Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 18
Please pray for Joe, brother-in-law to Jane, in hospital with severe
bowel problems; dramatic weight loss and his body will no longer
absorb nutrition from his digestive tract. Also please pray Kathey,
his wife, and their daughters.
Please pray for Cate's brother Will who continues in critical
condition three weeks after a car crash and is undergoing yet
another critical surgery.
Please pray for the Redemptorists who staff the St. Alphonsus "Rock"
Church in north St. Louis City which was on fire last night, a
traditionally African-American parish parish, the parishioners, the
neighborhood, and for the firefighters involved.
Please pray for the victims of the latest disaster at the mine in
Utah. Please add all the dead and their families, the injured
rescuers, the doctors who treat the injured and all who love these
people to your prayer requests.
Please pray for Andrew, young man of 25, who has lost vision in
right eye, has inflammation on left side of brain--doctors do not
know cause. Also for his family who worry about him.
Deo Gratias! Dunstan's student loans were included in his
bankruptcy of several years ago and now he is free to pursue a
religious vocation! An answer to much prayer.
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
+Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have
taken their own lives.+
Until the return of our good brother Jerome please bless me by with
your prayer requests
April 18, August 18, December 18
Chapter 63: On the Order of the Community
Let all keep their places in the monastery established by the time
of their entrance, the merit of their lives and the decision of the
Abbot. Yet the Abbot must not disturb the flock committed to him,
nor by an arbitrary use of his power ordain anything unjustly; but
let him always think of the account he will have to render to God
for all his decisions and his deeds.
Therefore in that order which he has established or which they
already had, let the brethren approach to receive the kiss of peace
and Communion, intone the Psalms and stand in choir. And in no place
whatever should age decide the order or be prejudicial to it; for
Samuel and Daniel as mere boys judged priests.
Except for those already mentioned, therefore, whom the Abbot has
promoted by a special decision or demoted for definite reasons, all
the rest shall take their order according to the time of their
entrance. Thus, for example, he who came to the monastery at the
second hour of the day, whatever be his age or his dignity, must
know that he is junior to one who came at the first hour of the day.
Boys, however, are to be kept under discipline in all matters and by
I have known one monk of St. Leo who may perhaps have been delighted
to be the most senior monk by age and entrance, but he is long gone
now. The others I have known, who either held the first place or
hovered near it, could not have cared less, might even chuckle about
it if reminded. I like their way better.
Rank is a handy way to organize people in line, but after that, its
usefulness quickly diminishes. Rank that one desires or seeks can be
downright pernicious and fatal to a monastic life. If you look at
this chapter closely, it is not hard to see that St. Benedict wanted
his monastics to pretty much take their place and forget about it-
going any higher or lower had nothing to do with their own decision
anyhow and they should be at peace.
There's the rub: to be at peace! We need peace, we need inner
serenity. It is no accident that it became our motto, PAX. That
peace of soul is fertile earth in which God tills His bountiful
fields of graces. It is the foundation we need to build houses firm.
That inner peace becomes impossible when our primary focus is a
scramble to the top. Archbishop Sheen called ambition "the
ecclesiastical lust" and he was very right. What obsesses us often
comes to enslave and own us outright, a tragic turn of events. Our
thirst ought to be holiness, not power or position.
Ever notice the readily apparent peace in a famous politician who
has decided not to run anymore? Whether you like the man or not, a
great freedom and relief is soon noticeable. It was so in Jimmy
Carter, who, when free to be just Jimmy Carter, went on to do
things. This renunciation is different, far different from quitting.
Mere quitting shows up in a very bad light. What I think we are
seeing is the light of a heart that has learned what NOT to
desire,even if only partially.
By the way, there's no need for any of us reading this to think we
need to take inventory of WHAT we desire and perhaps should not. The
Holy Rule has already done that for us, 1,500 years ago: "Let them
prefer nothing whatever to the love of Christ."
Love and prayers,