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Holy Rule for July 18

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following, and for all their families and all who mourn them: Glenn, died in a boating accident while
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 17, 2007
      +PAX

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following, and for all their families and all who mourn them:

      Glenn, died in a boating accident while on vacation, also for his wife and son and for the companion in the boat who was rescued and did not die.

      Molly, for whom we prayed. She did not get to die at home as she'd hoped, but her daughter was with her in the hospital till the last moment.

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

      Greg, grieving and hopeless after a relationship broke up.

      Jackson, at death's door a year ago when we first prayed for him, and now still with us! Continued prayers and Deo gratias for his health, please.

      Melissa, badly needing to get into Alanon recovery.

      D. lost both parents to death in less than a year in very traumatic circumstances, then was brutally attacked and may lose sight in one eye, now homebound, depressed, terrified and neither seeking nor accepting any help.

      Peggy's husband, perhaps nearing the end of his road with lung cancer, and for Peggy, struggling to care for him at home, since much of his pension and benefits has been lost.

      Baby Ethan, for whom we have prayed, is in ICU, in a drug-induced coma, numerous serious complications. The only good news is that they may be signs that the stem cells from his Dad are working.

      Tony, cardiac problems, numerous stents and one ischemic area in his stress test.

      Deo gratias and continued prayers for Christian, showing more progress, though diagnosed as autistic. His family, especially his grandmother are very grateful for the prayers.

      Skip, multiple clots after bypass surgery and his kidneys are beginning to fail.

      Judy, stage 3 ovarian cancer, optimistic, but seeking prayers.

      Lou, chronic side effects from botched prostate cancer treatment a few years ago.

      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 18, July 18, November 17
      Chapter 39: On the Measure of Food

      We think it sufficient for the daily dinner,
      whether at the sixth or the ninth hour,
      that every table have two cooked dishes
      on account of individual infirmities,
      so that he who for some reason cannot eat of the one
      may make his meal of the other
      Therefore let two cooked dishes suffice for all the brethren;
      and if any fruit or fresh vegetables are available,
      let a third dish be added.


      Let a good pound weight of bread suffice for the day,
      whether there be only one meal or both dinner and supper.
      If they are to have supper, the cellarer shall reserve a third of that pound,
      to be given them at supper.


      But if it happens that the work was heavier,
      it shall lie within the Abbot's discretion and power,
      should it be expedient, to add something to the fare.
      Above all things, however, over-indulgence must be avoided
      and a monk must never be overtaken by indigestion;
      for there is nothing so opposed to the Christian character
      as over-indulgence according to Our Lord's words,
      "See to it that your hearts be not burdened
      with over-indulgence" (Luke 21:34).


      Young boys shall not receive the same amount of food as their elders,
      but less; and frugality shall be observed in all circumstances.


      Except the sick who are very weak,
      let all abstain entirely from eating the flesh of four-footed animals.

      REFLECTION

      If you are the only Oblate in the family, do NOT try to introduce
      your non-Benedictine children or spouse to the full rigors of this
      chapter. Don't go there... Very bad idea! However, there are all
      kinds of creative ways that you can "monasticize" your diet while
      leaving the family happy!

      If you work outside the home, or most of your family is at work or
      school and you stay home, look at your lunch, or whatever meal you
      eat on your own. That's the place to make changes. You can change the
      amount you eat, maybe even make the time a bit later. Most
      workplaces, struggling to cover all the slots at lunch hour, might be
      glad if you wanted to eat lunch when the others had finished. Check
      it out.

      If you pack and carry your own lunch, you can often find a GREAT
      monastic discipline in making it plain and less often varied. Try
      peanut butter and jelly for a while. Great source of protein and
      antioxidants. Try taking just fruit. Three of the nurses I've worked
      with- and none of them for monastic reasons- ate the same lunch every
      single day. Two of them used to always eat saltines and peanut
      butter, the other ALWAYS ate one can of sardines with crackers.
      Always. Nobody died, but the lounge used to smell awful after Rosa
      dined on her sardines in that small room!

      Rosa's sardine idea might not be fine daily for you, but what about once
      a week, on Fridays, say. One can of sardines and some fat-free saltines.
      Lunch for under a dollar. Great source of fish oil, omega-3 and all that. Also,
      these days, about the only fish one can afford is canned. Sigh... Docs
      recommend three servings a week for cardiac health. That might be a
      lunch idea you can live with!

      What ever you do (and peanut butter and jelly, alas, is not a high
      scorer in this field,) try to make changes in your own diet with an
      eye to health and the ecology. If you are careful not to make a big
      deal of it and to serve really good-tasting food, you can even employ
      these principles to some degree with your family, if you are the
      cook! Lots of meat-stretching dishes over noodles or rice will never
      be thought of as penitential. Some really good beans as a side dish
      are great fiber, great protein, possibly fat-free and CHEAP! Red
      beans (or black beans,) over rice are traditionally ethnic and
      wonderful.

      Try to add healthy elements that will go unnoticed, too. A Franciscan
      hermit who made a retreat here turned me onto a great idea: soy
      powder. She used it for milk shakes, which never quite caught on with
      me. The taste was not great (to me, at least,) and I HATE to clean a
      blender every day. On the other hand, there is about 24 grams of protein
      in 1/3 cup of that stuff, about 33% of your daily requirement. Dump a half
      cup into a bread pudding and it will never be noticed. Surely there are
      other things you can find to sneak it into as well!

      I'll just use bread pudding as an example, but you can have a lot of
      fun experimenting with other stuff, too. When I make bread pudding, I
      substitute orange juice for some of the milk. Less fat, more vitamin C,
      and the soy powder more than makes up for the bit of protein lost. Tons
      of fat-free things that don't taste fat- free at all can be made with apple
      sauce. Trust me, I HATE things that taste fat-free, so if I like them, your
      kids will never know.

      Always remember, the best penances are those we do not choose. For
      many of us, that could be as simple as following one's doctor's
      orders on diet carefully. So many things are diet-related and those
      habits are so hard to break. Let you doctor be your abbess in this
      respect and you will not only get healthier in body, but in spirit as
      well!

      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 three police officers shot in Baton Rouge, for the others wounded and for the families of all, as well as for the
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 17, 2016
        +PAX



        Prayers for the eternal rest of the three police officers shot in Baton
        Rouge, for the others wounded and for the families of all, as well as for
        the repentance of the suspects, one of whom is dead. Prayers for all
        involved in this awful tragedy and for the safety of police officers
        everywhere.



        Prayers for Fr. Luke, OSB, of Valyermo, California, ill and in pain, he
        will be having surgery. Prayers for his health and speedy recovery.



        Prayers for Vince, on his birthday, which was yesterday. Graces galore and
        many more, ad multos annos.



        Prayers for Joe, 93, in ICU after a heart attack, but probably going to
        hospice. Ardent prayers that he reconcile with his son and one of his
        daughters, whom he will not see. Prayers for the other daughter, Patty, who
        is trying to take care of him. Prayers that he gets all the Sacraments and
        has a happy death, should God call him.



        Prayers for the eternal rest of John, 46, who took his own life, and for his
        wife and small kids and all their family and all who mourn 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 18, July 18, November 17
        Chapter 39: On the Measure of Food

        We think it sufficient for the daily dinner,
        whether at the sixth or the ninth hour,
        that every table have two cooked dishes
        on account of individual infirmities,
        so that he who for some reason cannot eat of the one
        may make his meal of the other
        Therefore let two cooked dishes suffice for all the brethren;
        and if any fruit or fresh vegetables are available,
        let a third dish be added.


        Let a good pound weight of bread suffice for the day,
        whether there be only one meal or both dinner and supper.
        If they are to have supper,
        the cellarer shall reserve a third of that pound,
        to be given them at supper.


        But if it happens that the work was heavier,
        it shall lie within the Abbot's discretion and power,
        should it be expedient,
        to add something to the fare.
        Above all things, however,
        over-indulgence must be avoided
        and a monk must never be overtaken by indigestion;
        for there is nothing so opposed to the Christian character
        as over-indulgence
        according to Our Lord's words,
        "See to it that your hearts be not burdened
        with over-indulgence" (Luke 21:34).


        Young boys
        shall not receive the same amount of food as their elders,
        but less;
        and frugality shall be observed in all circumstances.


        Except the sick who are very weak,
        let all abstain entirely
        from eating the flesh of four-footed animals.

        REFLECTION

        The Benedictine golden mean is that of the Lord Himself: we avoid
        over-indulgence because it burdens our hearts. This is true of any
        over-indulgence: food, drink, property. Our hearts are truly burdened
        by our excess, weighed down, kept from flight. Our hearts lag and
        fall with the awful results of having ourselves in charge of them!

        For those in the developed countries, this chapter on food can be a
        very good starting point of surrender. The Western nations in general
        and the U.S. in particular are spoiled rotten with food. Our notoriously
        poor
        diet choices are to blame for many health risks and I confess that I am
        just as guilty as anyone, even if I am trying to do a little better. Might
        not food be one of the healthiest and most logical places for ascetic
        striving
        to begin?

        The questions of diet raised here were looked at in purely monastic
        terms, as self-denial and penitential living. No one knew about
        cholesterol or fiber or many of the illnesses associated today with
        eating habits.. Wasn't in their vocabulary.

        Today we know that the
        eating habits encouraged here are worth a lot more than simple
        asceticism, they are healthy. Given that, something a lot more
        binding than the Holy Rule bids us look more closely: the 5th
        commandment, which insists that we not kill ourselves, either, that
        we guard our health.

        Granted, the times of meals stated here do not fit very well into a
        40 hour week of work and school. Not to worry. Our call here is to
        adapt. The content of monastic meals can be a big boon to health.
        Less meat, more beans, less beef, more chicken, buy decent bread and
        eat more of it. Or make your own! (Remember that bread machine that
        hardly got used after Christmas?) These are things one can gradually
        introduce to a family, too, provided one is a good cook. An extra
        meatless day or two a week is hardly noticed if you serve really good
        fare. Try dishes from the peasant cuisines of the world that stretch
        a very little meat a very long way.

        This Benedictine-inspired diet will not only be better for you and
        your family, it will benefit the planet, too. Grain-fed beef makes a
        horrible dent in the ecology and economy of the world, to say nothing
        of throwing effort and harvests into cattle that could feed starving
        human beings.

        Remember that earlier injunction about treating the goods of the
        monastery as sacred vessels of the altar? Well, the greatest goods
        any monastery or family has are its members and the planet that
        supports them. To own that fact is the beginning of a Benedictine
        ecology. Our diets are excellent places to make choices healthy for
        us and all the planet. We need to find the balance- and that is often hard.
        But, with God's help and mercy, we can do all!

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















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