Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 9
Prayers please for Christine and her husband Brian. She is 6 months
pregnant with their third child and found out yesterday that the
baby has a severe heart defect (hypoplastic left heart). Several
surgeries will be needed after the baby is born and their insurance
is not likely to cover all the expenses.
Thanks to all who prayed for the Happy Death of my father, Stefan.
He has gone to God early this morning, with all his family around
The funeral for the baby who died Monday is today. Please keep this
family in your prayers and please pray that our friend will find
comfort and love from our presence there.
Please pray fo Barbara Mary who has a rather large, currently
inoperable malignant tumor. The hope is that radiation and chemo
will shrink the tumor so that it can be removed.
Launetta Hostkoetter (Father Paul's mother, age 96, for whom we have
prayed) is now back in her apartment, on Hospice, waiting for Our
Lord to call her home. Please pray for happy death and repose. Also
please pray for the repose of Father Paul's father who died approx
18 months ago.
Please pray for all those whose prayer requests are not able to be
posted for whatever reason. God is outside of time and our prayers
are never, ever late. Lord, help us 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
+Please pray that Divine Mercy wIll shine upon all those who have
taken their own lives.+
Until our good Brother Jerome's return please bless me with your
prayer requests at: michael_oblate@ yahoo.com
April 10, August 10, December 10
Chapter 57: On the Artisans of the Monastery
If there are artisans in the monastery, let them practice their
crafts with all humility, provided the Abbot has given permission.
But if any one of them becomes conceited over his skill in his
craft, because he seems to be conferring a benefit on the monastery,
let him be taken from his craft and no longer exercise it unless,
after he has humbled himself, the Abbot again gives him permission.
If any of the work of the craftsmen is to be sold, those responsible
for the sale must not dare to practice any fraud. Let them always
remember Ananias and Saphira, who incurred bodily
death (Acts 5:1-11), lest they and all who perpetrate fraud in
monastery affairs suffer spiritual death. And in the prices let not
the sin of avarice creep in, but let the goods always be sold a
little cheaper than they can be sold by people in the world, "that
in all things God may be glorified" (1 Peter 4:11).
Monasteries, even up until the late 20th century, were marvelous
examples of self-sufficiency, provided they were in areas where
farms could be had, and most of them were. St. Leo is the only place
in the world I where I have ever tasted raw milk.
When I was a boy, they had their own dairy farm, citrus packing
plant, beef cattle ranch, hay operation, carpentry shop, garage,
upholstery shop, printing press, and probably even more that I've
forgotten. They milled their own cedar to roof the Abbey Church.
There was a paint shop and artists' studios for painting, ceramics
and stained glass, with a stab at sculpture, too. Well before my
time, the old German brothers made the monks' shoes, too.
Granted, the people who know how to do these things are largely
dying off, and they were usually lay brothers, a now defunct
category, but how I would love to see some of that return in my
lifetime. One felt different in such a place, safer somehow. There
was no need to go
out or buy, we had own our and it was even better. We were enslaved
to less things outside of our lives.
Now, even monasteries, with fewer members than in those days, cannot
do many of these things anymore, much less many Oblates in the
world. I would, however, stress that there is a very, very deep
connectedness to homegrown and handmade things. It verges on the
liturgical, and surely enhances same. It is, in a very lower case
sense, truly sacramental.
These things are NOT good because they are cheaper, though they
often are, but because they connect and involve us in our own
survival and life. They enrich us, this is "soul food" in the most
Do whatever you can to break even the tiniest area of dependency and
see how good it feels. One herb in one pot on a sunny window or fire
escape might be enough to start a healthy addiction. Can't grow
things? (Start with chives or oregano. Both are perennial, both will
die of nothing but thirst. Fresh chives are so good and so different
in taste that you
will never used freeze-dried again. Never.)
Try any useful craft. The first time I made my own habit I felt like
a million dollars, even if I didn't look QUITE that good... Check
out the first used bread machine you can find (they are pricey,
alas...) set the timer and you can have bread ready when you get
home from work in
minutes of prep time. (If you don't have even a few minutes, freeze
batches of measured dry ingredients when you DO have a minute. Then
just add liquids and yeast in the morning. Less time than making
coffee.) You will never walk down the bread aisle (read "airy sponge
aisle",) in a store the same way again!
Crock pots are always available very cheap at used stores and tag
sales. Get one. While you work, as any single person who's used one
can tell you, dinner will be ready. It will smell and taste a LOT
better than microwaved frozen food, too. If the pot has a removable
crock, you can even prepare the raw ingredients the night before and
Anything, anything you can do or learn to do to set yourself the
least bit free, to connect yourself more, will be on the side of the
angels! Why on earth do you think that modern English uses the
word "crafty" to refer to someone very, very cleverly smart?
Love and prayers,