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Holy Rule for July 6

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Earlier than usual today, because of sever thunderstorms forecast for this evening. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Gigi s Mom, who died
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 5, 2007
      +PAX

      Earlier than usual today, because of sever thunderstorms forecast for this evening.

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Gigi's Mom, who died from complications of Lupus, and for all 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 never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL

      March 6, July 6, November 5
      Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be Received
      Again

      If a brother who through his own fault leaves the monastery
      should wish to return, let him first promise full reparation for his
      having gone away; and then let him be received in the lowest place,
      as a test of his humility. And if he should leave again, let him be
      taken back again, and so a third time; but he should understand that
      after this all way of return is denied him.

      REFLECTION

      There are variant readings of the first line of this chapter among
      manuscripts. Some authorities accept the additional phrase "or is
      expelled", though the RB1980 translation does not. As with so many
      things this ancient, it is hard to tell who is right (and sometimes, if
      that matters!) I checked in the library downstairs, but I can't find our
      autographed first edition of the Holy Rule anywhere...

      However, let's err on the side of mercy if we are to err at all.
      Since most modern translations omit the phrase, let's take a look at the
      other possibility: what if it really was what St. Benedict had in mind?

      If so, it reveals a mercy and love and tenderness beyond anything we
      have ever seen in the Holy Rule. If, even after all the hassle that can
      occur before one actually gets thrown out, one could still be forgiven,
      and up to three times, that is very great mercy to say the least.

      Still, it is a very consistent reading with the penal code that precedes
      it. If the only reason for Benedictine punishment is reform and
      conversion, then even the ultimate punishment of expulsion could have a
      hook of possible conversion to it.

      From this perspective, let us look at ourselves for a moment. How do we
      "punish" people or banish them from our lives and hearts? I use quotes
      around "punish" to stress the lunacy that very often
      such "punishments" harm no one but ourselves. We decide, once and for
      all that this or that person has had it. End of story. Well, if one
      reads the Holy Rule carefully, there may be an "end of story" point for
      Benedictines, but it does not come as often or as early or as readily as
      some of us might think!

      Face it, a lot of us think of punishment as about us, not the
      offender. It is our "justice" that gets fed, that makes demands, that
      says we are totally done with the person. Whoa! If God's ideas are
      anything like that (and we daily ask Him to use our standards of mercy
      in the Our Father,) we are in deep, deep trouble.

      Our punishments must have an eye to reform, not revenge, to conversion,
      not conclusion. Permanent rifts, as even the Rule allows, may sometimes
      occur, but then our attitude should be sadness, not joy. Even when
      something becomes so toxic that separation is necessary, we are always
      bound to prayer for that person.

      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 happy death of Mike, 50s, who is dying of melanoma. He has a wife and two grown stepsons and his father is still alive, prayers for them
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 5, 2016
        +PAX



        Prayers for the happy death of Mike, 50s, who is dying of melanoma. He has a
        wife and two grown stepsons and his father is still alive, prayers for them
        and for all who will mourn him.



        Prayers for the 165 dead and more than 200 wounded in the terrorist attack
        in Baghdad, and for the 28 dead in the terrorist attack in Dhaka,
        Bangladesh. Prayers for the eternal rest of the dead, the recovery of the
        wounded and the families of all. Prayers for the repentance and conversion
        of the attackers.



        Prayers for the happy death of Fr. Fred, that he finds the right priest to
        hear his Confession and that he gets all the Sacraments. Prayers, too, for
        his spiritual daughter who is trying to help. There are some problems here
        that badly need our prayers.



        Prayers for Br. Jude, who made his first monastic profession in Nigeria. May
        God grant him nay years in His service.



        Prayers please for Nabil A., a young Egyptian, Coptic Catholic, very
        depressed and struggling with trying to find his vocation, especially in the
        current social and economic environment of Egypt.

        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 6, July 6, November 5
        Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be
        Received Again

        If a brother
        who through his own fault leaves the monastery
        should wish to return,
        let him first promise full reparation for his having gone away;
        and then let him be received in the lowest place,
        as a test of his humility.
        And if he should leave again,
        let him be taken back again,
        and so a third time;
        but he should understand that after this
        all way of return is denied him.

        REFLECTION

        The Gospel tells us to forgive 70 times 7 times and surely, we must.
        That, however, is a command on us individually, and a command, by the
        way, that calls for forgiveness, not foolhardiness. One needn't keep
        one's hand on the same hot stove throughout all the forgiving!
        At some point, too, probably well before the end of one's forgiveness
        rope, the offender would probably have incurred at least some loss of
        privilege. Obviously, the dog that is forgiven for killing sheep
        several times will not likely tend the flock.

        The thing to remember here is that we are not dealing
        with only two individuals, but a group. Re-entry into a monastery
        can be a very tense thing. It is certainly worth doing, but may
        not be a good thing to do limitless times. It wears out the monk and
        it wears out the community. We must always love, always forgive, but
        sometimes limits to harm have to be set for the good of all.

        St. Benedict is not mean here. There is no element of surprise to the
        offender about the three-strikes- and-you're- out program: she has
        heard it ever since novitiate. It might be construed as mean if there
        were no forewarning, but there is. Anyone coming back for the third time
        knows they are on their last leg. Foul up that time, and you're history.

        The monastery is a specialized society with a specialized goal:
        seeking union with God for all its members. Because of that
        specialized nature, the monastery does not have an infinite
        commitment to anyone, except to one who truly perseveres unto death.
        This is unlike the stronger and more necessary bonds of Church or
        a family.

        Not everyone who wants to join a monastery is truly called to be a
        monastic. Perhaps, too, one is called, but not to that particular
        monastery. People can be allowed to leave, or they can be expelled,
        or they can be told they can never come back after the third time.

        This is a different situation from forgiveness. The one denied
        further entry must, no doubt at all, be forgiven, but he must also
        know that his chances to disrupt the community have come to an end.
        Monasteries need a relative level of peace to fulfill their purpose:
        creating a place in which God may be served and the monastic life
        be fostered. The limits of three times' return have that sacred purpose
        in mind.

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







        .



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • russophile2002
        +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, of Germany, and for his family and all who mourn him. Prayers that the Holy Spirit may guide the
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 5

          +PAX

           

          Prayers for the eternal rest of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, of Germany, and for his family and all who mourn him.

           

          Prayers that the Holy Spirit may guide the monks of Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota, as they elect a new Abbot later this month.

           

          Prayers for the happy death of baby Charlie Gard, and for his parents, the London hospital will not release him to transfer to Rome or to die at home. Prayers that he is baptized, if he has not already been.

           

          Prayers for healing of Jessie’s painful back problems.

           

          Prayers for safe travels and a pleasant stay for Don and Krista.

           

          Prayers for me, routine physical appointment in Boston, for a safe and uneventful trip.

           

          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 6, July 6, November 5
          Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be
          Received Again

          If a brother
          who through his own fault leaves the monastery
          should wish to return,
          let him first promise full reparation for his having gone away;
          and then let him be received in the lowest place,
          as a test of his humility.
          And if he should leave again,
          let him be taken back again,
          and so a third time;
          but he should understand that after this
          all way of return is denied him.

          REFLECTION

          The Gospel tells us to forgive 70 times 7 times and surely, we must.
          That, however, is a command on us individually, and a command, by the
          way, that calls for forgiveness, not foolhardiness. One needn't keep
          one's hand on the same hot stove throughout all the forgiving!
          At some point, too, probably well before the end of one's forgiveness
          rope, the offender would probably have incurred at least some loss of
          privilege. Obviously, the dog that is forgiven for killing sheep
          several times will not likely tend the flock.

          The thing to remember here is that we are not dealing
          with only two individuals, but a group. Re-entry into a monastery
          can be a very tense thing. It is certainly worth doing, but may
          not be a good thing to do limitless times. It wears out the monk and
          it wears out the community. We must always love, always forgive, but
          sometimes limits to harm have to be set for the good of all.

          St. Benedict is not mean here. There is no element of surprise to the
          offender about the three-strikes- and-you're- out program: she has
          heard it ever since novitiate. It might be construed as mean if there
          were no forewarning, but there is. Anyone coming back for the third time
          knows they are on their last leg. Foul up that time, and you're history.

          The monastery is a specialized society with a specialized goal:
          seeking union with God for all its members. Because of that
          specialized nature, the monastery does not have an infinite
          commitment to anyone, except to one who truly perseveres unto death.
          This is unlike the stronger and more necessary bonds of Church or
          a family.

          Not everyone who wants to join a monastery is truly called to be a
          monastic. Perhaps, too, one is called, but not to that particular
          monastery. People can be allowed to leave, or they can be expelled,
          or they can be told they can never come back after the third time.

          This is a different situation from forgiveness. The one denied
          further entry must, no doubt at all, be forgiven, but he must also
          know that his chances to disrupt the community have come to an end.
          Monasteries need a relative level of peace to fulfill their purpose:
          creating a place in which God may be served and the monastic life
          be fostered. The limits of three times' return have that sacred purpose
          in mind.

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


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