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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 9 ---- Really!

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Okay this is the real, actual, in person Reflection you should have gotten yesterday. Thanks to Tom Lynch letting me know I posted the wrong reading your
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 9, 2007
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      +PAX

      Okay this is the real, actual, in person Reflection you should have
      gotten yesterday. Thanks to Tom Lynch letting me know I posted the
      wrong reading your getting it a day late. The reading I posted
      yesterday with the Aug 9th subject line had the reading for the
      10th. This Reflection will have the reading for the 9th.....and the
      flagon with the dragon has the pellet with the poison; the chalice
      with the palace is the brew that is true! If you think you are
      confused you be in my head right now! Sorry....sigh...what else can
      I say.

      HUGE! Deo! Gratias! and!!Sancto Antonio! gratias!I am so happy for
      MaryLou (I hope I got that right?)who just found her lost wedding
      ring yesterday.

      Please pray for Kathy's mother,Jane, who was called to her eternal
      reward five years ago, August 10,2002.

      Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon Randy, who took his
      own life. He was in his 50's, a father and husband, and his death
      was a real shock to many.

      Prayers please for Francine, a woman who is suffering from emotional
      and spiritual problems, who has returned home after leaving
      unexpectedly, causing a great deal of concern to her family, friends
      and community.

      Prayers please for Teresa, much anxiety about yet another breast
      biopsy.

      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 returns please bless me with your
      prayer requests at:
      michael_oblate@...


      April 9, August 9, December 9
      Chapter 56: On the Abbess's Table

      Let the Abbess's table always be with the guests and the pilgrims.
      But when there are no guests, let it be in her power to invite whom
      she will of the sisters. Yet one or two seniors must always be left
      with the others for the sake of discipline.


      REFLECTION

      Let me give you a bit of pragmatic application here. I don't know if
      this is true everywhere, but in both houses I have actually lived
      in, the monks tended to eat rather fast. Secularly speaking, I have
      a reputation for being a fast eater when dining alone, even though I
      have sometimes wondered about how good that is for digestion! Here,
      however, with no conversation to slow me down at all, the monks eat
      like the wind and I am always the last
      one, even when gulping down as fast as I can. This has resulted in
      my learning to take
      less and finish whatever I really need at the guesthouse! Sigh...

      Anyway, the upshot here is that guests OFTEN dine more slowly than
      the monastics and we all get up together for grace. If the guests
      are where the Abbot can see them, it is easier to check on who's
      done and who isn't. We wait for them to finish. (At least 99% of the
      time. I have known especially slow guests to win at this face-off
      once or twice! We just said grace
      and left them to finish...)

      Monastics (like children or spouses!) can be dreadful creatures of
      habit, you should pardon the pun... I can tell you that sometimes
      that waiting seems interminable. I can also tell you that it is good
      for us, for all of us, and this applies equally to families. We
      ALLOW, even
      enable and encourage the guest to inconvenience us to a certain
      extent. That's part
      of our hospitality, part of receiving Christ, often in a
      considerably distressing disguise.

      Oblates in families or the world, trust me on this one, I know
      company can sometimes be a pain. I have had company most of the time
      for the last nine years. While I relish the occasional day when the
      house is empty, they are fewer and farther between each
      year. The message here is not only for guests in our homes, but for
      others in general, at work, when shopping or (horrors!) driving. LET
      others put you out a bit. Adopt a courtesy that is greater than the
      world's.

      I used to work the desk in a public library. From that and from my
      hospital and teaching years, I can tell you that a courteous,
      hospitable, Christian attitude of charity can stand out, really
      touch people. You don't have to be obnoxiously preachy, in fact,
      that has the
      opposite effect! The subtle grace and love of courtesy will lead a
      lot of people to wonder about you and what motivates you. Some of
      the braver ones will one day even ask. And there is your chance! Go
      slowly and gently, but tell them why.

      (Here is a completely trivial library desk story as an addendum.
      Feel entirely free to quit now and delete if you want! A man came up
      to me with a polite and rather involved tale of why his books were
      late. There I sat, civil servant plenipotentiary, armed with the
      Town Manager's Power of the Keys, fines I could remit and bonds
      absolve and loose, so to speak. LOL! His plea touched, and sensing
      someone I could play a bit with, I looked at him dryly and said: "Go
      and learn the true meaning of the words 'it is mercy I desire and
      not sacrifice.' " Without so much as a beat he said: "OK, what
      monastery were YOU in? I used to be a Trappist!")

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
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