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Holy Rule for June 30

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please for the safety of Beccy and Jerry and all travelling on this holiday weekend in the US. Prayers for a separated Mom in a very, very
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 29, 2007
      +PAX

      Prayers, please for the safety of Beccy and Jerry and all travelling on this holiday weekend in the US. Prayers for a separated Mom in a very, very difficult psoition with her kids and their visiting their Dad, for the will of God in this very complicated situation.

      Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for:

      Gavin, the 6 month old we prayed for, he is making great strides and seems to be overcoming his infection, but still needs prayers and for his parents.

      Jeanette and Dale, successful medical procedures.

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of James, 82, uncle of our Sister Mary Paula, and for all his family and those who mourn him.

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

      Br. Vincent's Dad, Cos, congestive heart failure and kidney problems, and especially for his wife, Vita, trying so hard to care for him.

      Diane, shingles.

      David, severe depression and for Chris, who worries so about him.

      Jeanette, new tests, severe lung condition.

      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 29, June 30, October 30
      Chapter 23: On Excommunication for Faults

      If a brother is found to be obstinate,
      or disobedient, or proud, or murmuring,
      or habitually transgressing the Holy Rule in any point
      and contemptuous of the orders of his seniors,
      the latter shall admonish him secretly a first and a second time,
      as Our Lord commands (Matt. 18:15).
      If he fails to amend,
      let him be given a public rebuke in front of the whole community.
      But if even then he does not reform,
      let him be placed under excommunication,
      provided that he understands the seriousness of that penalty;
      if he is perverse, however,
      let him undergo corporal punishment.

      REFLECTION

      While some today may chafe at these chapters, known as the penal code
      of the Holy Rule, believe me, the modern problem is NOT that they are
      too stringently enforced. Quite the opposite. The Benedictine
      atmosphere of gentle moderation can cloak and empower a lot of
      timidity and cowardice, too. Neither are very loving, they're just
      useful means of avoidance.

      Not all love is tough love, but all love IS tough. When a parent or
      boss or superior chooses their own comfort by avoiding confrontation
      with a problem member, everyone suffers. Those in authority are
      called to love, and love leaves no stone unturned, not even those
      that are horribly difficult to lift.

      The message here for all of us is "Look at your own choir stall",
      which is a Benedictine way of saying "Mind your own business and
      examine your conscience." If you are in authority, or get there
      someday, don't be a flop or an unloving wimp. If you are not in
      charge, don't make yourself one of the problems. It is terribly hard
      for rank and file to ignore what seemingly ought not to be ignored, but
      sometimes we simply have to do so or leave. That is one of the VERY
      great ascetic disciplines of common life. Believe me, fasting pales
      to nothing beside this one. I'd rather fast any day!

      I have known monastics (and employees and managers and parents!) who
      forced more than one person out by their unchecked behavior, something a
      good superior could have fixed or at least mitigated. To assume that the
      offenders were ALWAYS the instruments of God's will in such cases, that the
      person was supposed to leave or "just couldn't take it," is blatantly false and
      pathetically stupid. It is even more tragic when the one in charge is taking the
      easy way out by non-intervention. That scenario would be tantamount to saying
      that child abuse was just an instrument of God's will. It isn't. No serious offense
      is and no monastic should be left in such peril uncorrected.

      God's will has to work around and in spite of human frailty, but
      human frailty can and does often put huge obstacles in the way.
      Meanness and abusiveness can destroy others' vocations as well as
      one's own. So can cowardice and inactivity in the name of false
      charity.

      Over the years I have heard excuses close to whining from people in
      all areas of authority: political, ecclesiastical, parental, monastic
      and administrative. "Nothing can be done about so-and-so. My hands
      are tied." I hate to say that I remain unable to completely buy that,
      largely because sometimes I've been around long enough to see a
      successor (or the juvenile courts!) DO something about so-and-so.

      I have also been in charge enough times to realize that often
      something CAN be done. It is not palatable or easy, but it is
      possible. One of the things that strengthened me as listowner was the
      memory of weak superiors and ineffectual bosses and the tension of
      living in the chaotic messes they enabled by abdicating their
      responsibility. Responsibility is the ministry of service which is
      appropriate to authority, it is a necessary function of love.

      Monastics come to the Holy Rule for the benefit of discipline and
      growth and guidance toward holiness. We have a right to same, and no
      one should have to know that only for child abuse will he or she get
      it. There are many, many abuses that involve neither sex, nor
      children, nor outsiders that require equal attention.

      If we take an firm hand in one area only (an area which, it must be
      noted, is financially very dangerous...) we will look rather foolish
      in priding ourselves that we are left with a community or Church that
      can keep its hands off children. There's more to it than that. Much more.

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of the 41 dead and the recovery of the 273 wounded in the terrorist attacks in Turkey. Prayers for the families of all,
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 29, 2016
        +PAX



        Prayers for the eternal rest of the 41 dead and the recovery of the 273
        wounded in the terrorist attacks in Turkey. Prayers for the families of all,
        prayers, too, for the repentance at their last moments of the bombers, may
        all the dead receive mercy. Prayers for all first responders and others
        trying to help.



        Continued prayers for all affected by the West Virginia flooding, there are
        now at least 25 dead, prayers for their eternal rest and all who mourn then,
        prayers for those who were injured or lost possessions or homes and for the
        families of all.



        Prayers for D., having his salary cut or forced into retirement early, and
        for his wife, who is very upset with him over this.



        Prayers for the eternal rest of Peggy T., and for her family and all who
        mourn her.



        Prayers for the eternal rest of Alfred, brother of Reni, and for all his
        family and all who mourn him. Prayers, too, for a 99 year old friend of
        Reni's and for her family and all who mourn her.



        Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and
        grace. God is nevere absent, praise Him! Thanks so much.



        February 29, June 30, October 30
        Chapter 23: On Excommunication for Faults
        (If there is no 29th of Feburary, append this entry to the previous.)

        If a brother is found to be obstinate,
        or disobedient, or proud, or murmuring,
        or habitually transgressing the Holy Rule in any point
        and contemptuous of the orders of his seniors,
        the latter shall admonish him secretly a first and a second time,
        as Our Lord commands (Matt. 18:15).
        If he fails to amend,
        let him be given a public rebuke in front of the whole community.
        But if even then he does not reform,
        let him be placed under excommunication,
        provided that he understands the seriousness of that penalty;
        if he is perverse, however,
        let him undergo corporal punishment.

        REFLECTION

        It is sad, indeed, that a chapter like this ever had to be written,
        sad in St. Benedict's time, sad in our own. How little human beings
        change in some ways! Why on earth would anyone come to a monastic
        struggle with an attitude that says: "I know better. I'm right and
        they're wrong."? Why would anyone persist in staying with such an
        attitude?

        Because they are blind. It's another favorite trick of Satan.
        Blurred or clouded assessments of the reality at hand are his forte.
        Especially when these phony lenses get applied to religious matters,
        the obstinacy and self-righteousness can go to extremes.

        Look, beloveds, every single one of us, from the newest Oblate
        candidate to the Abbot Primate, came to the monastic life, to the
        Holy Rule, to be CHANGED. We came to learn, not to teach. We came to
        reform ourselves, not the monastery. We not only arrived with that
        attitude, we must keep it all of our lives. We came to surrender,
        not to demand.

        That's why this chapter is both so very sad and so very important.
        The monastic at any point in life who has renounced that attitude of
        discipleship has abandoned the struggle. We must hope it is a
        temporary abandonment, because it can be fatal to one's vocation. It
        can undo all the good work we have behind us. It can delude us into
        thinking we are persevering when we have actually quit long ago.

        Superiors and community (or family!) can be a big reality check here
        and that is what this chapter seeks to provide. Gentleness, love and
        tact are in order, but something must be done. One must be very
        careful at such times not to lord it over another smugly. But one
        must also be very careful not to do nothing at all, especially if
        one is in authority. The risk to the falling member is too great to
        ignore.

        If, alas, you find yourself to be that falling member, for heaven's
        sake (quite literally!) LISTEN. That is such a Benedictine trait,
        our Holy Rule begins with that word. If others are that upset, there may
        well be something wrong. Don't deny it. Check it out with all the
        humility you can muster, but be very aware that your humility may
        well be the thing that is currently terribly impaired. Be as honest
        as truthful as you can. Try, try with all your strength, to let
        yourself always be changed for the good, and strive to see that
        good, even when it is hard.

        If you are one of the lucky ones not in this leaking boat, be deeply
        humbled and grateful to God. Pray every day for all of those in the
        Order, the Church, the world, who are sinking. They need our prayers
        badly. Think how different the Titanic might have been with enough
        lifeboats...

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



















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        +PAX Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Mother Mary Elizabeth and Sr. Mary Angela, safely home from their mother s funeral, and continued prayers for the
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 29

          +PAX

           

          Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Mother Mary Elizabeth and Sr. Mary Angela, safely home from their mother’s funeral, and continued prayers for the eternal rest of Marjorie, their Mom, and for Fr. Anthony and all their 7 other siblings.

           

          Prayers for safe travels home to Louisiana for Fr. Ephrem, who gave us a wonderful retreat.

           

          Prayers for Fr. Paul Claude, on the 50th anniversary of his ordination.

           

          Prayers for Sarah, having back surgery next Thursday, for a successful operation and a speedy recovery.

           

          Prayers for the happy death of Charlie Gard, 11 months, and for his parents. They have lost their final appeal and his life support will be removed within the next few days.

           

          Prayers for Tom, healing after a breakup and discernment about a new job, and for Sarah, also healing after a breakup.

           

          Prayers for John, miserable at work and in need of some sort of change there, according to God's will.

           

          Prayers for the eternal rest of Rick N., for his wife Cindy, cousin Kerrie, and all his family.

           

          Prayers for Carolyn McK.,  a nurse and mother of two children, 8 and 3, who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Prayers for successful treatment and cure so she will be with her family and enjoy a full life and eventual grandchildren. And prayers for her husband, and for his mother, who also has cancer.  He is a bit overwhelmed with this unwelcome news. Prayers for her children and all her family.

           

          Prayers for God's Perfect Will  for Teresa A., an elderly woman whose reoccurring cancer has returned again. She has decided no more treatments and will go comfort care.

           

          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.

          February 29, June 30, October 30
          Chapter 23: On Excommunication for Faults

          If a brother is found to be obstinate,
          or disobedient, or proud, or murmuring,
          or habitually transgressing the Holy Rule in any point
          and contemptuous of the orders of his seniors,
          the latter shall admonish him secretly a first and a second time,
          as Our Lord commands (Matt. 18:15).
          If he fails to amend,
          let him be given a public rebuke in front of the whole community.
          But if even then he does not reform,
          let him be placed under excommunication,
          provided that he understands the seriousness of that penalty;
          if he is perverse, however,
          let him undergo corporal punishment.

          REFLECTION

          It is sad, indeed, that a chapter like this ever had to be written,
          sad in St. Benedict's time, sad in our own. How little human beings
          change in some ways! Why on earth would anyone come to a monastic
          struggle with an attitude that says: "I know better. I'm right and
          they're wrong."? Why would anyone persist in staying with such an
          attitude?

          Because they are blind. It's another favorite trick of Satan.
          Blurred or clouded assessments of the reality at hand are his forte.
          Especially when these phony lenses get applied to religious matters,
          the obstinacy and self-righteousness can go to extremes.

          Look, beloveds, every single one of us, from the newest Oblate
          candidate to the Abbot Primate, came to the monastic life, to the
          Holy Rule, to be CHANGED. We came to learn, not to teach. We came to
          reform ourselves, not the monastery. We not only arrived with that
          attitude, we must keep it all of our lives. We came to surrender,
          not to demand.

          That's why this chapter is both so very sad and so very important.
          The monastic at any point in life who has renounced that attitude of
          discipleship has abandoned the struggle. We must hope it is a
          temporary abandonment, because it can be fatal to one's vocation. It
          can undo all the good work we have behind us. It can delude us into
          thinking we are persevering when we have actually quit long ago.

          Superiors and community (or family!) can be a big reality check here
          and that is what this chapter seeks to provide. Gentleness, love and
          tact are in order, but something must be done. One must be very
          careful at such times not to lord it over another smugly. But one
          must also be very careful not to do nothing at all, especially if
          one is in authority. The risk to the falling member is too great to
          ignore.

          If, alas, you find yourself to be that falling member, for heaven's
          sake (quite literally!) LISTEN. That is such a Benedictine trait,
          our Holy Rule begins with that word. If others are that upset, there may
          well be something wrong. Don't deny it. Check it out with all the
          humility you can muster, but be very aware that your humility may
          well be the thing that is currently terribly impaired. Be as honest
          as truthful as you can. Try, try with all your strength, to let
          yourself always be changed for the good, and strive to see that
          good, even when it is hard.

          If you are one of the lucky ones not in this leaking boat, be deeply
          humbled and grateful to God. Pray every day for all of those in the
          Order, the Church, the world, who are sinking. They need our prayers
          badly. Think how different the Titanic might have been with enough
          lifeboats... Don’t forget to pray for superiors, too. They have a tough job

          And need lots of grace and strength to fulfill their ministry.

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

           

           

           

           

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