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