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