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Apr 24

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Kenny, on life support, for whom we prayed, has gone to God, anointed through the good efforts of George, his brother-in-law. Let us pray for his eternal
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 24, 2003

      Kenny, on life support, for whom we prayed, has gone to God, anointed
      through the good efforts of George, his brother-in-law. Let us pray
      for his eternal rest. Sometimes the best healing is death and,
      without knowing it, we are praying for a happy death. Deo Gratias!!!
      Also for Bob and his family, his cancer is now terminal and treatment
      has failed. Thanks so much! NRN God's will be done. JL

      April 24, August 24, December 24
      Chapter 66: On the Porter of the Monastery

      At the gate of the monastery
      let there be placed a wise old woman,
      who knows how to receive and to give a message,
      and whose maturity will prevent her from straying about.
      This porter should have a room near the gate,
      so that those who come may always find someone at hand
      to attend to their business.
      And as soon as anyone knocks or a poor person hails her,
      let her answer "Thanks be to God" or "A blessing!"
      Then let her attend to them promptly,
      with all the meekness inspired by the fear of God
      and with the warmth of charity.

      Should the porter need help,
      let her have one of the younger sisters.

      If it can be done,
      the monastery should be so established
      that all the necessary things,
      such as water, mill, garden and various workshops,
      may be within the enclosure,
      so that there is no necessity
      for the sisters to go about outside of it,
      since that is not at all profitable for their souls.

      We desire that this Rule be read often in the community,
      so that none of the sisters may excuse herself
      on the ground of ignorance.


      Modern monasteries in our Order rarely have gatehouses, let alone
      porters waiting at them. In one way, that's too bad, because one
      often sees visitors come to a monastery without a clue as to where to
      go first, or how to contact someone. On the other hand, it would
      wasteful to employ one person full-time at such an endeavor in our
      smaller communities of today, since whole days may go by in many
      places with few or none needing assistance.

      What we have today is the phone, and phone manners are how this best
      translates into modern life for both Oblates and professed. I have
      certainly known monks who have answered the phone with an attitude
      that clearly said: "You've got some nerve putting me out like this,
      disturbing me, etc." with no knowledge of the person on the other end
      of the line.

      One certainly wouldn't want to call such a monastery twice. If one
      had never called one before, it is unlikely that one would want to
      try another, to go for 2 out of 3, just in case. See the great
      responsibility we have?

      When a phone or doorbell rings, whether in a great Benedictine abbey
      or an urban Benedictine apartment, we have the opportunity to
      practice the hospitable grace that the Holy Rule requires of all.
      Dorothy Day's friend and mentor, Father Hugo, used to say that we
      love God as much as the one we love the least. That would readily
      translate here. I LOVE to see certain guests arrive, look forward to
      it as soon as I hear they are coming. Those are not the receptions on
      which I should judge my hospitality. The difficult ones are.

      The point here is that we ARE Benedictines, whether our answering
      style makes that evident or not. I might not like to think so, but
      the anonymity of just saying "Hello," without my name or title does
      not entitle me to be harsh or gruff or rude. All of us are bound by
      something Benedictine within us to be kind and gracious to all who
      call or visit.

      Someone who calls the guesthouse- or an Oblate's home- for the first
      time can be driven away or attracted by the way they are dealt with
      on the phone. To risk alienating someone because of our own moods
      might mean that we cheat someone out of a spiritual friendship they
      sorely need. I can't tell you how many people who just called us out
      of nowhere in the last seven years have become real members of our
      family, greatly beneficial to themselves and to us. Anyone of those
      first experiences could have been irreparably soured by a cranky
      phone manner. Look at what all of us would have lost had that

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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