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Apr 16

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Continued prayers for Ian, Dana and their family, custody battle; prayers also for Farnborough Abbey during their visitation; continued prayers for all in
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 16, 2003
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      +PAX

      Continued prayers for Ian, Dana and their family, custody battle;
      prayers also for Farnborough Abbey during their visitation; continued
      prayers for all in harm's way in Iraq: it is far from over. Thanks so
      much! God's will be done. NRN JL

      April 16, August 16, December 16
      Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received

      But if as a guest she was found exacting or prone to vice,
      not only should she be denied membership in the community,
      but she should even be politely requested to leave,
      lest others be corrupted by her evil life.

      If, however, she has not proved to be the kind
      who deserves to be put out,
      she should not only on her own application be received
      as a member of the community,
      but she should even be persuaded to stay,
      that the others may be instructed by her example,
      and because in every place it is the same Lord who is served,
      the same King for whom the battle is fought.

      Moreover, if the Abbess perceives that she is worthy,
      she may put her in a somewhat higher rank.
      [And not only with regard to a nun
      but also with regard to those in priestly or clerical orders
      previously mentioned,]*
      the Abbess may establish them in a higher rank
      than would be theirs by date of entrance
      if she perceives that their life is deserving.

      Let the Abbess take care, however,
      never to receive a nun from another known monastery
      as a member of her community
      without the consent of her Abbess or a letter of recommendation;
      for it is written,
      "Do not to another what you would not want done to yourself" (Tob.
      4:16).

      *(The gender switch is built in at the OSB site.) [Applicable only to
      women of some contemporary monastic communities
      in Protestant Communions.]

      REFLECTION

      Not all criticism is good. Every person at the door of your
      workplace, home or monastery is a challenge for virtue from God. They
      may even be doing His will unwittingly by their pickiness or
      crankiness.

      That doesn't mean that every single criticism should be taken to
      heart. Sometimes the message God sends is positive, sometimes
      negative, sometimes merely an exercise in endurance! Trust me, I have
      worked in the guest house for over six years...

      Some of us are so complacent that we badly need to be taken down a
      bit. Others, however, have such wounded self-esteem that they will
      need protection, need to be careful and yes, MINDFUL enough to
      balance what is said to them by critical types. Hear what people say,
      but sift it very carefully. They might be right, but they might be
      wrong, too.

      Some people, I have no doubt, are sent to us for no
      reason other than to teach us to recognize such fools as those of
      whom St. Paul speaks and suffer them [hopefully!] gladly, or at least
      start working at suffering them civilly. I usually find myself STILL
      working at "civilly." Gladly is a pretty tall order!

      Some of us, too, need to listen to this while putting ourselves in
      the role of the guest. At St. Leo, when I was a novice in the mid
      1970's, we had one priest who thought every single homily
      should "shake 'em up a bit." Well, yes and no and neither, at
      times.

      For one thing, he missed the fact that, by now, most of the
      community had been "shaken up" quite regularly for 7 years or so, and
      not always for the better nor always by the brightest. People quite
      rightly get weary of that. He got his chance at first, but it wasn't
      long before our only response was annoyance, followed soon thereafter
      by relative deafness. ("Oh no, look who's celebrant today...") He
      missed the balance and when we miss balances, we largely fail.

      Even "Father Disturbus" had the occasional good idea, but they get
      buried in the avalanche of not so hot stuff. Learn, if you don't
      already know, how to discount people like that. Strive to never be a
      person like that. Don't make a life calling out of shaking people up,
      they'll get over you fast. But neither should a timidly, uncharitable
      politeness make you afraid to speak when it is really necessary and
      might actually help.

      It is a sad fact that many of the "Disturbi" of the world
      have no clue, none at all, how annoying they are. Try very hard to
      ascertain whether or not you're one of them, and if you are, please
      stop! For everyone's sake.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB (who can be a bit of a Disturbus at times himself!)

      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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