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Holy Rule for June 28

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Preemie baby Gavin, for whom we have prayed in the past, is now 6 months and has an infection of unknown origin. Prayers for him and his young parents. He
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 27, 2007
      +PAX

      Preemie baby Gavin, for whom we have prayed in the past, is now 6 months and has an infection of unknown origin. Prayers for him and his young parents. He is their first child and this has been such a rollercoaster of emotions for them. Forgive me, (God is outside of time, though!) I got Dot's surgery date wrong. She had her mastectomy today. Continued prayers for her and her family and all our prayer folks. Prayers for a very trying a difficult family situation, when doing the right thing has been horribly fraught with tension. For the will of God for all concerned. Continued prayers for Al, that he find a job in time to remain in the U.S.

      I would appreciate input on the format I tried yesterday, grouping many folks under "for the health and families of" I found it very helpful to not be typing the same phrase over and over, but I don't want to offend anyone. 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

      February 27, June 28, October 28
      Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery

      If the community is a large one,
      let there be chosen out of it
      brethren of good repute and holy life,
      and let them be appointed deans.
      These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
      observing the commandments of God
      and the instructions of their Abbot.


      Let men of such character be chosen deans
      that the Abbot may with confidence
      share his burdens among them.
      Let them be chosen not by rank
      but according to their worthiness of life
      and the wisdom of their doctrine.


      If any of these deans should become inflated with pride
      and found deserving of censure,
      let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time.
      If he will not amend,
      then let him be deposed
      and another be put in his place who is worthy of it.


      And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.

      REFLECTION

      Did anyone read this as I did at first, many years ago, and
      wonder: "Why did St. Benedict give them an academic name
      like "deans"? Well, it was probably the other way around! Since the
      first schools were monastic ones, it is quite likely that the
      term "dean" entered academia via the Holy Rule!

      Surely the academic gown of today is a modified form of our Benedictine
      choir robe, the cowl or cuculla. In fact, Benedictines used to wear their
      cucullas with the appropriate academic hoods as their formal dress at
      graduations and the like. With all due respect to the johnny-come-
      latelies like the Dominicans, Franciscans and Jesuits, when they don
      full academic regalia, they're wearing a derived form of our choir
      habit!

      But, enough of trivia...This chapter repeats another important
      consideration in St. Benedict's plan: people are not to be
      overburdened. This theme is less noticeable than the more important
      ones of moderation and the like, but it is there. Again and again,
      the Holy Rule says that people should have help with their charges,
      certain officials should even be exempted from serving in the
      refectory.

      Two things are going on here, both very important. Surely the first
      is kindness, gentle consideration for human frailty. The second,
      however, is every bit as defining and important: we are not our work,
      we are not our jobs, our vocation and worth is only connected to such
      things tangentially at best. Our motto is Work AND Prayer. The
      message is that neither of these should make the other impossible.

      This message is equally important for both choir monastics and
      Oblates. If your work is so much that your prayer suffers, something
      is wrong. However, especially true for those of us in the secular
      world, if your prayer is so much that your job or children or
      marriage suffers, something is REALLY wrong. If your work deprives
      your family or spouse, it might be time to look at changing it, time
      to rearrange goals and priorities a bit.

      One of the occasional problems of modern life everywhere is not just
      that we are too busy, but that we FOCUS too much attachment and will
      on stuff that really doesn't matter. Examine and change that focus.

      Picture your job today if you had died yesterday. The important stuff would
      still get done by someone else. The rest, your own agenda, would go merrily
      down the tubes. Well, learn from that!

      A LOT of our own agendas are worth little more than that: going down the
      tubes. So why waste so much time and spiritual and emotional energy on
      them? As it does so frequently, the Holy Rule and Benedictine life tell us:
      "Get real!"

      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 for the eternal rest of the Kimberleys, a father and three of his teenaged children lost at sea in the Gulf of Mexico. Only two bodies have been
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 27, 2016
        +PAX



        Prayers for the eternal rest of the Kimberleys, a father and three of his
        teenaged children lost at sea in the Gulf of Mexico. Only two bodies have
        been recovered, but the search has been called off. Prayers for the
        surviving family and all who mourn them.



        Prayers for the eternal rest of five killed and for the recovery of more
        than a dozen wounded in suicide bombing attacks in northeastern Lebanon.
        Prayers for the families of all and for the repentance of the suicide
        bombers.



        Prayers for a couple unable to have children who have become foster parents
        to two teenaged girls. Prayers for all of them, that things will go well and
        that they will have a very happy home together.



        Prayers for Vincent in Africa, for his vocation and ministry to disabled
        children.



        Prayers for baby Grace, having stomach surgery to close the opening for her
        feeding tube, and for her parents and grandparents.



        Prayers for a man having surgery this week and for his family.



        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. BJL



        February 27, June 28, October 28
        Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery

        If the community is a large one, let there be chosen out of it
        brethren of good repute and holy life, and let them be appointed
        deans. These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
        observing the commandments of God and the instructions of their
        Abbot.

        Let men of such character be chosen deans that the Abbot may with
        confidence share his burdens among them. Let them be chosen not by
        rank but according to their worthiness of life and the wisdom of
        their doctrine.

        If any of these deans should become inflated with pride and found
        deserving of censure,
        let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time. If he will
        not amend, then let him be deposed and another be put in his place
        who is worthy of it.

        And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.

        REFLECTION

        This chapter repeats another important
        consideration in St. Benedict's plan: people are not to be
        overburdened. This theme is less noticeable than the more important
        ones of moderation and the like, but it is there. Again and again,
        the Holy Rule says that people should have help with their charges,
        certain officials should even be exempted from serving in the
        refectory.

        Two things are going on here, both very important. Surely the first
        is kindness, gentle consideration for human frailty. The second,
        however, is every bit as defining and important: we are not our
        work, we are not our jobs, our vocation and worth is only connected
        to such things tangentially at best. Our motto is Prayer AND Work. The
        message is that neither of these should make the other impossible.

        This message is equally important for both choir monastics and
        Oblates. If your work is so much that your prayer suffers,
        something is wrong. However, especially true for those of us in the
        secular world, if your prayer is so much that your job or children
        or marriage suffers, something is REALLY wrong. If your work
        deprives your family or spouse, it might be time to look at
        changing it, time to rearrange goals and priorities a bit.

        One of the occasional problems of modern life everywhere is not
        just that we are too busy, but that we FOCUS too much attachment
        and will on stuff that really doesn't matter. Change that focus.
        Picture your job today if you had died yesterday. The important
        stuff would still get done by someone else. The rest, your own
        agenda, would go merrily down the tubes.

        Well, learn from that! A LOT of our own agendas are worth little
        more than that: going down the tubes. So why waste so much time and
        spiritual and emotional energy on them? As it does so frequently,
        the Holy Rule and Benedictine life tell us: "Get real!"

        Train yourself to learn what NOT to
        care about at all, what does not, and should not matter one bit.
        That is the detachment that is truly holy. It is not all that hard
        to learn, either, if one keeps at it and asks God for His grace,
        without which we can do
        nothing good.

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









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