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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 23

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for Ron, severe motorcycle accident which totalled the bike (and almost his body); trauma to left knee and left shoulder, 10 stitches in his
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 22, 2007
      +PAX

      Please pray for Ron, severe motorcycle accident which totalled the
      bike (and almost his body); trauma to left knee and left shoulder,
      10 stitches in his forehead.

      Prayers please for Birt is in his late 40s. He was hospitalized for
      a second time in 2 months and had a stroke 2 days ago while in the
      hospital; his left side was affected and his speech; blood pressure
      still not under control.

      DEO GRATIAS! Heather and her friend Peter are safely exploring Mayan
      ruins in Guatemala again. No trouble from Dean (the storm).

      Please pray for Kim Picconi 37. Doctors say her cancer is
      progressing too rapidly throughout her body. They will continue to
      complete Chemo though it is not a very good prognosis. She is
      married and has 3 children 4, 7 and 10. Also please pray for Allan's
      wife who is taking this extremly hard as Kim is a very good friend
      and her mother passed away just over a month ago from cancer.

      Please continue prayers for Lonni Collins Pratt as she recovers from
      a medical procedure.

      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:
      michael_oblate@...


      April 23, August 23, December 23
      Chapter 65: On the Prior of the Monastery

      To us, therefore, it seems expedient for the preservation of peace
      and charity that the Abbot have in his hands the full administration
      of his monastery. And if possible let all the affairs of the
      monastery, as we have already arranged, be administered by deans
      according to the Abbot's directions. Thus, with the duties being
      shared by several, no one person will become proud.


      But if the circumstances of the place require it, or if the
      community asks for it with reason and with humility, and the Abbot
      judges it to be expedient, let the Abbot himself constitute as his
      Prior whomsoever he shall choose with the counsel of God-fearing
      brethren.


      That Prior, however, shall perform respectfully the duties enjoined
      on him by his Abbot
      and do nothing against the Abbot's will or direction; for the more
      he is raised above the rest,
      the more carefully should be observe the precepts of the Rule.


      If it should be found that the Prior has serious faults, or that he
      is deceived by his exaltation and yields to pride, or if he should
      be proved to be a despiser of the Holy Rule, let him be admonished
      verbally up to four times. If he fails to amend, let the correction
      of regular discipline be applied to him. But if even then he does
      not reform, let him be deposed from the office of Prior and another
      be appointed in his place who is worthy of it. And if afterwards he
      is not quiet and obedient in the community, let him even be expelled
      from the monastery.
      But the Abbot, for his part, should bear in mind that he will have
      to render an account to God
      for all his judgments, lest the flame of envy or jealousy be kindled
      in his soul.


      REFLECTION

      St. Benedict gives a loftiness of respect to the Abbess that is
      almost scary at times. Because of that loftiness, it is refreshing
      to see how firmly he has his feet planted in reality checks, too.
      The Abbot is human, so are those he appoints. They are called to
      things
      higher, but they can fail them woefully and St. Benedict provides
      for those occasions.

      But the big reality check here is his caution that the Abbess must
      be careful to avoid jealousy. Wow! Right on the mark, but not the
      first idea that would have popped into someone's head unless they
      had lived in community.

      Jealousy, like any vice, isn't good for much, but let's mine the few
      treasures of information it or any vice offers. Our jealousies tell
      us a lot about ourselves, a lot about how far we have to go, a lot
      about how terribly short we fall of having made it! Skip the Abbess
      and Prioress for a minute here and do some self-inventory. Of whom
      or of what are you jealous?

      Check out the valuable leads of your own envy. What's going on here?
      Is she better looking, thinner, richer? Does he have a better
      education? Is the car in the next drive or the house on the next
      block or the apartment on the floor above so much nicer that you
      pine for it? All of these, wherever you find them, are clues. Follow
      them carefully to their source. You may be surprised at what you
      learn about yourself by doing so.

      Be a bit relentless here. WHY are you jealous of a given thing or
      person? Really! Do the better looks mean they have more of a chance
      than you have (or had,) in the marriage market? OK, valid, perhaps,
      but why is the marriage market an issue? The things we desire or
      envy are not always as valid as we think they are. Your own average
      looks or lower economic status may have spared you from a LOT of
      superficiality in dating or friendship. Ever think of that? Keep
      digging on every count and you will find some startling self-truths.

      Try (and I know this is hard from personal experience,) examining
      the things you think are woeful deprivations as tender mercies. They
      often are, perhaps even usually so! Our wishes are not necessarily
      infallible heralds of the good or the best.

      God often has to protect us from ourselves. When we force ourselves
      to finally see that, we can get down to the more important business
      of thanking Him for His infinite and unfathomable Divine Mercy! All
      truly is mercy and grace. It must be, somehow. The clincher is to
      learn to see that!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
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