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Holy Rule for July 16

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for all devotees of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, on her feast, also for all the Swiss American OSB s on their patronal feast, Our Lady of
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 15, 2007
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      Prayers, please, for all devotees of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, on her feast, also for all the Swiss American OSB's on their patronal feast, Our Lady of Einsiedeln. May Mary under all her many titles intercede for us all!

      Prayers for our Br. Vincent, on the 4th anniversary of his solemn vows. Pray, too, that we get about seven more like him! Prayers for John, on his birthday.

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Nadeem's niece, and for her family and all who mourn her.

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

      Nadeem's wife and daughter, both ill.

      Anne, Crohn's disease and serious side effects from a new antidepressant med. 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 16, July 16, November 15
      Chapter 37: On the Old and Children

      Although human nature itself is drawn to special kindness
      towards these times of life,
      that is towards the old and children,
      still the authority of the Rule should also provide for them.


      Let their weakness be always taken into account,
      and let them by no means be held to the rigor of the Rule
      with regard to food.
      On the contrary,
      let a kind consideration be shown to them,
      and let them eat before the regular hours.

      REFLECTION

      The tenderness of St. Benedict shines through here. These are strong
      words for weakness: "ALWAYS taken into account," and "BY NO MEANS
      held to the rigor of the Rule for food." Though he prefaces his
      chapter recalling that any healthy human nature has a certain level
      of consideration for these age groups, our holy Father Benedict
      quickly returns to a very consistent theme of the Holy Rule: we are
      called to more than mere nature.

      We are called to enhance our nature to the supernatural, to the heights of
      sanctity. Our considerate mindfulness for every person and their individual
      needs must be greater than that of the world. Indeed, our monastic calling bids
      us to raise EVERY area of our lives to the supernatural. As monastics, we
      strive to elevate everything to the sacred, everything to grace working in us
      and with us!

      St. Benedict's aim is that each of us ALWAYS see the person first.
      That kind of loving mindfulness will make the chapters on the sick
      and the young and old seem to be complete no-brainers. This is the
      way we should be seeing everyone: real people for whom they really
      are, nothing more or less. Circumstances do arise that require
      greater attention, but the foundation of that is a firm theology of
      personalism.

      It should come as no great shock that the most frequent obstacle to
      viewing others correctly is ourselves. Our own image, our self, our
      pain, our projections get in the way of the lens of truth. We have to
      spend our monastic struggle learning to put those things aside, so
      that the light of others may shine through unobstructed.

      With our own needs at least on a back burner, or better yet, shelved
      far off in the pantry, we can begin to truly see others and their
      needs. Wipe the mud of self from our eyes and we can see the
      treasures that surround us. Mother Teresa of Calcutta surely did
      that. She saw beauty that all of us less holy than she missed big-
      time and she saw it in everyone.

      A key to all this is a favorite quote from Antoine de St.
      Exupery's "Little Prince":

      "The essential is invisible to the eyes. One can only see rightly
      with the heart."

      That's what our Rule demands: the cultivation of the very loving eyes
      of our hearts! Dust off them cardiac lenses, beloveds. Keep 'em clean!!

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

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