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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 13

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please continue to pray the miners who are still trapped in Utah. Remember also the rescue teams and the family and friends of all involved. Please pray
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 12, 2007
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      Please continue to pray the miners who are still trapped in Utah.
      Remember also
      the rescue teams and the family and friends of all involved.

      Please pray for the happy death and eternal rest of Merv Griffin.

      Please pray for all those whose prayer requests were 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.+

      Untill the return of our good Brother Jerome please bless me with
      your prayer requests at:

      Chapter 59: On the Sons of Nobles and of the Poor Who Are Offered
      April 13, August 13, December 13

      If anyone of the nobility offers his son to God in the monastery and
      the boy is very young,
      let his parents draw up the document which we mentioned above; and
      at the oblation
      let them wrap the document itself and the boy's hand in the altar
      cloth. That is how they offer him.

      As regards their property, they shall promise in the same petition
      under oath that they will never of themselves, or through an
      intermediary, or in any way whatever, give him anything
      or provide him with the opportunity of owning anything. Or else, if
      they are unwilling to do this, and if they want to offer something
      as an alms to the monastery for their advantage,
      let them make a donation of the property they wish to give to the
      monastery, reserving the income to themselves if they wish. And in
      this way let everything be barred, so that the boy may have no
      expectations whereby (which God forbid) he might be deceived and
      as we have learned by experience.

      Let those who are less well-to-do make a similar offering. But those
      who have nothing at all
      shall simply draw up the document and offer their son before
      witnesses at the oblation.


      It is so like St. Benedict to have a sliding scale, and he lets us
      know in the very title of this chapter that both nobles and the poor
      may offer their children or in our own days, themselves to the
      monastery as Oblates. Yes, the gift of a feudal lord was bound to be
      more complicated, so he spends most of his time clearing up matters
      there, but he returns to his sliding scale theme at the end, with
      special provisions for the not-so rich and the totally not rich at

      Oblation is a two way street. I spend a lot of time stressing what
      the Oblates receive or ought to receive from their monastery
      because, in years past, that seems to have been the most neglected
      area. Some places had a somewhat condescending view of the Oblates
      as pious but none too bright people who would come once or twice a
      year, be contented, nay, thrilled, with very little in the way of
      depth formation and would leave money as they went home. That view
      is dying a very well-deserved death these days. Deo gratias!!

      Money given properly with the right intention can be a very
      connecting thing. When I had a salary, I tithed to some nuns in
      Peru. I'll likely never go to Peru, but I still feel connected to
      them and pray for them every single day. Money is OK when no other
      means of physically present participation is possible. Not shabby!
      But everyone, as St. Benedict knew so well, does not have money.
      What then?

      Notice what I did above? I connected, as I did in real life, the
      monetary gifts to prayer. Can't be absolutely certain that the
      Sechura Tyburn nuns went into my morning offering the very first day
      I sent the first gift, but it was close. The checks stopped coming
      years ago, but the prayers go on and on and will continue as long as
      I live.

      If you are one who can give money, always, always be very careful to
      make sure it is not the only thing you give. Money, for all its
      pragmatic usefulness, is not the monastery's greatest
      treasure. Prayers, penance and good works are. It is to the latter
      bank that everyone must make hefty deposits!

      Every Christian in the world, not just Oblates, has a vast treasury
      of prayer, of fasting, of works of charity and mercy that they not
      only can, but must share with others. That's the principal gift that
      anyone can give, because, unlike money, it truly is eternal. Love,
      and grace are all, literally all, that we get to take with us into
      heaven. as true of a monastery or a family as it is of any
      individual. When all of us are facing God and eternity, the
      pragmatic side of financial benefactions will be worth nothing, only
      the heart which gave and the heart which received will last and be

      Monasteries and families have to be emphatically equal in their
      gratitude. If one grandson made it through medical school with
      honors and can now buy Grandma a new color TV, fine, wonderful! But
      his cousin who is still in drug rehab for the third try in as many
      years has to feel just as loved. In fact, the troubled one probably
      needs to feel more loved, since his cousin's success may well add to
      his defeatist self-loathing.

      Hey, a new TV for Granny or a new library for the college. It's not
      that different at all. Families and monasteries need to show others
      and the world what we value most. Sure, it's a wonderful thing to
      give or receive huge benefactions, but the greatest treasures for
      any of us, monastic, spouse, parent or child, are spiritual, non-
      rotting, non-rusting, but NOT non-stick. No Teflon there! Those
      gifts are going with us to God, whether we gave or received them!

      Granny might love her new TV, and since it has those handy built in
      captions, she can even understand what's really going on in her
      favorite soap operas again. However, if Granny has her wits about
      her at all, she will likely know and see that the best gifts she
      ever received are the suffering prayers of her struggling drug
      addict, as well as the tearful prayers she has shed for him!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
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