Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 12
Please continue to pray for the repose of the miners who have died
in Indiana and those who are still trapped in Utah. Remember also
the rescue teams and everyone's family and friends.
Sr Mary Joseph requests prayers for a young man who is having
serious financial difficulties.
Please pray for Karen Gregersen. She has thyroid cancer which is no
longer curable, and recently fell, fracturing a kneecap and
shoulder. She has been in much pain.
Don requests prayers for his neighbor, Allan, age 68, who took his
own life. Don was the one who noticed that the papers and mail
were piling up, and he called the police. They thought the death
had occurred about a week before.
+ Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have
taken their own lives. +
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
Until our good Brother Jerome returns please bless me with your
prayer requests at:
Apr. 12 - Aug. 12 - Dec. 12
When she is to be received she promises before all in the oratory
stability, fidelity to monastic life and obedience. This promise
she shall make before God and His Saints, so that if she should ever
act otherwise, she may know that she will be condemned by Him whom
she mocks. Of this promise of hers let her draw up a document in the
name of the Saints whose relics are there and of the Abbess who is
present. Let her write this document with her own hand; or if she
is illiterate, let another write it at her request, and let the
novice put her mark to it. Then let her place it with her own hand
upon the altar; and when she has placed it there, let the novice
at once intone this verse: "Receive me, O Lord, according to Your
word, and I shall live: and let me not be confounded in my hope"
(Ps. 118:116). Let the whole community answer this verse three
times and add the "Glory be to the Father." Then let the novice
prostrate herself at each one's feet, that they may pray for her.
And from that day forward let her be counted as one of the
community. If she has any property, let her either give it
beforehand to the poor or by solemn donation bestow it on the
monastery, reserving nothing at all for herself, as indeed she
knows that from that day forward she will no longer have power even
over her own body. At once, therefore, in the oratory, let her be
divested of her own clothes which she is wearing and dressed in the
clothes of the monastery. But let the clothes of which she was
divested be put aside in the wardrobe and kept there. Then if she
should ever listen to the persuasions of the devil and decide to
leave the monastery (which God forbid), she may be divested of the
monastic clothes and cast out. Her document, however, which the
Abbess has taken from the altar, shall not be returned to her, but
shall be kept in the monastery.
The Church approves religious rules. This is the basis for asserting
that our Holy Rule is inspired by the Holy Spirit, because the
Church gave its seal of approval. The Church, however, is
indubitably older and often wiser (is SOME respects, but by no means
ALL!) than monastic life. It predates every form of optional
religious commitment. It is the blessing of the Church which makes
official monastic life possible for any and all of us.
This is just a prelude to saying that the wisdom of the Church long
ago stopped people from making solemn vows, a life-long commitment
difficult to break, right out of novitiate. Not only does this
longer program protect people, to a certain extent, from making a
it also spares the monastery from having a lot of undesirables with
chapter votes running the show. There are many, many I have known
who left in simple vows that I remain eternally grateful for the
fact that they were never chapter members!! What a zoo that would
A year may well have been enough in St. Benedict's time. People had
vastly shorter life spans, it was a bigger chunk of their lives.
They also had to grow up more quickly and their options were fewer
by far than those of our own day.
Oblates, therefore, can garner a few kernels of truth in this
chapter about commitment, that bugbear of the baby boomer generation
and beyond. Modern people find it terribly hard to commit, some
never manage it at all. As such, a bit of wisdom older than our own
be very useful in our everyday lives.
Whether it's a marriage or engagement or a job or a volunteer
chairperson position, don't jump at things. Read the Rule, so to
speak, three times at least! Look, look, look as mindfully as you
can at the truth and reality of the situation.
I have a friend who has suffered terribly in relationships which he
ALWAYS insists are just wonderful and worth the effort, any effort,
no matter who can see otherwise. He clings to this denial until they
dump him and I DO mean clings. His head is eternally (I have never
known another this bad,) in the sand, invincibly trapped in ignorant
denial. Kindly recall what part of one's anatomy is bared to the
world at large when one's head is in the sand... Small wonder that
his friends and I can tell otherwise.
Benedictines are not people afraid of commitment, but we live in a
world where many are. Our witness here must be care and balance. We
must resolutely walk BETWEEN the extremes of foolhardy haste and
crippling fear. In the world of today, that is no small witness and
no easy task. Pull this one off, and you have a done a service to
many, not just to yourself!
Love and prayers,