Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 28
Please pray for Fr. Omer OSB (St. Vincent Archabbey). Diabetic
ulcers necessitating the removel of his only leg.
Please pray for healing for Oblate Ed Donley (St. Vincent's
Please pray for a woman suffering terribly with Alzheimer's. She's
had it for years and now has degenerated into a distressing state
where she just cries all day long. Her husband has been trying to
visit her daily, but this is taking a toll on his health (he's in
his 80s) and the family is worried about his health and his ability
Please pray for Melissa for physical, emotional, and mental healing,
and most of all the gift of faith).
Please pray for a special intention.
Please pray for Linda, who lost her husband to cancer a few weeks
ago. Her first husband died of a massive heart attack 13 years ago,
and now this death has just doubled her grief.
Please pray for Cathy; deploying to Afganistan next week with
Please pray for Jane's Dad who has a large brain tumor and prayers
also for the whole family. Biopsy scheduled for Wednesday.
+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 28, August 28, December 28
Chapter 70: That No One Venture to Punish at Random
Every occasion of presumption shall be avoided in the monastery,
and we decree that no one be allowed to excommunicate or to strike
any of her sisters unless the Abbess has given her the authority.
Those who offend in this matter shall be rebuked in the presence of
all, that the rest may have fear.
But children up to 15 years of age shall be carefully controlled
and watched by all, yet this too with all moderation and
discretion. All, therefore, who presume without the Abbess'
instructions to punish those above that age or who lose their
temper with them, shall undergo the discipline of the Rule; for it
is written, "Do not to another what you would not want done to
yourself" (Tobias 4:16).
"Every occasion of presumption shall be avoided in the monastery."
This is about a lot more than saying who can punish whom. This is
pointing out that, whenever there are more than one to be
considered, absolute freedom cannot exist. This is about central
but it is also about the total way one conducts oneself in a home
or workplace or planet that others share.
Ever think about your first home away from your parents house? It
was probably different in a lot of ways, especially if you lived
there alone. Heady freedom that! I recall my own first place very
well and fondly. However, I can assure you, I could not have lived
as I did there had I been in a family, with younger siblings at
home. (OK, it was 1969, so go figure...) Even alone, however, I was
not free to play my stereo at undue volumes at 3 AM. We live on a
common planet, at some point ALL of our lives touch others. When
they do, control
of some sort is necessary if people are to live in peace.
There is a great and treacherous myth of individualism among
Americans and, to a lesser extent, I think, among all Western
European cultures. Consumerism and secularism at levels which are
dangerously opposed to religion promote this fallacy at every turn.
The lie is sold that one can be happy, even happiest, without
Christ, without religion. Even Christians subconsciously buy into
more of this nonsense than they often realize. This baggage sneaks
up on us in very subtle ways. We must be equally mindful and
to perceive it!
Non-western cultures often have a much more highly developed sense
of sharing and commonality. The stresses of profit and production
are incongruous to many a more pristine culture. The self is less
exalted than the common good and the common good
seems to be more readily available to all. Face it, when the Amazon
hunters come home, the elderly eat as well as anyone else.
Schweitzer pointed out that Europeans found the Africans lazy,
because they would not work to a point of exhaustion without need.
They worked all right, but when the work was done, they quit. They
had a casual and natural attitude to work, proper to their own
economic system, that drove the Europeans nuts, because the latter
had more of a 40-hours-a-week-and-then-you-rest notion. Both
Schweitzer and I tend to side with the natives on this one!
That myth of total freedom, of self-sufficiency being able to buy
one the right to any activity is totally wrong. Even at 20, in my
richly bohemian digs that I called "Shackri-la", I was not totally
free. I didn't know it back then, but I wasn't. I had no right to
waste water or leave lights on all night or drive drunk. My fantasy
might have been chronologically appropriate as Haight-Ashbury in
San Francisco, but hey, even there, even then, people were not free
in any absolute sense. None of us are.
Every presumed domain of our control which exists on a planet
shared by billions is just that: presumption, of which "every
occasion shall be avoided." No one of us is an island. Our complete
interdependence is not only objective fact, it is our only hope.
You might never have read this chapter as an ad for ecological
consciousness, but look at the first line again. We are ALWAYS in
this with others and that always means responsibilities to "...not
do to another what one would not have done to oneself."
Love and prayers,