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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 26

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 25, 2007

      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,
      who has
      sunk into a depression so severe that she has gained a dangerous
      amount of
      weight and stays in bed all day watching TV. Also, please pray for
      her family.

      +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
      God's grace.

      "...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,
      Jerome, OSB

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