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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 24

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for MaryLynn and Ernie, both mid-eighties, both with multiple health problems. Please pray for Dona who has just been told she has colon
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 2007

      Please pray for MaryLynn and Ernie, both mid-eighties, both with
      multiple health problems.

      Please pray for Dona who has just been told she has colon cancer and
      is awaiting a prognosis.

      Please pray for the RCIA team and participants at Wayde's parish,
      that God will bless them and lead them by his Spirit in all things.

      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.+

      Untill the return of our good Brother Jerome please bless me with
      your prayr requeats at:

      April 24, August 24, December 24
      Chapter 66: On the Porters of the Monastery

      At the gate of the monastery let there be placed a wise old woman,
      who knows how to receive and to give a message, and whose maturity
      will prevent her from straying about.
      This porter should have a room near the gate, so that those who come
      may always find someone at hand to attend to their business. And as
      soon as anyone knocks or a poor person hails her, let her
      answer "Thanks be to God" or "A blessing!" Then let her attend to
      them promptly, with all the meekness inspired by the fear of God and
      with the warmth of charity.

      Should the porter need help, let her have one of the younger sisters.

      If it can be done, the monastery should be so established that all
      the necessary things,
      such as water, mill, garden and various workshops, may be within the
      enclosure, so that there is no necessity for the sisters to go about
      outside of it, since that is not at all profitable for their souls.

      We desire that this Rule be read often in the community, so that
      none of the sisters may excuse herself on the ground of ignorance.


      PARADISUS CLAUSTRALIS! The Cloistered Paradise!*

      * Until the cloisters are inhabited by real angels, as opposed to
      VERY human saints in process, certain restrictions may apply!!!

      My life has gotten me resigned to shopping many times a week,
      sometimes even daily. If the guest house is busy, I lack
      refrigerator space to store a full week's milk and we are always
      running out of other things, too. I only offer this as a preface to
      what I'm about
      to say to many busy Oblates. It has been hard, well-nigh impossible
      for me to do what I am suggesting, but the times I have made it are
      rich and rare!

      This idea of self-sufficiency, of everything one needs within the
      enclosure, is a great boon. Even if you are as haphazard in habits
      as I am, try to carve a day or two or three when you DON'T have to
      go out for anything once you get home, or a day off when there is no
      reason at all to leave your home. If you don't already know it, you
      will soon find that these days are treasures. Doesn't matter if the
      kids are home and noisy as ever, there is a certain solitude and
      security that being self-contained, even for a day, engenders and it
      is wonderful.

      Remember all that talk about stability? Benedictines are, at the
      root, homebodies of sorts. We thrive and blossom in the solitude and
      security of homes, wherever they may be. That's why these days of
      not going out become so precious. They are times of freedom and
      for us and that's exactly what monastic struggle is about: offering
      us the freedom to grow and bloom!

      You cannot gag the kids and tie them up for the day, tempting as
      that may sometimes seem! But you can leave the phone unplugged or
      the answering machine turned down and the radio or TV off now and
      then. One or all three will heighten the sense of secure enclosure
      in the warmth of your own space.

      After all, the Desert Fathers used to say: "Stay in your cell and
      your cell will teach you everything." That won't usually happen at
      first, we have to learn to listen to our homes. Once we do, we will
      find that they will, indeed, teach us subtly and almost non-stop!

      Our various enclosures, even those urban apartments, offer us a
      reprieve from the rush and bustle of the world around us and we
      gradually learn to love that respite dearly. Please, for your own
      sake, for your family's sake, for your spouse's sake, find a way to
      spend a day entirely at home. Then, as you grow into it, find ways
      to increase the number of those days! I am certain you will want to
      do so!

      By the way, if your home ever gets to teaching you so much that it's
      making you crazy, remember that is probably because a nerve has been
      touched. It might be wise to check which one! And one more thing:
      learn to treasure those whose needs interrupt or trash your day of
      cloister. They are gifts, too.

      Christ often comes in very distressing disguises. Rejoice! (I know,
      I know....) Monastics reveal a LOT about themselves by the way they
      handle those who disturb their prayer, silence, or solitude. Much of
      it is often not pretty. Don't go there! Kindness, always kindness
      and mercy. A smile will draw more people to Christ than a scornful

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
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