women who made their lives and
      vocations a virtual joke in the pursuit of power, ambition, control
      and rank. What a waste. Actually, when one looks objectively at being
      a big fish in such terribly small ponds, it becomes pathetically
      tragic. So much lost for so very little, in fact, for nothing but
      illusion and lies.

      There is only one place a monastic should fight and struggle to get
      or keep and that is the bottom. If you aren't there yet, keep trying.
      If you are, cherish and esteem it and cling to it for dear life. It
      is the true and only place of privilege, it is the selfless place of
      Christ. Those holding it are often completely written off and scorned
      by their comrades. Happy are they! The littlest way of the meekly
      least is much, much safer and better! And trust me, beloveds, some
      ignorance truly *IS* bliss, so learn to look on the shenanigans of
      the powerful with the puzzled, non-envious innocence of a child.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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