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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 27

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2007
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      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
      brother Dominic.

      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
      and Brian.

      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
      way: alone
      with God.

      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,

      Jerome, OSB
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