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Apr 26

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please for Betty, 86 and failing badly, and for her children caring for her. God s will be done! Thanks! NRN JL April 26, August 26, December 26
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 26, 2003
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please for Betty, 86 and failing badly, and for her children
      caring for her. God's will be done! Thanks! NRN JL

      April 26, August 26, December 26
      Chapter 68: If a Sister Is Commanded to Do Impossible Things

      If it happens
      that difficult or impossible tasks are laid on a sister,
      let her nevertheless receive the order of the one in authority
      with all meekness and obedience.
      But if she sees that the weight of the burden
      altogether exceeds the limit of her strength,
      let her submit the reasons for her inability
      to the one who is over her
      in a quiet way and at an opportune time,
      without pride, resistance, or contradiction.
      And if after these representations
      the Superior still persists in her decision and command,
      let the subject know that this is for her good,
      and let her obey out of love,
      trusting in the help of God.

      REFLECTION


      The method given here for approaching one's superior is a masterpiece
      of crisis intervention and prevention for almost any situation in
      life:

      "...in a quiet way and at an opportune time, without pride,
      resistance, or contradiction."

      We ought to carve that on the walls of every mediation center in the
      world, on the doors to every marriage counselor and above every
      complaint desk (or, as they euphemize them these days, "Customer
      Service," but what's in a name?)

      Look at what is called for here: composure and calm, timing, respect
      for the other person (Jesus and Gandhi would say love for the foe,)
      non-violence and non-contentiousness. Use this approach with
      disagreements and many of them will melt away. One reason Gandhi's
      non-violence worked was that he employed all of these things, the
      opponent was never denied her worth or dignity. When his followers
      pared the list, they failed. This is the recipe for lasting results,
      not for a temporary subjugation.

      Very often our manner of dealing with others says a great deal about
      how we esteem ourselves. A balanced dignity and self-love is shown in
      the Holy Rule's approach. It will go a longer way toward ending
      conflict than a "wronged prima donna" move.

      Watch people fight and it will be easy to see that many consider any
      slight or offense against themselves to be THE original sin. Sigh...
      Give people like that a lot of room. Being wrong is not a capital
      offense, everybody does it at one time or another. People who
      demonstrate anything else by their actions damage their own standing
      in the group as well, and rightly so.

      Remember that every disagreement hurts the whole group. A family at
      dinner with two not speaking is a tense affair. You cannot calm a
      child by saying "This is between your Father and me! It has nothing
      to do with you." Because it does, it really does. A community in
      choir after a huge blow-up between two members is not an exquisite
      taste of mystical prayer. Everybody suffers. That's why fixing these
      fender-benders is so important and why St. Benedict gave us a way
      that is so very likely to achieve results.

      Now THAT'S creative peacemaking! It also starts at the point from
      which all peace must begin: ourselves and our homes.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery
      Petersham, MA
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