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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 21

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX It had been determined that Michael, the 25 year old with loss of vision in one eye and brain swelling on one side for whom we have prayed has been
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 20, 2007
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      It had been determined that Michael, the 25 year old with loss of
      vision in one eye and brain swelling on one side for whom we have
      prayed has been discharged from the hospital. Prognosis is
      uncertain. Please continue praying for him and for his family,
      especially Bernadette, his sister.

      Prayers also for Earl, for whom we prayed recently, as he is
      expected to die very shortly. Also pray for a safe trip for his
      brother Don and his daughter who are driving halfway across the U.S.
      to be with him. Earl has metastatic cancer.

      Please pray for Samantha, her husband and children that they get the
      couselling they need so the emotional and physical abuse stops and
      they can start healing as a family.

      Prayers please for Al, whose immigration problems we have prayed for
      in the past, who has yet another job offer that might allow him to
      stay in the US.

      Prayers please for a young man who is suddenly facing a very
      difficult situation at his workplace. Accusations being made against
      him by another employee which are blatantly false, but causing
      division in the company and all sorts of stress, of course, for the
      young man, and a number of other people involved. Pray that the
      truth comes out quickly before too much damage is done. We need a

      Please pray for the flood victims in the Southern and Western United

      +Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have
      taken their own lives.+
      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 all 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 with
      your prayer requests at:

      April 21, August 21, December 21
      Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

      Once she has been constituted, let the Abbess always bear in mind
      what a burden she has undertaken and to whom she will have to give
      an account of her stewardship, and let her know that her duty is
      rather to profit her sisters than to preside over them. She must
      therefore be learned in the divine law, that she may have a treasure
      of knowledge from which to bring forth new things and old. She must
      be chaste, sober and merciful. Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
      that she herself may obtain mercy. She should hate vices;
      she should love the sisterhood.

      In administering correction she should act prudently and not go to
      excess, lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust she break
      the vessel. Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes and
      remember that the bruised reed must not be broken. By this we do not
      mean that she should allow vices to grow; on the contrary, as we
      have already said,
      she should eradicate them prudently and with charity, in the way
      which may seem best in each case. Let her study rather to be loved
      than to be feared.

      Let her not be excitable and worried, nor exacting and headstrong,
      nor jealous and over-suspicious; for then she is never at rest.

      In her commands let her be prudent and considerate; and whether the
      work which she enjoins concerns God or the world, let her be
      discreet and moderate, bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob,
      who said, "If I cause my flocks to be overdriven, they will all die
      in one day." Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
      the mother of virtues,
      let her so temper all things that the strong may have something to
      strive after, and the weak may not fall back in dismay.

      And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details, so that
      after a good ministry she may hear from the Lord what the good
      servant heard who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due
      season: "Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his
      goods" (Matt. 24:27).


      <Very tongue in cheek tone here!>
      "Man, these chapters are a joy to read! Not a better way to call to
      mind every slightest flaw in one's superior. They just do not
      measure up to St. Benedict's ideal. No doubt, if we had people in
      authority who did all this, we should all be better.... " Ya-da, ya-
      da, ya-da...
      Maybe yes, maybe no.

      OK, now here's the real news, and I am afraid it is neither pretty
      nor consoling: re-read the chapter and substitute "monastic" for
      every time the word "abbess" occurs. Less than thrilling, right?

      Make it worse, substitute any noun that refers to yourself or your
      vocation. Try parent or teacher or nurse or supervisor. Whoops! The
      whole process becomes stunningly less pleasant, doesn't it?

      This one, like so many chapters on officials, is for all of us, not
      just the Abbot. Nobody will ever measure up to this loftiness
      without grace. While we are waiting for that grace to work, it may
      be useful to remember how different people are. There will always be
      areas in
      which you excel that another doesn't, there will always be those who
      do better, those who do worse. What's the common thread? No one is
      perfect, no one can even come close without God's love and
      unfathomable Mercy.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome Leo, OSB
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