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Holy Rule for Sept. 17

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and for all who treat or care for them: Guy,
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 16 3:17 PM
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and for all who treat or care for them:

      Guy, elderly, depressive, having had to be moved twice in recent months, now off meds until a new regime can be started.

      Albert, stressed to the maximum and physically ill from it.

      A man in renal failure, also diabetic. Lord, help us 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

      Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel
      Jan. 17 May 18 Sept. 17

      In all things, therefore, let all follow the Rule as guide,
      and let no one be so rash as to deviate from it.
      Let no one in the monastery follow his own heart's fancy;
      and let no one presume to contend with his Abbot
      in an insolent way or even outside of the monastery.
      But if anyone should presume to do so,
      let him undergo the discipline of the Rule.
      At the same time,
      the Abbot himself should do all things in the fear of God
      and in observance of the Rule,
      knowing that beyond a doubt
      he will have to render an account of all his decisions
      to God, the most just Judge.

      But if the business to be done in the interests of the monastery
      be of lesser importance,
      let him take counsel with the seniors only.
      It is written,
      "Do everything with counsel,
      and you will not repent when you have done it" (Eccles. 32:24).

      REFLECTION

      The key here is not to contend insolently; there is no proscription
      against telling the Abbot one feels something is amiss, so long as it
      is done respectfully and humbly. We are Benedictines, not fascists;
      we have a Father, not a Fuhrer.

      A pithy quote from Jesuit liturgical scholar Father Robert Taft, who
      was speaking about Church authority in general, but it certainly
      applies to us: "I don't buy ecclesiastical fascism, I think
      authoritarianism is the refuge of the stupid. It saves you from the
      obligation of thought."

      Human nature being what it is, people are usually more prone to cite
      the Abbot's responsibility to seek counsel than they are to cite the
      equally important proscription against contending with one's Abbot!
      There's a cure for that and many other ills buried within this
      chapter, a telling phrase whose observance promises peace. That
      little gem urges the monastics not to follow their "own heart's
      fancy."

      Follow that gem and peace abounds! For one thing, whether abbot or
      monastic, parent or child, boss or employee, the focus of the
      relationship ceases to become self. None of us are anywheres near the
      big deal we'd either like to be or think ourselves to be! Much of
      what seems earth-shattering to us is really small stuff, indeed.

      This is so important to monastic struggle because it is so intricately
      interwoven with detachment and holy indifference. We must learn how
      to hold onto our inner peace, how to safeguard it from damage at the
      hands of trivia. An abject TERRIBLE day for us, one when we are so
      hurt or angry that no one dares approach us is just another average
      day for the rest of the community. Until, of course we decide we ARE
      the center of the universe and ruin it for them... Cling to that
      knowledge of trivia and less will suffer!

      At that point of recognizing trivia, truth and therefore, humility
      and divinity itself, enter the equation. We need very good "crap
      detectors" and their default setting must be aimed at ourselves,
      rarely cast elsewhere except in cases of really great need. We can
      keep those crap detectors more than amply busy just in our own hearts
      and wills! We need to know deception, falsity, trivia, but it is
      essential to know them first in ourselves.

      If these good tools of detection are aimed only at others, the result
      will be pride and a fall, not humility and truth. Jesus said "I am
      the Truth," and to Him we must prefer nothing. Hence, our first
      desire must always be the truth and the truth is that the earth does
      not revolve around us as an axis!

      Our age, particularly, has embraced the pap of "Follow your bliss!"
      Well, maybe...sometimes.... but maybe not, too. Our "bliss" is no
      guarantee of infallibility. Years ago, and for many years of my life,
      I thought my "bliss" would be to be married to an attorney and having
      drinks by the pool. No doubt there may be some who wish I had
      followed that one, but how different my life would have been had I
      done so!

      As a handy rule of thumb, I would say that the will of God quite
      often looks nothing like bliss at first. Hence, confusing bliss with
      the divine will can be very risky. The will of God often BECOMES
      bliss when we are in the midst of following it, but we frequently
      have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into that compliance! And
      sometimes our bliss IS the right thing- even a stopped clock is right
      twice a day- but those sometimes are impossible to predict. And, let
      us be frank, few people carry stopped watches because of their
      usefulness twice a day!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      jeromeleo@...
      Petersham, MA








      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for a diabetic man who is having emergency heart surgery, possibly a triple bypass. Prayers, too, for his surgical team, and his worried family.
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 16 3:03 PM

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for a diabetic man who is having emergency heart surgery, possibly a triple bypass. Prayers, too, for his surgical team, and his worried family. His father died of this same condition and they are very concerned.

         

        Prayers for Nick, a Prodigal Son type, and for his Mom.

         

        Sad news: Alas, the young woman we prayed for, who was being pressured by her father to abort her baby, has yielded to the pressure and had the abortion. Prayers for her repentance and for the repentance of all involved. Special prayers that God, in His Mercy, has taken the baby to Himself. Prayers for all tempted to abortion, that they save their babies.

         

        Prayers for Vincent, a theological student in Africa, that God leads him in His will.

         

        Lord, help them 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

        January 18, May 19, September 18
        Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

        In the first place, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, the
        whole soul, the whole strength.
        Then, one's neighbor as oneself.
        Then not to murder.
        Not to commit adultery.
        Not to steal.
        Not to covet.
        Not to bear false witness.
        To honor all (1 Peter 2:17).
        And not to do to another what one would not have done to oneself.
        To deny oneself in order to follow Christ.
        To chastise the body.
        Not to become attached to pleasures.
        To love fasting.
        To relieve the poor.
        To clothe the naked.
        To visit the sick.
        To bury the dead.
        To help in trouble.
        To console the sorrowing.
        To become a stranger to the world's ways.
        To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.

        REFLECTION

        The Commandments are here, but so are some of the works of mercy,
        both spiritual and corporal: clothing the naked, relieving the poor,
        visiting the sick, burying the dead, helping in trouble and consoling
        the sorrowing. It is no accident that the works undertaken by
        monasteries were most often those involving spiritual or corporal
        works of mercy.

        Mercy is God's greatest attribute. Its links with love make it an
        attribute we can easily follow in our dealings with others,
        conforming ourselves more and more to the image of Christ. When the
        Father looks at us, He delights to see the image of His Son brought
        to life in us. Nothing can bring that image into sharper focus than
        works of mercy every day, continually throughout our lives.

        Many works of mercy can be given freely, but never forget that some
        do works of mercy for a living. I used to think nursing didn't count
        because I got paid for it. Then one day, it dawned on me that there
        were plenty of people you couldn't PAY to nurse someone! No, the
        teacher, the gravedigger, the nurse and anyone else who does such
        works of mercy as an occupation are still graced!

        The works of mercy can be words, deeds, or prayers. They seek to
        alleviate pain or prevent it. Remember those spiritual works of
        mercy, like counseling the doubtful or enlightening the ignorant,
        praying for the living and dead. You don't have to run an almonry or
        work in one to do works of mercy.

        The chances are everywhere and often no more dramatic than
        offering to get a swamped co-worker a cup of coffee. They are often just
        such little things, but that makes them easier to hide and do without fanfare.
        They are little things of love and therein lies their greatness and their
        Christ-like splendor! Courtesy, simple courtesy is extraordinary in
        our world today because it is so often neglected. The chances there
        for a word of mercy or a kind gesture are abundant. Anyone who drives
        a car has ample chances for such mercy on every trip!

        Never let a day go by without doing works of mercy. Never. If you are
        already in bed and examining your conscience when you realize you
        have missed a day, there is still time to pray for the dying, to pray
        for the living and dead. We have no excuse for missing a day and
        there is so much good at stake, good placed near our own hands. Don't
        miss that wonderful chance! An don't be surprised to find that works
        of mercy change YOU as much as they do others. Little by little we
        become more of Christ!

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

         



         

      • russophile2002
        +PAX Prayers for the health of Ann, several hospitalizations and the cause of her bleeding still has not been found. Prayers she can be successfully treated.
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 16 2:34 PM

          +PAX

           

          Prayers for the health of Ann, several hospitalizations and the cause of her bleeding still has not been found. Prayers she can be successfully treated.

           

          Prayers for the health of Richard, first a cardiac stent, then rushed back for open heart surgery.

           

          Deo gratias and prayers of thanks to God and the Blessed Mother for someone’s daughter who was protected from a sex trafficker who was stalking her.

           

          Healing prayers for Michael, 23, diagnosed with an aggressive lymphoma and going into a clinical trial. Prayers, too, for his Mom, 2 brothers and his aunt, and all their family.

           

          Prayers for all those still without power since the hurricane.

           

          Prayers for children on a vocation retreat in the Philippines.

           

          Healing prayers for C., for a fast recovery.

           

          Prayers for the health of M.

           

          Please pray for the eternal repose of Oblate Rose, 70. Prayers, too, for her husband of 50 Years, Deacon Joseph, and for all who mourn her.

           

          Prayers for Luis, for whom we prayed, he had to have his leg amputated after all. Prayers he heals quickly, both emotionally and physically. May he accept God’s will for him.

           

          Lord, help them 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

          January 18, May 19, September 18
          Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

          In the first place, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, the
          whole soul, the whole strength.
          Then, one's neighbor as oneself.
          Then not to murder.
          Not to commit adultery.
          Not to steal.
          Not to covet.
          Not to bear false witness.
          To honor all (1 Peter 2:17).
          And not to do to another what one would not have done to oneself.
          To deny oneself in order to follow Christ.
          To chastise the body.
          Not to become attached to pleasures.
          To love fasting.
          To relieve the poor.
          To clothe the naked.
          To visit the sick.
          To bury the dead.
          To help in trouble.
          To console the sorrowing.
          To become a stranger to the world's ways.
          To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.

          REFLECTION

          The Commandments are here, but so are some of the works of mercy,
          both spiritual and corporal: clothing the naked, relieving the poor,
          visiting the sick, burying the dead, helping in trouble and consoling
          the sorrowing. It is no accident that the works undertaken by
          monasteries were most often those involving spiritual or corporal
          works of mercy.

          Mercy is God's greatest attribute. Its links with love make it an
          attribute we can easily follow in our dealings with others,
          conforming ourselves more and more to the image of Christ. When the
          Father looks at us, He delights to see the image of His Son brought
          to life in us. Nothing can bring that image into sharper focus than
          works of mercy every day, continually throughout our lives.

          Many works of mercy can be given freely, but never forget that some
          do works of mercy for a living. I used to think nursing didn't count
          because I got paid for it. Then one day, it dawned on me that there
          were plenty of people you couldn't PAY to nurse someone! No, the
          teacher, the gravedigger, the nurse and anyone else who does such
          works of mercy as an occupation are still graced!

          The works of mercy can be words, deeds, or prayers. They seek to
          alleviate pain or prevent it. Remember those spiritual works of
          mercy, like counseling the doubtful or enlightening the ignorant,
          praying for the living and dead. You don't have to run an almonry or
          work in one to do works of mercy.

          The chances are everywhere and often no more dramatic than
          offering to get a swamped co-worker a cup of coffee. They are often just
          such little things, but that makes them easier to hide and do without fanfare.
          They are little things of love and therein lies their greatness and their
          Christ-like splendor! Courtesy, simple courtesy is extraordinary in
          our world today because it is so often neglected. The chances there
          for a word of mercy or a kind gesture are abundant. Anyone who drives
          a car has ample chances for such mercy on every trip!

          Never let a day go by without doing works of mercy. Never. If you are
          already in bed and examining your conscience when you realize you
          have missed a day, there is still time to pray for the dying, to pray
          for the living and dead. We have no excuse for missing a day and
          there is so much good at stake, good placed near our own hands. Don't
          miss that wonderful chance! An don't be surprised to find that works
          of mercy change YOU as much as they do others. Little by little we
          become more of Christ!

          Love and prayers,
          Jerome, OSB
          http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
          Petersham, MA

           

           


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