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Brother Jerome Reflection on the Holy Rule Sept 5

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for Allyson, who ended her own life sometime yesterday. The entire family is in shock and so please pray for everyone involved. Please pray
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2007

      Please pray for Allyson, who ended her own life sometime yesterday.
      The entire family is in shock and so please pray for everyone

      Please pray for Jeanette that God will strengthen her against the
      evil one and grant healing to her body.

      Please pray for a a child was killed and another critically injured
      when a gate from an iron fence fell on four kids who were bicycling
      on the grounds of a local school.

      Please pray for a special intention.

      Please pray for Cynthia's cat, Dali, who is missing? She's an inside
      cat and not used to being outside for more than a minute or so, and
      Cynthia is very afraid something has happened to her.

      Please pray for Petra and her husband who are trying to adapot a
      newborn. They have been on been on the list for two years.

      Please pray for Vern, early 70's, undergoing treatment for
      intestinal cancer. Prognosis is good, but the peaks and valleys are
      a challenge.

      Please pray for the repose of the soul of Frank, died this weekend,
      who spent the years of his retirement providing many support
      services to the sisters at Mt St Mary Abbey in Wrentham MA,
      (Cistercian of Strict Observance) and for his very large family who
      will miss him greatly.

      +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:

      January 5, May 6, September 5
      Prologue (continued)

      Hence the Lord says in the Gospel, "Whoever listens to these words
      of Mine and acts upon them, I will liken to a wise person who built
      a house on rock. The floods came,
      the winds blew and beat against that house, and it did not fall,
      because it had been founded on rock" (Matt. 7:24-25).

      Having given us these assurances, the Lord is waiting every day for
      us to respond by our deeds to His holy admonitions. And the days of
      this life are lengthened and a respite granted us for this very
      reason, that we may amend our evil ways. As the Apostle says,
      "Do you not know that God's patience is inviting you to repent"
      (Rom. 2:4)? For the merciful Lord tells us, "I desire not the death
      of the sinner, but that the sinner should be converted and live"
      (Ezech. 33:11).


      People like me are very prone to regard repentance- the sense in
      which it is used here meaning real turnaround and conversion- with
      the same eagerness that we ordinarily reserve for cleaning the
      refrigerator: "I'll get around to that..." Truth is, I rarely do
      get around to the fridge.

      What happens instead is that one of our wonderful Oblates, Richard
      of Chicopee (who gets this daily reflection,) comes for a weekend
      and cleans the icebox. Hallelujah! Saint Richard!! Thank you,
      Richard! Richard cleans like a dream and my world looks a lot
      better whenever he's been here!

      If you are not like me, and your icebox has ALWAYS been clean, is
      buffed up every week to shining glory and you carry a damp
      washcloth every time you open the fridge just in case, then fine,
      this portion perhaps was not written for you. However, it should be
      noted that even immaculate icebox types may have to check behind
      the icebox or take a
      look at the oven.... I mean, if you want to be REALLY perfect, you
      could move the fridge and wax the floor underneath- with paste wax
      and a buffer, of course!

      Get my point? This is surely written for most of us. Most of us
      have some sort of a grungy corner that we'll "get to tomorrow," if
      ever. St. Benedict is reminding us again that "Now is the
      acceptable time..." St. Isaac of Syria said: "This life has been
      given to you for repentance, do not waste it in vain pursuits."

      Sadly, people like me hear in St. Isaac's words: "This life has
      been given to you for icebox cleaning..." Yeah, right! Oh boy, what
      a gift! Just can't wait to get up for that each morning!" And we
      shrug and walk away. Why? Because the typically monastic idea of
      repentance is very different from that of our modern Christianity.

      We tend to look at repentance as necessary in proportion to guilt.
      The early monastics saw it as necessary, period; for everyone. We
      would almost chuckle at the idea of a virgin martyr of twelve in
      the Roman world repenting. "Of what?" we'd incredulously ask. The
      early monastic would see no problem there at all. Repentance, from
      a monastic and Benedictine view, is needful to for all because all
      are fallen, all are incapable of living the Christian life without
      God and grace, all, left to their own whims, would fall short of the
      monastic struggle.

      The repentance we speak of here is similar to that of baptism, but
      not identical. Certainly one can be saved without entering the
      monastic way (or cleaning refrigerators, for that matter!) What St.
      Benedict is speaking of here is the special road of the monastic

      Plenty of saints, in fact most saints, were neither monks nor
      Benedictines. Big news there! What St. Benedict is saying is "OK,
      this is our approach. There are, of course, others, but if you want
      to use ours, this is what you have to do." "Repent!" St. John the
      Baptist cried again and again in the desert, and somewhere along
      the way of that preaching, Jesus, the Lamb of God, stepped into the
      Jordan. Folks, if HE can answer the call to repent, anyone can! He
      had no need at all!

      What our repentance affirms is that we cannot be monastics with no
      trouble: our natures make that impossible. On our monastic way to
      God, many, many human things stand in our hearts and in our way.
      That's what we repent and shall always have to repent. Whenever our
      focus, our purity of heart is fragmented in any way, that's what we
      have to repent.

      Now, after writing this, you might safely assume that I am off to
      clean the refrigerator, but you would be wrong. I mean, after all,
      Richard will be visiting again soon and maybe he wouldn't mind
      starting the painting a little bit late... LOL! (Richard really
      does paint,
      though. Like a pro!)

      All joking aside, great thanks are due to Richard, to Tom, aka
      Goombah, to Mary, to Cas and Maureen, to Emilia, Oblates all, and
      to Ellie and many of our guests, like the Wolfeboro Women, all of
      whom make this a shared ministry of hospitality. This great team
      effort results in people being a lot more comfortable here than they
      would be with nothing
      but ole non-icebox-cleaning me! Say a prayer of thanks with me for
      all of them!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      St. Mary's Monastery
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