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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 9

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8, 2007
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      +PAX

      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
      him praying.

      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).

      REFLECTION

      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
      literal sense!!

      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
      refrigerate them.

      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?
      Language is
      no accident.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
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