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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Aug 31

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for the happy death of Walter, 98 (and for his son Richard, his only child), for whom we have prayed in the past. Walter died yesterday.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2007
      +PAX

      Please pray for the happy death of Walter, 98 (and for his son
      Richard, his only child), for whom we have prayed in the past.
      Walter died yesterday.

      Prayers please for four women, all sisters in the same family, who
      each have health issues they're dealing with right now.

      Prayers please for Nigel, young man who has started substance abuse
      program and job skill training.

      Please pray for George's brother in law, Michael (54), for whom we
      have prayed. Michael died Sunday from cardiac failure.

      Please pray for a special intention.
      Please pray for the replenishment of the food banks in Tampa,
      Florida and surrounding areas. Recently people had to be turned away
      because there was no food.

      Please pray for, Jessie, who has made a number of decisions that
      have put her in serious financial trouble. Also, please pray for her
      mother Ann as she suffers for her.

      Both my parents are long, deceased, but today would have been their
      66th wedding
      anniversary, so prayers, please, for Jerome and Louise, who first
      gave me some of what I am able to pass on to others, who also first
      took me to St. Leo Abbey. That opened a lifelong love of both St.
      Leo and Benedictinism for me. How much I owe them! For their happy
      deaths, eternal rest and Deo gratias!



      +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:
      michael_oblate@...


      May 1, August 31, December 31
      Chapter 73: On the Fact That the Full Observance of Justice Is Not
      Established in This Rule

      Now we have written this Rule
      in order that by its observance in monasteries
      we may show that we have attained some degree of virtue
      and the rudiments of the religious life.

      But for those who would hasten to the perfection of that life
      there are the teaching of the holy Fathers,
      the observance of which leads to the height of perfection.
      For what page or what utterance
      of the divinely inspired books of the Old and New Testaments
      is not a most unerring rule for human life?
      Or what book of the holy Catholic Fathers
      does not loudly proclaim
      how we may come by a straight course to our Creator?
      Then the Conferences and the Institutes
      and the Lives of the Fathers,
      as also the Rule of our holy Father Basil --
      what else are they but tools of virtue
      for right-living and obedient monks?
      But for us who are lazy and ill-living and negligent
      they are a source of shame and confusion.

      Whoever you are, therefore,
      who are hastening to the heavenly homeland,
      fulfill with the help of Christ
      this minimum Rule which we have written for beginners;
      and then at length under God's protection
      you will attain to the loftier heights of doctrine and virtue
      which we have mentioned above.

      REFLECTION

      I used to love to teach 8th graders. At the top of a kindergarten
      through 8th grade school, they thought they had REALLY arrived, they
      were very pleased with themselves! My 8th graders knew that I loved
      them, so I could afford to tease them a bit. I used to narrow my
      eyes
      into a fake menacing gaze and say: "Ah, now you're the top, but next
      year? Next year you will be FRESHMEN! The lowest of the low! Just
      wait till high school." And they would laugh, secure in the fact
      that
      I MUST be joking....

      Well, folks, the beauty of this last chapter is that is tells us we
      are ALL eighth graders, if even that. We'd do well to take St.
      Benedict seriously on this one, but I'll bet he smiled with the same
      affection I used to show to my kids. Three times a year we read the
      Holy Rule entirely and three times a year he lovingly shakes us
      awake
      to the reality that we will for all of our lives, always be
      freshmen next
      year!

      That's the Benedictine surprise that's wrapped in conversion of
      manners: we never "arrive", we're not so hot as we thought ourselves
      to be, we are just barely ready for the next step.
      This is VERY different from the self-loathing we spoke about
      yesterday with the bitter zeal. This is the true self-knowledge, the
      smiling, even shrugging acceptance of the fact that we are just on
      the way, nothing special there!

      How great must our God be! I have never known anyone who kept all of
      the Holy Rule perfectly, but I have known many that I thought were
      great saints, very observant monastics. St. Benedict is clearly
      telling us that God is even more than we may attain by observing
      this
      Rule.

      God is so vast and beyond us, we are always taking the tumbling
      first steps of toddlers towards Him, but He is always holding on and
      beaming with the pride an love of a parent guiding those steps. Our
      Holy Rule is filled with awesome things, yet it is only
      the "rudiments" of the spiritual life!

      Eighth graders, eighth graders all, but ah, what a high school
      awaits!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Jeromeleo@...
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