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Holy Rule for Sept. 25

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Usually when I do a Deo gratias for an addict, sexual or otherwise, I add an intention for all the others who suffer. I forgot to do that and now amend my
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 24, 2007
      +PAX

      Usually when I do a Deo gratias for an addict, sexual or otherwise, I add an intention for all the others who suffer. I forgot to do that and now amend my mistake. Prayers, please, for all sexual addicts, indeed, for all who suffer from any addiction. Every triumph is a gift and grace from God. May He fill them all with His grace as they bravely struggle to recover.

      Prayers, please, for Br. Finbar of Pluscarden, on his feastday.

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following, and for all their loved ones and al who mourn them:

      Dorothy, who died last week. May she and her husband and son who preceded her in death now be in the arms of God.

      Paddy, who died of cancer and pnemonia, and for his wife, Jenny and their two children and two grandchildren.

      Kathy, killed in a head-on collision, and especially for her family members Chuck, and the adult children of Elizabeth and Daniel, also for the driver of the other car, who is hospitalized.

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

      Noelene, difficulty with a new medication regimen.

      Ann's daughters, one has pneumonia and the other is having problems with her internship at work, Prayers, too, for a safe and successful trip for Ann, who will be going on important business in a place unknown to 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 25, May 26, September 25
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      Holy Scripture, brethren, cries out to us, saying,
      "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,
      and he who humbles himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
      In saying this it shows us
      that all exaltation is a kind of pride,
      against which the Prophet proves himself to be on guard
      when he says,
      "Lord, my heart is not exalted,
      nor are mine eyes lifted up;
      neither have I walked in great matters,
      nor in wonders above me."
      But how has he acted?
      "Rather have I been of humble mind
      than exalting myself;
      as a weaned child on its mother's breast,
      so You solace my soul" (Ps. 130:1-2).


      Hence, brethren,
      if we wish to reach the very highest point of humility
      and to arrive speedily at that heavenly exaltation
      to which ascent is made through the humility of this present life,
      we must
      by our ascending actions
      erect the ladder Jacob saw in his dream,
      on which Angels appeared to him descending and ascending.
      By that descent and ascent
      we must surely understand nothing else than this,
      that we descend by self-exaltation and ascend by humility.
      And the ladder thus set up is our life in the would,
      which the Lord raises up to heaven if our heart is humbled.
      For we call our body and soul the sides of the ladder,
      and into these sides our divine vocation has inserted
      the different steps of humility and discipline we must climb.

      REFLECTION

      At some earlier point in monastic life, a cancer entered X with
      little struggle. X began a concerted effort of some years length to
      gain power. It was not pretty for those who got in the way of
      this "upward" mobility. Not surprisingly, X succeeded. Anytime we
      seek something fatal to monastic life, we can count on Satan doing
      all he can to help us!

      So now, X has more power than anyone short of the superior and is
      even a formidable entity to the superior who enabled all this
      nonsense. And X has all but perfectly inoculated the monastic
      struggle to nearly zero by doing the exact opposite of what God intends us
      to do: become little, become less, become pliant. As so often happens
      when Satan helps us along, X has not one clue of how treacherous this
      whole mess has become.

      X bought self-protection through control and that is a terrible fate
      worthy of great pity. We did not become monastics to protect
      ourselves, at least not in that way! Let us thank God that God's
      mercy is unfathomable. Hopefully, X will be converted, but with little
      help from X!! That power trip is not the way it's supposed to be.
      That's not what we came here to do.

      No way, folks, buy out of all that garbage. We ASCEND by humility and
      DESCEND by exaltation! Own that, it is true! Look for its truth in
      Jesus, our Master and our Truth. Jesus worked signs and wonders.
      Jesus is God. He could have had Herod and Pilate and all of the Roman
      Empire quivering in fear at His feet by a mere snap of His fingers or
      less! But did He...? Nope. The way to the Throne above all thrones
      was the Cross, it was spittle and hatred and whipping and nails and
      thorns. Sorry, beloveds, it doesn't look like upward mobility and power-
      grasping to me.

      However, in the truest sense, it was both. In that paradox of inverse
      climbing mystery, Jesus went upwardly mobile beyond any human dreams,
      with a power over all that was absolute and real, because it was humble.
      That is His alone, and none may aspire to it, but He tells all of us
      the way up is to be little, humble, accounted as nothing.

      The Christian, the monastic, whether newest Oblate or eldest Abbot, does
      not climb over the heads of others less fortunate or ambitious. The
      monastic rejoices at no clout, bathes and swims in the warm waters of
      being discounted and ignored, even scorned. Let me tell you, the
      bottom of the pyramid, or as close to that as you can possibly get is
      an enviable place to be. Seek it with all your heart! And pray hard
      for those who don't know better or have forgotten that they ever did!

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for Br. Finbar of Pluscarden Abbey on his feastday, graces galore and many more. Ad multos annos!! Prayers for all our Oblates of Petersham s twin
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 24, 2016

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for Br. Finbar of Pluscarden Abbey on his feastday, graces galore and many more. Ad multos annos!!

         

        Prayers for all our Oblates of Petersham’s twin communities, who had their Oblate retreat today. We had one make Final Oblation and four invested for their Oblate novitiate, special prayers for them. Prayers of thanks to God for such a wonderful day.

         

        Prayers for Daniel, when one of his research programs comes up for audit and review, that he can answer all their questions and that all goes calmly and well.

         

        Herb,70, for whom we prayed was actually not discharged from the hospital after all, continued prayers for his recovery.

         

        Prayers for Joanne, surgery on an infected toe, for successful surgery and fast healing, as she has no sick time from work. Prayers for healing, too, for her soul and mind, some false memories of abuse were implanted by a therapist long ago which has left her estranged from a family member and angry with God.

         

        Prayers for a newly wed couple, the husband has lost his job and they are struggling with only the wife’s income. Prayers he finds another job and their finances are settled.

         

        Deo gratias, Ron was able to transfer his Oblation to another Abbey.

         

        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. BJL

         

        January 25, May 26, September 25
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        Holy Scripture, brethren, cries out to us, saying,
        "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,
        and he who humbles himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
        In saying this it shows us
        that all exaltation is a kind of pride,
        against which the Prophet proves himself to be on guard
        when he says,
        "Lord, my heart is not exalted,
        nor are mine eyes lifted up;
        neither have I walked in great matters,
        nor in wonders above me."
        But how has he acted?
        "Rather have I been of humble mind
        than exalting myself;
        as a weaned child on its mother's breast,
        so You solace my soul" (Ps. 130:1-2).


        Hence, brethren,
        if we wish to reach the very highest point of humility
        and to arrive speedily at that heavenly exaltation
        to which ascent is made through the humility of this present life,
        we must
        by our ascending actions
        erect the ladder Jacob saw in his dream,
        on which Angels appeared to him descending and ascending.
        By that descent and ascent
        we must surely understand nothing else than this,
        that we descend by self-exaltation and ascend by humility.
        And the ladder thus set up is our life in the would,
        which the Lord raises up to heaven if our heart is humbled.
        For we call our body and soul the sides of the ladder,
        and into these sides our divine vocation has inserted
        the different steps of humility and discipline we must climb.

        REFLECTION

        Today we begin St. Benedict's extensive treatment of humility.
        Humility and obedience are so closely linked that it is virtually
        impossible to speak of one without adding the other. Since both are
        essential Benedictine virtues, it is easy to say that there is no
        such thing as a holy Benedictine who has not climbed or is not
        climbing this ladder. I have never known a holy monk who was not
        humble, in fact, it was usually their most outstanding trait.

        A lot of this chapter will grate on modern ears. I will be the first
        to admit that some people need assertiveness training. However, in my
        experience, most of us do not. Most of us manage to be assertive on a
        daily- even hourly- basis without much difficulty. Remember, too,
        that modern psychology is a science which, like all science, is
        limited to observable data.

        Hence, it is not surprising that the generalities of psychology deal
        with relations between people and things. The catch here is that the
        humility St. Benedict speaks of is rooted in relationship of humans
        to God, a sphere in which psychology finds itself woefully out
        of its element. It can see some things amiss, but not all. It lacks
        the supernatural basis of faith, and this impedes it in this
        area. Balance, always balance. Keep God in focus in these areas.
        The model is His greatness, not our own.

        I speak as one who has been all too focused at many times on the
        monastic soap opera and its hand-wringing tempests in teacups.

        That was in my twenties, as a novice. Brother Patrick did much to

        help me out of such folly. He taught me that things that did not

        concern me should be left alone.

         

        About many things, even most, we must learn simply not to get upset,

        not to trouble ourselves with matters too great, even though we may have to
        call them "great" with an inner, rueful chuckle.

        That's not apathy, simply a frank admission that, in many cases, others
        have charge of areas so that the rest need NOT worry or concern themselves.
        The purpose of the division of responsibility is to give the community the
        chance to focus their energy on the one thing really needful. This is especially
        true in monasteries, but the principle has applications in the workplace, too.
        In the latter, there may be times when one is morally obliged to get involved,
        but the key word is "morally". About trivia or non-essentials in any milieu,
        shrug, say nothing and keep your sanity.

        You will never have peace until you learn to leave all that alone, to
        distrust it for the empty and tragic charade that it truly is. And you will
        never get anywhere if you don't have peace. The road to that peace is
        humility and love.

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

        Petersham, MA

         

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