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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 10

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX 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.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 10, 2007

      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.

      Please pray for Don's neighbor, Allan, age 68, who took his own life.

      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

      + Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have
      taken their own lives. +

      Apr. 10 - Aug. 10 - Dec. 10
      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).

      A FEW THOUGHTS.....

      There are times when the life of Oblates, or other Lovers of the
      Holy Rule, differs greatly from the life a vowed Monastic. And
      yet....hidden among the differences and similarities is a reality
      that Oblates must learn.

      For one thing humility is a virtue not greatly esteemed in the world
      of commerce (I include every job from ditch digger to brain
      surgeon). In a monastery humility is loved and respected; very often
      held in awe. Both Monastics and Oblates recognize humility when we
      see it but many of us (myself very much included!) have very little
      personal experience with it.

      So....what is this humility? Monastics cultivate its tender blossoms
      while Oblates, living away from home, must many times shy away from
      showing it as though it were a contagious disease. For,
      unfortunately, to hold a job (called a position by those who wear
      suits to work) and to have any hope of success in rising to higher
      levels of pay and responsibility, a soul must be (and convey) an
      aura of confidence and have a "can do" attitude.

      Is that an attitude that can cohabitate with humility? Absolutely
      and without a doubt! For humility is not a pathetic, hand wringing
      falsely deprecating manner (think Uriah Heep here) but is simply
      admitting the truth as God sees it. And God, in His infinite
      goodness and wisdom, has given all of us talents which He expects us
      to use to the absolute BEST of our ability.

      Do you not know that God *EXPECTS* good, God fearing ,moral souls to
      rise to the highest levels of influence! To perhaps even become
      wealthy because of the good things that good souls can accomplish
      with wealth! It has always been a surprise to me how many souls
      question whether the Holy Rule prohibits seeking advancements in
      their work. Humility does not necessitate or require poverty.

      Two lines in this instruction from the Rule may lend themselves to
      that misconception: "...let them practice their crafts with all
      humility....", and, "...but if one of them becomes conceited over
      his skill...". Obviously both phrases are true. But we must
      examine them to discover what that truth tells us.

      We are instructed by St. Benedict, a) To hate our own will; and, b)
      To give God the praise for good and worthwhile things we accomplish.
      Do you not see that a soul can only be unfaithful to the spirit of
      the Holy Rule expressed in those two instructions if we begin to
      think, believe or proclaim (excuse the street phrase) "Hey, it's ALL
      good. Look what I did!Yeah, I'm all that! I am really HOT STUFF!!!"

      I exaggerate of course but I hope you get the point. Do we see, the
      pieces of a pattern begin to emerge here? That pattern sewn together
      make a garment of *Conceit!* No matter how high we may rise (Head
      Ditch Digger or Chief Brain Surgeon) we must see and proclaim the
      truth and give God all the credit. For we are only in possession of
      the talents He gives us for a short time and then they return to Him.

      The Prime Directive of every soul He created and died for is to
      bring Him honor and Glory. It is our labor of love and we are
      intended to rise to the highest levels of that job too!. Then,
      Beloveds, we will be blessed beyond our wildest expectations and
      rewarded to hear, "Well done good and faithful servant...enter into
      the joy of your Master."

      "To love is to labor, to detach and strip oneself for God's sake, of
      all that is not God". SJC

      Love and Prayers.....michael...oblate

      --- End forwarded message ---
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