Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 25
Please pray for Christine, 20 weeks pregnant. She had bleeding and
went to the hospital. She is on bedrest until Monday when they will
do an ultrasound to see if the placenta is in tact. Thank God the
heart beat is ok.
Please pray for Marian, who is dying of duodenal cancer. She cannot
hold down any food even though she is being feed through a tube. Her
family has been advised to have the tube removed. Please keep Marian
and her family, and all that love her in your prayers.
+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
Until the return of our good Brother Jerome please bless me with
your prayer requests at:
April 25, August 25, December 25
Chapter 67: On Brethren Who Are Sent on a Journey
Let the brethren who are sent on a journey commend themselves to
the prayers of all the brethren and of the Abbot; and always at the
last prayer of the Work of God let a commemoration be made of all
When brethren return from a journey, at the end of each canonical
Hour of the Work of God
on the day they return, let them lie prostrate on the floor of the
oratory and beg the prayers of all on account of any faults that
may have surprised them on the road, through the seeing or hearing
of something evil, or through idle talk. And let no one presume to
tell another whatever he may have seen or heard outside of the
monastery, because this causes very great harm. But if anyone
presumes to do so, let him undergo the punishment of the Rule. And
let him be punished likewise who would presume to leave the
enclosure of the monastery and go anywhere or do anything, however
small, without an order from the Abbot.
Rare is the person who can manage to stay employed without at least
a slightly different persona at work. We are one thing there,
because we have to be, but when we clock out, much, if not all of
the work persona is shed. In fact, we usually have a whole
different selves, being one thing with our grandmother and quite
another with a childhood friend we have known all our lives, one
thing with the promising new date and quite another with the spouse
of many years!
Secular society has enlarged upon this tendency to its own ends.
Because the tendency is so deeply rooted in us, we may fail to see
its dangers when carried to extremes. Thanks to a society often
glaringly unassisted by revelation, we have the unhappy concept of
different umbrellas, different sets of ethics to cover different
areas of life. "Hey, religion is fine if you want it, but this is
BUSINESS!" or "I may be a Christian, but this is public service. I
was elected by a constituency that expected me to leave some of
that Gospel stuff at the door." Well, folks, such notions do not
always wash well. In fact, they really don't wash at all.
The message of the Holy Rule and of the Gospel is that there is one
umbrella, period. There is one persona, period. Granted, in the
latter, shades and gradations may last throughout most of our
struggling lives, but the goal is clear. All monastic, all
Christian, all the time. One heart, one umbrella, one Lord, one
faith, one baptism.
That work persona that we drop when we clock out, the totally free
and other person we are on days off or on trips away can be an OK
notion in relation to work. Wouldn't we find someone who was a
salesperson or teacher or secretary or manager ALL the time to be a
dreadful drip? The concept fails, however, when it is applied to
vocations, to any vocation at all. One does not take a vacation
from being married or a parent or ordained or a monastic.
Do I hear loud screams in cyber-space as I mention BALANCE again?
Sorry, but it is true. There is a balanced way to be under one
umbrella all the time that we must strive to achieve. Yes, I am
different with different friends, we all are, we have to be, charity
demands that. But there is a commonality between all the threads of
our behavior. We are monastics. We are freer within defined limits.
It is to the balance of those defined limits that this chapter
At Petersham, we still follow this custom of prayer for one who
will be away overnight. The prayers are said in the refectory,
after grace. One is blessed leaving and returning, while kneeling
in the center of the ref. It's just a way of saying, as a
community, that we all know that maintaining that one umbrella can
be tough, especially when one is away alone. We want to support
each other with our prayers, we want our brother to know that our
hearts are with him all the way.
Love and prayers,