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Holy Rule for Oct. 2

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX A blessed feast of the Holy Guardian Angels to all, prayers especially for all members of the American Cassinese Congregation today, as this is their
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 1 3:01 PM
      +PAX

      A blessed feast of the Holy Guardian Angels to all, prayers especially for all members of the American Cassinese Congregation today, as this is their patronal feast. May all our Guardian Angels watch over us and bring us ever closer to God's perfect will for us.

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

      Robert, second leg amputation due to diabetes, and especially for his wife.

      Mary, a friend of Ann Marie's, the whole message did not come through, so please just pray for whatever she needs. God knows these things.

      James, a serious surgery has led to very serious post-op complications.

      Jason, bad car accident, brken shoulder and collarbone, abrasions and cuts, he is lucky to be alive and his family is very grateful, so Deo gratias, too! 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

      February 1, June 2, October 2

      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The fourth degree of humility
      is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
      when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
      and contradictions
      and even any kind of injustice,
      enduring all without growing weary or running away.
      For the Scripture says,
      "The one who perseveres to the end,
      is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
      and again
      "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!

      And to show how those who are faithful
      ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
      the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
      "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
      we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
      8:36).
      Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
      they go on with joy to declare,
      "But in all these trials we conquer,
      through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
      Again, in another place the Scripture says,
      "You have tested us, O God;
      You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
      You have brought us into a snare;
      You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
      And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
      it goes on to say,
      "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).

      Moreover, by their patience
      those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
      in adversities and injuries:
      when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
      when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
      when forced to go a mile, they go two;
      with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
      and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

      REFLECTION

      The stumbling block here is the part about holding "fast to patience with
      a silent mind." How on earth does one begin to do that? The trend in
      consumerist Western society is pretty much to form people- no, let's
      call them what consumerism does: "consumers"- in a mold that ALWAYS
      listens to very noisy minds. That, after all, is the root of desire
      and consumption (clever play on words there! Just think of the old
      name for tuberculosis,) and profit. Nothing else matters as much to a
      consumerist society.

      It's not surprising that living, moving and having our being in such
      waters, we more or less acquire consumerist gills in order to
      breathe. However, the Gospel itself, as well as the Holy Rule, tells
      us that we must adopt a view which contradicts that of the secular
      world. Learning to do this is neither easy nor fast.

      The really hard thing here is that sometimes, even when we are right,
      we have to put up and shut up, so to speak. The Rule speaks of
      bearing injustice and false brethren. There are no qualifiers here
      that say: "You may think it is unjust, but the truth is otherwise."

      No, sometimes we must actually endure stuff that really is unjust,
      endure people that truly are false. As one very wise old monk of
      Pluscarden once said: "Some things will only be fixed by a cross in
      the cemetery." That is frighteningly true. Some people, some
      dysfunctions will go unchecked and there are only two things one can
      do about it: leave or endure.

      This may feel like denial to us. It isn't. That's not what's asked of
      us. I may think I know very clearly that a person or situation is
      wrong, really know it, but what is asked of me is to react in a
      particularly controlled fashion, "with a silent mind."

      There is a big issue about judgment here. We are not to judge. We
      often think we can "assess" when we truly cannot. It is better to
      wisely abstain from such "assessments". We never have all the facts
      of another person's heart or soul, never. That's why we have been
      told not to judge.

      Jesus did say, after all, that He is the Truth. He is not calling us
      to stupidity or denial, but He can well afford to call us to silent
      endurance. The briefest look at Jesus in His Passion can affirm His
      rights there. There was never a greater injustice done than that, nor
      was there ever a victim so innocent and completely undeserving of all
      that brutality.

      Why is the "silent mind" such a big deal? Because you cannot get
      anywhere spiritually without one. Your focus will be shattered. The
      messy bit here is that your focus can be shattered by things
      apparently worthwhile- the devil, after all is no amateur at duping us.

      We can be tricked into spinning our wheels and expending all our
      emotional and spiritual energy on dead ends that look noble, or on
      things that truly are noble, but should not absorb all of our efforts
      or attention. We can distort our necessary caring and charity into
      anger and rage at injustice that does nothing other than perpetrate
      anger and rage in more religious attire. Big mistake there! We are
      to love, love and always love!

      I can recall some awful flame wars on religious lists about religious
      topics. Predictably, quite early on the tone stooped to hurling
      charges at people, not ideas. Whoops! Wrong way, folks. The holiest
      monks I know would not have even entered into that discussion. They
      would have smiled and maybe shrugged and gone to their room to read
      or pray.

      That's not denial, that's a fair assessment that Brother David Gormican,
      OSB, (the elderly monk I have in mind,) of Saint Leo would have made
      correctly. Br. David was a very, very holy nobody and he knew that. It was a very
      freeing knowledge, one I completely lacked when I first lived with him. It
      was his strong sense of "nobodiness" that made him someone extremely special
      and free.

      At 18, I thought entering into heated argument was the thing to do. It was
      1967 and there was no shortage of such heat in the monastery or the Church.
      Br. David, quite rightly, knew that it would result in a night (or a whole
      day) of strife and nothing would be changed. David knew that a hidden
      lay brother in Florida was not going to change the Church at all by
      fighting with other people who were similarly powerless. Praying,
      maybe, but fighting, no! He was humble enough to know this and go to
      his room. How I wish I had been that smart- then or now!

      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 our Sr. Maria and for the other three Sisters receiving Retired religious Awards today in the Cathedral at Worcester, Massachusetts, and for
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 1 2:03 PM

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for our Sr. Maria and for the other three Sisters receiving Retired religious Awards today in the Cathedral at Worcester, Massachusetts, and for safe travels for all of us going there to celebrate with them.

         

        Prayers for all our Jewish brothers and sisters who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot this month, beginning today and extending through Sukkot, which begins Oct. 16th.

         

        Prayers for Imre, facing personal difficulties that could become serious in the next few days.

         

        Prayers for a woman who is suffering from depression.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Jim B. and Fr. August B., both died on Sept. 30, and for their families and all who mourn them.

         

        Prayers for healing of problems for a family of four, the parents are seriously considering divorce.

         

        Prayers for Tom and his wife, Jen, Tom has ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease.

         

        Prayers for Leo, kidney cancer.

         

        Prayers for safe travels for Caitlyn and Denise.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Joseph, 15, who died of a ruptured brain aneurysm, and for his family and all who mourn him.

         

        Prayers for baby Parker and her mom, Morgan, and all their family. Parker had a brain tumor removed and Morgan is worried about the biopsy results.

         

        Prayers for Mary Ann, stage 3 lung cancer, and for all her family.

         

        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

        February 1, June 2, October 2
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The fourth degree of humility
        is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
        when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
        and contradictions
        and even any kind of injustice,
        enduring all without growing weary or running away.
        For the Scripture says,
        "The one who perseveres to the end,
        is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
        and again
        "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!


        And to show how those who are faithful
        ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
        the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
        "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
        we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
        8:36).
        Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
        they go on with joy to declare,
        "But in all these trials we conquer,
        through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
        Again, in another place the Scripture says,
        "You have tested us, O God;
        You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
        You have brought us into a snare;
        You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
        And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
        it goes on to say,
        "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).


        Moreover, by their patience
        those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
        in adversities and injuries:
        when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
        when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
        when forced to go a mile, they go two;
        with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
        and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

        REFLECTION

        Be careful how you read this fourth step of patience. It is an ideal,
        presented in its most flawless form. It is not an unreachable goal, but neither
        should we expect significant progress before noon today. It is our call and
        our vocation, but it is a lifelong task.

        The danger for schleps like me is that this step can give one an image
        of a perfect, 1950's TV sitcom Mom: shirt dress, high heels and pearls as
        everyday wear, cookies and milk always forthcoming in a kitchen as clean
        as a surgical suite and never a hair out of place. Full make-up on rising
        and wears hat and matching gloves to shop. Give me a break,
        Real patience in action is not at all like that.

        Patience in action is a fierce struggle. Never think that it's easy for
        others and therefore something is wrong with you: it isn't easy
        for anyone. One of the biggest flaws of the "I'm OK and you are
        not..." school of ministry is that it makes people think exactly
        this. "It's easy for her and there's something terribly wrong with
        me." Neither is true.

        The Rule and Scriptures were meant for strugglers. They were written
        for real, average people, halt and lame, battle-scarred veterans like
        you and me, for people who have weathered life, but barely.


        Patience is surely one of the most important fuels that perseverance
        runs on, but don't be surprised if it often is not very high octane!
        Neither should it surprise you if your engine is not a slant V-8, but
        rather a very cheap lawnmower that has trouble starting. Patience
        is ENDURANCE, not ease. It may, after years of struggle, confer a
        great peace and serenity, but it rarely, if ever, feels like that in
        the middle of things.

        Brother Patrick Creamer, OSB, of Saint Leo Abbey in Florida, taught
        me patience and perseverance. He was able to do so because he was so
        transparent about his own struggles. Many others tried to tell me how
        hard it was, but their lack of candor made me dismiss their warnings
        as tokenism. It certainly didn't seem to be hard for them. I couldn't
        believe them. Patrick, my late and beloved mentor, was so very different.

        Patrick entered the monastery in 1954, when he was 40, after a long
        career at sea. He missed being at sea so much (and for so long!) that
        it magnified many of the every day crosses of monastic life. Abbot
        Marion, who loved brothers and had a very tender spot for them, used
        to send Patrick to the beach for a weekend occasionally, in years
        when that sort of thing didn't often happen. Abbot Marion was wise enough
        to know he'd lose Patrick if he didn't get a salt air fix now and then.

        Even the beach trips were not enough alone. Patrick told me he was
        tempted to leave every single day for ten years. Patrick, when I
        lived with him, literally stayed packed with a hidden suitcase for
        years and boasted of his ability to be gone in an hour. As a novice,
        my heart used to be selfishly in my throat. I wanted him to go, if
        that was what he was supposed to do, but I really didn't want to lose
        him.

        I can also tell you that, during the worst
        of those years, Patrick helped scores of folks who came to him, because a
        transparently wounded person usually can. I can also tell you that
        Brother Patrick finally decided to stay: when he was 83 or so!! What a
        witness of hope that was to me, to others struggling like me.

        Please, let us all be given patience. But when we get it, however
        little at a time, let NONE of us be "perfect" TV Moms. Let us all be Patricks,
        let us show others how terribly hard, yet doable it can be.

        Patrick held forth from his infirmary room until his death
        at two weeks short of 90. A steady stream of visitors never waned.
        On the head of his bed and on the shaving mirror over his sink were
        two small notes, written in his own inimitable hand: "Lord, let me
        come to You." They broke my heart the first time I saw them. I still
        didn't want to lose him. But I know how right he was and how richly he
        deserves that loving embrace for which he so patiently waited.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome LEO, OSB (again and again you'll see why I took the second
        name!)
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

         

         

         

         

         

      • russophile2002
        +PAX Prayers for vocations to St. Mary’s Monastery and St. Scholastica Priory and to all our monasteries. Prayers for young blood, good vocations and the
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 1 2:36 PM

          +PAX

          Prayers for vocations to St. Mary’s Monastery and St. Scholastica Priory and to all our monasteries. Prayers for young blood, good vocations and the means to support them.

           

          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

          February 1, June 2, October 2
          Chapter 7: On Humility

          The fourth degree of humility
          is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
          when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
          and contradictions
          and even any kind of injustice,
          enduring all without growing weary or running away.
          For the Scripture says,
          "The one who perseveres to the end,
          is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
          and again
          "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!


          And to show how those who are faithful
          ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
          the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
          "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
          we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
          8:36).
          Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
          they go on with joy to declare,
          "But in all these trials we conquer,
          through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
          Again, in another place the Scripture says,
          "You have tested us, O God;
          You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
          You have brought us into a snare;
          You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
          And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
          it goes on to say,
          "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).


          Moreover, by their patience
          those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
          in adversities and injuries:
          when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
          when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
          when forced to go a mile, they go two;
          with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
          and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

          REFLECTION

          Be careful how you read this fourth step of patience. It is an ideal,
          presented in its most flawless form. It is not an unreachable goal, but neither
          should we expect significant progress before noon today. It is our call and
          our vocation, but it is a lifelong task.

          The danger for schleps like me is that this step can give one an image
          of a perfect, 1950's TV sitcom Mom: shirt dress, high heels and pearls as
          everyday wear, cookies and milk always forthcoming in a kitchen as clean
          as a surgical suite and never a hair out of place. Full make-up on rising
          and wears hat and matching gloves to shop. Give me a break,
          Real patience in action is not at all like that.

          Patience in action is a fierce struggle. Never think that it's easy for
          others and therefore something is wrong with you: it isn't easy
          for anyone. One of the biggest flaws of the "I'm OK and you are
          not..." school of ministry is that it makes people think exactly
          this. "It's easy for her and there's something terribly wrong with
          me." Neither is true.

          The Rule and Scriptures were meant for strugglers. They were written
          for real, average people, halt and lame, battle-scarred veterans like
          you and me, for people who have weathered life, but barely.


          Patience is surely one of the most important fuels that perseverance
          runs on, but don't be surprised if it often is not very high octane!
          Neither should it surprise you if your engine is not a slant V-8, but
          rather a very cheap lawnmower that has trouble starting. Patience
          is ENDURANCE, not ease. It may, after years of struggle, confer a
          great peace and serenity, but it rarely, if ever, feels like that in
          the middle of things.

          Brother Patrick Creamer, OSB, of Saint Leo Abbey in Florida, taught
          me patience and perseverance. He was able to do so because he was so
          transparent about his own struggles. Many others tried to tell me how
          hard it was, but their lack of candor made me dismiss their warnings
          as tokenism. It certainly didn't seem to be hard for them. I couldn't
          believe them. Patrick, my late and beloved mentor, was so very different.

          Patrick entered the monastery in 1954, when he was 40, after a long
          career at sea. He missed being at sea so much (and for so long!) that
          it magnified many of the every day crosses of monastic life. Abbot
          Marion, who loved brothers and had a very tender spot for them, used
          to send Patrick to the beach for a weekend occasionally, in years
          when that sort of thing didn't often happen. Abbot Marion was wise enough
          to know he'd lose Patrick if he didn't get a salt air fix now and then.

          Even the beach trips were not enough alone. Patrick told me he was
          tempted to leave every single day for ten years. Patrick, when I
          lived with him, literally stayed packed with a hidden suitcase for
          years and boasted of his ability to be gone in an hour. As a novice,
          my heart used to be selfishly in my throat. I wanted him to go, if
          that was what he was supposed to do, but I really didn't want to lose
          him.

          I can also tell you that, during the worst
          of those years, Patrick helped scores of folks who came to him, because a
          transparently wounded person usually can. I can also tell you that
          Brother Patrick finally decided to stay: when he was 83 or so!! What a
          witness of hope that was to me, to others struggling like me.

          Please, let us all be given patience. But when we get it, however
          little at a time, let NONE of us be "perfect" TV Moms. Let us all be Patricks,
          let us show others how terribly hard, yet doable it can be.

          Patrick held forth from his infirmary room until his death
          at two weeks short of 90. A steady stream of visitors never waned.
          On the head of his bed and on the shaving mirror over his sink were
          two small notes, written in his own inimitable hand: "Lord, let me
          come to You." They broke my heart the first time I saw them. I still
          didn't want to lose him. But I know how right he was and how richly he
          deserves that loving embrace for which he so patiently waited.

          Love and prayers,
          Jerome LEO, OSB (again and again you'll see why I took the second
          name!)
          http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
          Petersham, MA

           




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