Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 13
Please continue to pray the miners who are still trapped in Utah.
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.
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
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,