Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 26
Please pray for Ruth's son Anthony who will have surgery for
possible thyroid cancer on Tuesday. His dad had cancer of the
thyroid three years ago and a niece two years ago. He has three
young children so prayers are appreciated.
Please pray for all the victims of the continuing floods; both for
the deceased and the suffering.
Please pray for the happy death and repose of the soul of David
Gilbert who died this morning after a two year battle with stomach
cancer. His wife and two teenage daughters will also need our
For Robert, who committed suicide, for his 19 year old son, Clark,
who found him, and for all their family.
Please pray for a special intention.
Please pray for the happy death and eternal rest for Keith's friend
Harry who has died.
Deo Gratias! Marian kept down her food for the first time last
night. Please pray that this will continue. The doctor is altering
the amount and type of food she is receiving. This family has been
through a lot in a short time. Marina's great, great-grandson died
of SIDS just two weeks ago.
Please pray for Cate's beloved brother Will who died Tuesday
Deo gratias for D., a favorable court decision.
Bob, Oblate Novice, would appreciate prayers for his brother Chris.
Barbara who is undergoing a serious back operation Monday, Jeanine
who is undergoing test for back problems, Bernice who is having
problems with her throat and a student who is trying to make a life
changing decision. Also a priest friend.
For B------, a woman in her seventies, wealthy, highly intelligent,
sunk into a depression so severe that she has gained a dangerous
weight and stays in bed all day watching TV. Also, please pray for
+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 26, August 26, December 26
Chapter 68: If a Sister Is Commanded to Do Impossible Things
If it happens that difficult or impossible tasks are laid on a
sister, let her nevertheless receive the order of the one in
authority with all meekness and obedience. But if she sees that the
weight of the burden altogether exceeds the limit of her strength,
let her submit the reasons for her inability to the one who is over
her in a quiet way and at an opportune time,
without pride, resistance, or contradiction. And if after these
representations the Superior still persists in her decision and
command, let the subject know that this is for her good,
and let her obey out of love, trusting in the help of God.
This chapter, I think, holds even more for Oblates in the world
than it does for monastics. There aren't many superiors around
today who insist on the impossible as a personal hobby, nor are
the "impossible" tasks asked of one in the monastery likely to
compare very favorably with some of the things people in the world
are asked to do. Those things often come from God directly or
indirectly, by His will or His permission, so argument isn't going
to be extremely helpful. All that one can do is apply the last
three phrases of this
chapter to the situation, often with trembling and with gritted
"...let the subject know that this is for her good, and let her
obey out of love, trusting in the help of God." That is a
dauntingly tall order! The people who keep this Rule in their
hearts are, let us be frank, practicing heroic virtue. How touching
it is to sometimes see their humility. Far from complaining, they
apologize that they questioned, struggled, or plodded through
without much feeling!! Hello??!? That's nothing short of fabulous
and would be humanly impossible without very great cooperation with
"...KNOW that this is for her good," not believe or trust, but
know. WOW! That takes a tremendous act of faith. Often hindsight
can help here. One can look back at other presumed tragedies and
see the hand of God's love clearly in retrospect. This, however, is
often not easily possible when the first tragedy hits, nor is it
easy when the latest cross is so utterly overwhelming that one can
be tempted to think that this time is a BIG exception.
God is not an archer, capriciously shooting arrows of meanness into
a world of chaos. Ain't true, couldn't be. Some of what we dread
may be willed by God, a lot of it is merely permitted by Him. Has
to be. Face it, in a world tainted by original sin, letting things
as they will while protecting free will zealously is not an easy
task! There's a lot of hands off areas here.
However, many of the saints taught that even the wicked further
God's will, whether they know it or want to or not. (St. Faustina
comes to mind, for a recent example.) In other words, even with
wicked agendas of their own, they unwittingly participate in God's
master plan. Now there's a tough one to wrap your finite mind
around, but I think it's true. Check out Judas, for one.
God is the ONLY force that can change evil to good, to triumph. He
is the only One Who can not only make evil's consequences tolerable
for those who love Him, but even make them profitable victories!
All things really do work together for the good if one loves God. We
need to own and know with all our hearts and might that this
one "hands on" area is always and everywhere true. Always.
"...let her obey out of love." Whoa!! We will spend most of our
lives working on that one, but, as Benedictines who must always
strive to do better, we cannot put off working on it till later. We
need, however blindly, to seek the way of loving obedience. When we
find it at first, God, Who knows better than we how hard it is,
receives our trust and intention as great, great things of merit.
God loves us on the way, all the way. Never forget that. The love
of a mother for a 3 year old child's accomplishment is the same as
it is for that same child who may later graduate summa cum laude
from Oxford. Same mother, same kid, different times. God's love
fails. His delight is tailored to our limitations, just as a
mother's heart sees a three year old scrawl for what it is truly
"...trusting in the help of God." Trust can be unspeakably hard,
and is made the more so by the many times humans and history have
betrayed our trust. We become fearful and wary after many human
hurts. Unfortunately, this impedes our ability to trust even God,
Who is incapable of betraying us. Yes, Jesus has His human nature,
but He is sinless, utterly and
completely. He will never, ever abandon us.
St. Faustina said that even if the ground beneath her feet were to
drop away, she would still trust Him. That's a way off for most of
us, but a worthy goal which we should long to achieve. Trust like
that is the herald of great sanctity. And great sanctity is our
Love and prayers,