Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 27
Please pray for baby Faith Young who has spent the first 6 months of
her life in the hospital battling meningitis. Now it's attacking her
retina. Prayers also for her mother Beth, father Will, and big
Please pray for Jasmine and her husband Eric. They have been trying
for quit some time to conceive and have been unable.
Please pray for Loris Gregerson - having heart surgery on Monday;
for his daughter, Desirae who is pregnant and unable to go and see
her dad in the hospital because of the unknown infection that he has.
Please pray for Debbie - diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis; that
her condition will not deteriorate anymore than it already is.
Please pray for Corey, severely injured in Iraq and still recovering
from a traumatic brain injury.
Prayers please for Jen, who, if she doesn't give birth by Tuesday,
will be induced into labor; the baby is already ten pounds. Prayers
for mother, baby, father, and all those hoping all will go well.
Please pray for a special intention.
Prayers please for Kenneth, who is in hospital. He's been having
vision problems, and then became disoriented.Tests found a 7.5 cm
brain tumor. Also, prayers please for his son and daughter, Jane
Please pay for the repose of the soul of a young mother (just 31) in
the parish of Sister Mary Joseph. She left a husband and 3 small
children, one of them, a newborn. The family is devastated. Please
pray fo them all.
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.+
Until the return of our good Brother Jerome please bless me with
your prayer requests at:
April 27, August 27, December 27
Chapter 69: That the Monks Presume Not to Defend One Another
Care must be taken that no monk presume on any ground to defend
another monk in the monastery, or as it were to take him under his
protection, even though they be united by some tie of blood-
relationship. Let not the monks dare to do this in any way
because it may give rise to most serious scandals. But if anyone
breaks this rule, let him be severely punished.
In one of his tapes of lectures given to formation classes at
Gethsemani, Merton speaks of a loneliness at the core of each
monastic that cannot be touched and OUGHT not to be touched. In
saying that, he articulated one of those sensed things that one
learns (hopefully!) by osmosis in monastic community. Hearing him I
had both the sense of "Wow! I never heard that before!" and also
knowing that I knew exactly what he meant, just had never talked
about it. It's just one of those things we rather "know" without
putting into words very often. Goes with the territory.
In every monastic struggler, from newest Oblate to Abbot Primate,
this place of aloneness- and sometimes loneliness- exists. It must
exist. It must be protected. It is at the very root of our
name: "monos" alone, solitary. (Yes, I am aware that "monos" is
sometimes rendered more in the sense of single-minded, having one
purpose, in the sense of purity of heart, but I think the more
general opinion holds with "alone.")
This is a breathtakingly sacred place of solitude, where, like
Jacob, we wrestle with God and with ourselves. It is the place
where all those unlovely things we have to confront in ourselves
are first displayed. It is part and parcel of the original monastic
It is what we have retained of the Desert. It may be the only place
left to many of us where we are like St. Antony the Great,dwelling
alone in the tombs. It can often be no less smelly and scary than
the tombs, too! Sigh... the place where we gradually meet our
true selves not always a cloistered paradise!
Preserving this necessarily inviolate solitude is what this chapter
is all about. No matter how much one loves another monastic, one
must know to leave this place alone. This is the place where every
monastic must be a stand-alone grown up before God, with no
defenders, no co-dependency, no illusions on the part of those who
may think they are doing a favor by taking one's part. I think most
of us dwelling in monasteries know this almost by instinct. We
know, somehow, the place beyond which one must not go. To go there
imperils both parties in many, many ways.
This does not impoverish relationships, though it does limit them.
We can have very, very dear friends who are married and know fully
well that there are places in their hearts and lives we must not go.
So it is with monastics. In each of us there is this (pardon the
imagery,) "married" place where others dare not meddle.
This is the love of realism. I cannot "love" my brother by taking
from him the very arena from which monastic growth springs. If I do
so, I am defeating him and defeating myself. No, we must love in
truth, and that is not always easy. We must desire firmly the best
for those we love, and it is so easy for the self to get in the way
of those desires.
Married people, no doubt, could also attest that in a healthy
couple, there are still places like this, places of adulthood all
alone which are not touched, cannot be touched. It is the
existential one-on-one with God that we all have to one degree or
another. What monasticism hopes to do is to teach us the frightening
boon that we have in such
solitary adulthood. It is the time we get real. It is the moment of
Truth. And Jesus did, after all, say: "I am the Truth." What an
encounter both terrifying and sublime!
Love and prayers,