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Holy Rule for July 1

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for Brenna, starting a new life in another state and needing to sell her home in her former state, also for her Mom, seeking to move near her and
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 30, 2007
      +PAX

      Prayers for Brenna, starting a new life in another state and needing to sell her home in her former state, also for her Mom, seeking to move near her and needing to rent her farm, hopefully to a group of religious or the like. Prayers, too, for Brenna's assistance dog, Pete, a loyal friend of many years who may have cancer. Prayers, too, for the conversion of Brenna's former husband. Prayers for the will of God for Ann at her job. Continued prayers for Al, one last chance to extend his visa may work.

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

      Jan, who is to have surgery on her spine on Wednesday this week. and for the welfare of her sister and brother-in-law in the UK that she has not heard from for some time.

      Bob, our liver transplant. Too weak to continue chemo for his hepatitis, he has been sent home and the prognosis seems not good. Also for his wife, Petrina. Particularly ardent prayers for the gift of faith for both, as they are agnostic.

      Tania, awaiting biopsy reports on her kidney lesion, hopefully due on Monday. Special prayers during this time of waiting, which is so often nerve-wracking.

      Donald, beginning treatment Monday for an especially aggressive form of cancer, and for his brother, Jim. Special prayers for Donald to have the grace to embrace fully the salvation Jesus won for him.

      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

      March 1, July 1, October 31
      Chapter 24: What the Measure of Excommunication Should Be

      The measure of excommunication or of chastisement
      should correspond to the degree of fault,
      which degree is estimated by the judgment of the Abbess.


      If a sister is found guilty of lighter faults,
      let her be excluded from the common table.
      Now the program for one deprived of the company of the table
      shall be as follows:
      In the oratory she shall intone neither Psalm nor antiphon
      nor shall she recite a lesson
      until she has made satisfaction;
      in the refectory she shall take her food alone
      after the community meal,
      so that if they eat at the sixth hour, for instance,
      that sister shall eat at the ninth,
      while if they eat at the ninth hour
      she shall eat in the evening,
      until by a suitable satisfaction she obtains pardon.

      REFLECTION

      Ever run over something unintentionally with a lawnmower? Most of us
      have. If you personally have never done such a thing, it would be
      far less upsetting to me if you never said so... LOL! Think about it.
      Who, in their right mind, would deliberately take a mower that is
      costly to repair or replace and aim for an obstacle in the grass?
      Face it, while there could be malevolence here, it is very unlikely.

      Yet the only case of this lighter excommunication of which I have
      personal knowledge was just this dumb. In the mid-1960's, a junior
      monk I knew ran over a water sprinkler while mowing in the Grotto at
      Saint Leo. (I have been visiting St. Leo since 1957, the Grotto is
      one of my favorite places and I STILL could not tell you where all
      the water sprinklers are. It is a wooded and confusing area.) The guy
      didn't mean to do it and, as far as I know, admitted his guilt,
      turned himself in. Sigh... he got this light excommunication for a
      while as punishment.

      That was one of the problems with "excommunication" (which, by the
      way, refers only to communal life, not to the Church or its
      Sacraments.) It was often used for silly, innocent mistakes,
      unintentional accidents. In cases like the one I noted, it often
      stressed the material above the personal. Obviously, the greatest
      treasure of the monastery was the monastic, not the water sprinkler!
      It could, as such, lack mercy and fall far short of the Gospel,
      something the Holy Rule, rightly interpreted, will never call us to
      do. Also, since it can be quite irrational punishment, it is hardly
      constructive of healthy family bonds!

      As so often happens, we abandon one lunacy only to flee madly to its
      opposite extreme. We went from too much to too little, sometimes
      nothing at all. In the last 35 years or so, I have heard of only one
      threat of excommunication and it did not have to be carried out,
      thank heavens. Still, we have abandoned the good that was in the
      practice: a clear, codified way to let someone know they were out of
      line, that something was wrong, that they needed help or reform or
      both.

      We replaced this (allegedly,) with talking to the individual, a sane
      enough response, except that some superiors find this hard, almost
      impossible to do well. That's not surprising, given the monastic
      aversion to conflict and confrontation. But it is CONFLICT we should
      avoid, not loving confrontation. We're called to a lot of the latter. It is
      the stuff of which reform and conversion is often generated. The
      Rule's system, for all its faults, gave a "language" and idiom to a
      superior who may not have been able to "say" it any other way. It
      eased the road for the timid.

      Take that away, and you have no means of correction in some settings.
      Both these extremes are founded on the same false assumption. Both
      ascribe to offenders more control over their actions than may
      actually be the case. Small wonder neither extreme works terribly well.

      Just talking to someone is fine as an alternative, but one has to
      actually do it. Some problems in people will neither identify nor
      repair themselves. It is folly to think that they will, to presume
      that all people have a level of clairvoyance or maturity that many,
      in fact, do not.

      Not only that, but as the Rule itself points out, some people cannot
      understand or "hear" a verbal correction. Things have not changed
      as much in the intervening 15 centuries as we might like to think they have.
      Some still can't hear. We still need a humane middle point between
      nothing and something very extreme.

      Parents take warning. Embrace either of these extremes and your
      children will be talking about you many, many years later, to
      therapists or in bars, or both! Ditto bosses and superiors. Your job
      is the exact and complete opposite of ignoring major flaws, of
      letting things like that go. If your head is in the sand on any
      significant count, everyone in the family suffers including,
      eventually, yourself.

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



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Joy B., who died of cancer. She leaves a paralyzed husband and 6 children, one of whom lives at home with the dad and
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 30, 2016
        +PAX



        Prayers for the eternal rest of Joy B., who died of cancer. She leaves a
        paralyzed husband and 6 children, one of whom lives at home with the dad and
        takes care of him full time. Prayers for all the family, especially the dad
        and son who will feel the loss of their wife and mother even more.



        Prayers for a woman in Alabama with multiple health problems who was rushed
        to the hospital, and for her husband and family.



        Prayers for the vocation of Tim, who is finishing his observership with us
        today, may God guide him in His holy will always.



        Prayers that Andrew or his wife, Elizabeth, find appropriate employment;
        after school budget cuts he has lost his full-time job. Prayers, too, that
        they can successfully exchange family care of their two children and
        Elizabeth's elderly mother if Elizabeth is the one who finds full-time
        work.



        Prayers for the eternal rest of Mother Rosemae Pender, foundress of the
        Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, who died during her 75th Jubilee of
        profession Mass, and for all her Community, family, and all who mourn her.



        Prayers for the repentance and eternal rest of Christy, 42, who shot and
        killed her two daughters, Taylor, 22 and Madison, 17. Prayers for their
        eternal rest and for their father, Jason, who witnessed their deaths and
        begged his wife not to kill them. His wife was killed by police.



        Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Barbara's son in law, who is home from
        the hospital. He seems to be OK and waiting for test results. Thanks and
        continued prayers.



        Prayers for Hilton, who was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and has
        heart problems besides .



        Prayers for Robert's healing, as he grapples with a heart condition, and for
        his family.



        Prayers for Aaron, leaving for China along with thirteen college classmates
        for five weeks. May their time be fruitful and may they return safely.



        Prayers for Andrew, that he finish his education and change his mind about
        foregoing college. May he realize his potential and submit applications.



        Continued prayers needed for Erica. The tumor on her hip is malignant, and
        she will need radiation before she can have surgery to remove it. Many
        prayers for healing for her and prayers for her parents, as well.



        Ardent prayers please for Marian T., in desperate need that her
        waiver/clearance will come in soon so she can start work. She has already
        exhausted her 26 weeks' unemployment, and her husband's pension and Social
        Security will not be enough. They will have to file for food stamps if she
        have to go without work much longer.



        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

        March 1, July 1, October 31
        Chapter 24: What the Measure of Excommunication Should Be

        The measure of excommunication or of chastisement should correspond
        to the degree of fault, which degree is estimated by the judgment
        of the Abbess.

        If a sister is found guilty of lighter faults, let her be excluded
        from the common table. Now the program for one deprived of the
        company of the table shall be as follows: In the oratory she shall
        intone neither Psalm nor antiphon nor shall she recite a lesson
        until she has made satisfaction; in the refectory she shall take
        her food alone after the community meal,
        so that if they eat at the sixth hour, for instance, that sister
        shall eat at the ninth,
        while if they eat at the ninth hour she shall eat in the evening,
        until by a suitable satisfaction she obtains pardon.

        REFLECTION

        Let's face it, St. Benedict has a lot to say about excommunication-
        a clumsy term, perhaps, because people often assume it means
        excommunication from the Church, which is the only sense of the
        word we commonly have today. It does not, of course mean that, just
        a punishment of exclusion from certain community functions.

        Let's face something else, at least in this chapter. Fasting an
        extra three hours might not be lovely, but no intoning in choir?
        What bad news! Gosh... Even many of us who CAN sing would look at
        that as a nice break!

        And eating alone? Well, the extra fast was a drag, but I sure
        missed that reader and the tedious book we've been reading.
        What awful luck!

        See the difference in perception a millennium or so can make? That
        may be a large part of why the penal code is not followed today:
        some of its punishments simply make little sense to modern
        monastics, some seem mean, and others (as above,) seem like
        downright vacations.

        The rest of this applies with great ease to family situations,
        marital situations and the workplace. Something must be gleaned
        from all this legislation for punishment: the one at fault must be
        told when something is wrong. That, after all, is the only reason
        for punishment, to be a wake up call to the less than brilliant.

        Unfortunately, the monastic dislike of personal confrontation
        endemic in our ranks assumes
        sufficient brilliance for all to sooner or later figure out that
        they are amiss. It just ain't so, folks, sorry! Things fester when
        they go ignored for years. Things that someone should have dealt
        with gently, but firmly and even summarily, in formation or
        childhood, torture the family in later years.

        Look, it is hard, VERY hard, to confront a predictably stubborn or
        difficult child or monastic or spouse or employee.
        It's easy to see why one would rather not do so. But the Holy Rule
        asks many things that are difficult of us, and this one is
        unquestionably for the good of all, both the offender and the

        offended. The false charity that omits to make
        these difficult corrections goes a long way to making everyone's
        life awful in the future.

        Also, in workplace especially, bear in mind that the authority
        figure here is the abbot, not the rank and file. One dare not
        assume all those prerogatives as a peer and equal. Fraternal
        correction will get a mention of its own later on, but it is not a
        mantle to be assumed lightly. We must beware of the other extreme:
        becoming universal policing agents for all and sundry. A tiny spark
        of Gestapo flickers in many human hearts. Do nothing
        to fan the flame!

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













        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Archabbot Paul Maher, OSB, 91, retired archabbot of St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and for his family,
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 30

          +PAX

          Prayers for the eternal rest of Archabbot Paul Maher, OSB, 91, retired archabbot of St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and for his family, Community and all who mourn him.

           

          Prayers for Beverly, seeking a job with a Christian healing venter, for the perfect will of God for her.

           

          Prayers for Marion N., for her peace of mind and for her pending procedure in the hospital.

           

          Prayers for Bob, pain in his legs and back, needs help, too, in facing issues that trouble him.

           

          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

          March 1, July 1, October 31
          Chapter 24: What the Measure of Excommunication Should Be

          The measure of excommunication or of chastisement should correspond
          to the degree of fault, which degree is estimated by the judgment
          of the Abbess.

          If a sister is found guilty of lighter faults, let her be excluded
          from the common table. Now the program for one deprived of the
          company of the table shall be as follows: In the oratory she shall
          intone neither Psalm nor antiphon nor shall she recite a lesson
          until she has made satisfaction; in the refectory she shall take
          her food alone after the community meal,
          so that if they eat at the sixth hour, for instance, that sister
          shall eat at the ninth,
          while if they eat at the ninth hour she shall eat in the evening,
          until by a suitable satisfaction she obtains pardon.

          REFLECTION

          Let's face it, St. Benedict has a lot to say about excommunication-
          a clumsy term, perhaps, because people often assume it means
          excommunication from the Church, which is the only sense of the
          word we commonly have today. It does not, of course mean that, just
          a punishment of exclusion from certain community functions.

          Let's face something else, at least in this chapter. Fasting an
          extra three hours might not be lovely, but no intoning in choir?
          What bad news! Gosh... Even many of us who CAN sing would look at
          that as a nice break!

          And eating alone? Well, the extra fast was a drag, but I sure
          missed that reader and the tedious book we've been reading.
          What awful luck!

          See the difference in perception a millennium or so can make? That
          may be a large part of why the penal code is not followed today:
          some of its punishments simply make little sense to modern
          monastics, some seem mean, and others (as above,) seem like
          downright vacations.

          The rest of this applies with great ease to family situations,
          marital situations and the workplace. Something must be gleaned
          from all this legislation for punishment: the one at fault must be
          told when something is wrong. That, after all, is the Rule’s reason
          for punishment, to be a wake up call to the less than brilliant.

          Unfortunately, the monastic dislike of personal confrontation
          endemic in our ranks assumes
          sufficient brilliance for all to sooner or later figure out that
          they are amiss. It just ain't so, folks, sorry! Things fester when
          they go ignored for years. Things that someone should have dealt
          with gently, but firmly and even summarily, in formation or
          childhood, torture the family in later years.

          Look, it is hard, VERY hard, to confront a predictably stubborn or
          difficult child or monastic or spouse or employee.
          It's easy to see why one would rather not do so. But the Holy Rule
          asks many things that are difficult of us, and this one is
          unquestionably for the good of all, both the offender and the
          offended. The false charity that omits to make
          these difficult corrections goes a long way to making everyone's
          life awful in the future.

          Also, in workplace especially, bear in mind that the authority
          figure here is the abbot, not the rank and file. One dare not
          assume all those prerogatives as a peer and equal. Fraternal
          correction has its time and place, but it is not a
          mantle to be assumed lightly. We must beware of the other extreme:
          becoming universal policing agents for all and sundry. A tiny spark
          of Gestapo flickers in many human hearts. Do nothing
          to fan the flame!

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

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