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Brother Jerome Reflection on the Holy Rule Sept 4

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for Mary Lavagetto, mother of Pastor Fr. Xavier Lavagetto OP at St. Dominic s. She fell 2 weeks ago and has had a hip replacement. She is in
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2007
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      +PAX


      Please pray for Mary Lavagetto, mother of Pastor Fr. Xavier
      Lavagetto OP at St. Dominic's. She fell 2 weeks ago and has had a
      hip replacement. She is in her eighties. Please pray for Father
      Xavier trying to be in two places at once.

      Please pray for Carol's friend, Dianne, who just had her last chemo
      treatment.....is very sick from it, and must start radiation in 3
      weeks.

      Please pray for all teachers, who begin this school year that they
      may be granted the gifts of patience, self-confidence (especially
      Carol!), joy, safety, and serenity.

      Please pray for a special intention.

      Prayers please for Sr. Jacquelyn, whose breast cancer has now spread
      to the bones in her leg, causing much pain. Please pray for a
      successful treatment outcome requested.


      Prayers also requested for Ruth, unspecified problem.

      Also please pray for Sandy, the sister-in-law of Harry who died
      recently. She lives
      in a care facility.


      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.+

      Untill the return of our good Brother Jerome please bless me with
      your prayr requeats at:
      michael_oblate@...


      January 4, May 5, September 4
      Prologue

      Having our loins girded, therefore,
      with faith and the performance of good works (Eph. 6:14),
      let us walk in His paths
      by the guidance of the Gospel,
      that we may deserve to see Him
      who has called us to His kingdom (1 Thess. 2:12).

      For if we wish to dwell in the tent of that kingdom,
      we must run to it by good deeds
      or we shall never reach it.

      But let us ask the Lord, with the Prophet,
      "Lord, who shall dwell in Your tent,
      or who shall rest upon Your holy mountain" (Ps. 14:1)?

      After this question,
      let us listen to the Lord
      as He answers and shows us the way to that tent, saying,
      "The one Who walks without stain and practices justice;
      who speaks truth from his heart;
      who has not used his tongue for deceit;
      who has done no evil to his neighbor;
      who has given no place to slander against his neighbor."

      This is the one who,
      under any temptation from the malicious devil,
      has brought him to naught (Ps. 14:4)
      by casting him and his temptation from the sight of his heart;
      and who has laid hold of his thoughts
      while they were still young
      and dashed them against Christ (Ps. 136:9).

      It is they who,
      fearing the Lord (Ps. 14:4),
      do not pride themselves on their good observance;
      but,
      convinced that the good which is in them
      cannot come from themselves and must be from the Lord,
      glorify the Lord's work in them (Ps. 14:4),
      using the words of the Prophet,
      "Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
      but to Your name give the glory" (Ps. 113, 2nd part:1).
      Thus also the Apostle Paul
      attributed nothing of the success of his preaching to himself,
      but said,
      "By the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).
      And again he says,
      "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord" (2 Cor. 10:17).


      REFLECTION

      If one doesn't read this portion VERY carefully and thoughtfully,
      it is easy to see why so many Christians, even some monastics, have
      been taken in by the heresy of Pelagianism. (Even poor Evagrius
      himself was accused of "semi-Pelagianism'!) That heresy taught that
      we could actually save ourselves, it was the original "bootstrap"
      theology. It placed far too much emphasis on us and on our efforts.
      There is a very delicate tension and balance
      which must be maintained when dealing with faith and our own works.

      Important point: we can ONLY do real good because of our inclusion
      into Christ, Who is Perfect Good, at Baptism. End of story there!
      We might, without Christ do all kinds of nice stuff, and I would be
      the last to say that none is in God's good graces for just such
      nice stuff: the Spirit blows (and saves!) wherever It wills. I feel
      sure that many people who, through no fault of their own cannot or
      do not, know Christ nevertheless delight Him with their sincerity
      of doing right.

      Our growth in grace, however, is made possible only by God. No
      manner of spiritual gymnastics on our own could do that. That is
      crucial to remember, and the last portion of this reading makes is
      clearly evident. It ALL comes from God. Of ourselves, we are less
      than nothing.

      Having said that, and here comes the delicate balance, we have
      chosen, each in
      our own conditions, to follow a monastic path of spirituality.
      Monasticism quite
      surely DOES involve a lot of works, of practices. That's the way it
      is designed.

      What we must school ourselves to always be aware of is that these
      works and
      practices, of themselves, are nada, zilch, nothing at all. It is
      the God for Whom we undertake the road and the love with which we
      travel that transforms all this "nada" into (your should pardon
      this SW U.S. phrase...) the whole enchilada!!

      Yes, our works matter. Yes, the monastic who deserts them entirely
      will flounder. But no, the focus here is not our own work, our
      presumed merit. The merit, the good, and the work of grace is God
      and His work in us.

      I feel sure that most of us would affirm the statement that all
      good in us comes from God, but we must be very, very careful to
      really KNOW that, believe it utterly, with all our hearts. Lip-
      service in this area can be dangerous.

      We are, truly, even the best of us, nothing more than unprofitable
      servants who have done only what was commanded. And, let us be
      truthful, few of us- myself included first in this failure- even do
      all that was commanded. Humility chimes in again!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
      Petersham, MA
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