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Holy Rule for Sept. 19

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for the spiritual, physical and mental health of Esther, critically injured in a car wreck, all the bones in her face are broken, many internal
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 18, 2007
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      Prayers for the spiritual, physical and mental health of Esther, critically injured in a car wreck, all the bones in her face are broken, many internal injuries, comatose and possibly nearing death. Special prayers for her family, that they may be accepting of whatever God wills and for esther's happy death, if God calls her. 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

      January 19, May 20, September 19
      Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments
      of Good Works

      Not to give way to anger.
      Not to nurse a grudge.
      Not to entertain deceit in one's heart.
      Not to give a false peace.
      Not to forsake charity.
      Not to swear, for fear of perjuring oneself.
      To utter truth from heart and mouth.
      Not to return evil for evil.
      To do no wrong to anyone, and to bear patiently wrongs done to
      oneself.
      To love one's enemies.
      Not to curse those who curse us, but rather to bless them.
      To bear persecution for justice' sake.
      Not to be proud.
      Not addicted to wine.
      Not a great eater.
      Not drowsy.
      Not lazy.
      Not a grumbler.
      Not a detractor.
      To put one's hope in God.
      To attribute to God, and not to self, whatever good one sees in
      oneself.
      But to recognize always that the evil is one's own doing, and to
      impute it to oneself.

      REFLECTION

      Anytime you feel that you are really doing OK with Benedictine life,
      that you might even be entitled to relax a bit, go read the
      Instruments of Good Works. It shouldn't take long to read all 72 one-
      liners, but you really needn't worry. Few can get past 35 without
      realizing that this is no time for a nap!!

      There can be a whole panoply of reactions to reading this list.
      Personally, I have often felt annoyance. "Now THERE'S a goody-two-
      shoes type!" I'd mutter. "Squeaky clean! Too perfect! Annoying to
      live with!!" Well, the last may be true; saints often are annoying to
      live with!

      However, what you should be thinking of here is not the perfect high
      school honor student who always did EVERYTHING perfectly, who would
      burst into tears if she received a B+, who, to all appearances, had
      no life other than study. Face it, such people fill those of us who
      made the upper half of the graduating class possible with a seething,
      envious distaste. Of course they do! They have a LOT of it right, but
      sometimes no balance. Looking back, to expect such balance at 18 is a
      bit of a stretch for anyone.

      No, these things take a lifetime of practice and hard work and when
      they do come together, they do so with a balanced serenity that does
      not chafe- except perhaps in guilt or envy! But even those should be
      carefully checked. We are all very different people and we are all
      very different at various points in life.

      The young monastic with raging hormones can be very upset with an
      older monk who is so controlled that one is tempted to snarl: "No-
      lifer! Asexual party animal!" Hang on, kids, calm down. Your turn is
      coming, but it can't arrive on the instant of your demand. Brother X
      has spent more than 35 years acquiring those traits you are jealous
      of and it looks easy for him NOW, because it has finally become
      natural, as the Holy Rule promised. But it was not always so! Brother
      X was 20 once, too!

      Never stop trying, but be patient with yourself and especially
      patient with those who are far ahead of you! The monks of Mount Athos
      are always using the phrase: "Be patient" or "Patience." They even
      say it to their donkeys when loading them: "Patience, Demetrios!" We
      need to keep on trying, to never give up, but the timetable is God's
      and His alone. This is a race we cannot win on our own speed.

      "Patience, beloveds, patience!"

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



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