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Holy Rule for Oct. 10

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX For the happy death and eternal rest of the following and for all who mourn them: Adrian, and for his parents and all his family. Lal, who leaves behind
    Message 1 of 59 , Oct 9 2:43 PM
      +PAX

      For the happy death and eternal rest of the following and for all who mourn them:

      Adrian, and for his parents and all his family.

      Lal, who leaves behind teenaged children who have already lost their mother to death, and for Nadeem and all Lal's family.

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

      Tyler, 4, just diagnosed with leukemia, and for her parents and family, that they return to their Faith.

      Gwen, removal of cancerous bladder, and for her husband, Jack.

      the new Mom we prayed for yesterday, she is home, but on bedrest with severe back pain and headaches, perhaps caused by the drugs she had in delivery. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. od is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL

      February 9, June 10, October 10
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The twelfth degree of humility
      is that a monk not only have humility in his heart
      but also by his very appearance make it always manifest
      to those who see him.
      That is to say that whether he is at the Work of God,
      in the oratory, in the monastery, in the garden, on the road,
      in the fields or anywhere else,
      and whether sitting, walking or standing,
      he should always have his head bowed
      and his eyes toward the ground.
      Feeling the guilt of his sins at every moment,
      he should consider himself already present at the dread Judgment
      and constantly say in his heart
      what the publican in the Gospel said
      with his eyes fixed on the earth:
      "Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up my eyes to heaven"
      (Luke 18:13; Matt. 8:8);
      and again with the Prophet:
      "I am bowed down and humbled everywhere" (Ps. 37:7,9; 118:107).

      REFLECTION

      Alcoholics Anonymous jokes about what they call "Two-steppers," that
      is, people who decide to jump right from Step 1, acknowledging their
      problem, to Step 12, carrying the message to others, with nothing in
      between! Wrong! Doesn't work that way...

      Benedictines often see a similar mistake in novices and humility.
      Bingo, they go right to the twelfth degree with nothing to build
      their external humility on but the images of Hollywood. Such
      individuals are usually well-intentioned enough, but one look at
      their demeanor will tell one that there is a lot to learn!

      Second Section of the Reading:

      Having climbed all these steps of humility, therefore,
      the monk will presently come to that perfect love of God
      which casts out fear.
      And all those precepts
      which formerly he had not observed without fear,
      he will now begin to keep by reason of that love,
      without any effort,
      as though naturally and by habit.
      No longer will his motive be the fear of hell,
      but rather the love of Christ,
      good habit
      and delight in the virtues
      which the Lord will deign to show forth by the Holy Spirit
      in His servant now cleansed from vice and sin.

      This crucially important second part is why none of those Hollywood
      roles quite make it AND why the first section is spared from
      Jansenism. (Jansenism, you may recall, was a heresy which held that
      we could NEVER be worthy, NEVER do enough penance and so forth. In
      its sad extremes, it harked to a sort of Pelagian attitude, implying
      that we might be able to do something if we did enough harsh stuff!
      But, of course, even that would never be enough. It was a rather mean
      idea of God.)

      Humility is NOT affected, not presupposing, hence efforts to LOOK
      humble when one is not so will fall woefully short of the mark. No
      Academy Awards for this one! When they call for the envelope, it will
      be empty! Genuine humility is the most unself-conscious thing in the
      world. It produces the external demeanor without any further ado,
      because the person actually (and usually unwittingly!) BECOMES the
      truth they are striving to live. Humility shows up in the face, in
      everything, just as years of bitterness or years of love often do.
      You couldn't hide humility if you wanted to, but you don't need to,
      because the true humility is rarely even noticed and those who are
      less humble tend to discount the really humble as nobodies. In one
      sense, they are quite right! Both would agree on that!

      If one never gets to the joy and love of the end of this passage,
      there will be no reason not to look artificially rather glum over
      sins that one probably doesn't believe at heart are great anyhow.
      This is where some monastics miss the mark. They can stop at the
      perpetual gloom and dread point, without realizing the contemplative
      joy and love beyond that.

      Monasticism is true, but the Gospel is more so. Neither Jansenism nor
      perpetual gloom would play very well with Matthew, Mark, Luke or
      John. That means they wouldn't play well with St. Benedict, either,
      as his second portion surely guarantees. Love and joy and humility
      are an inseparable trio! When fear is cast out, gloom goes right
      along with it!

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



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • russophile2002
      +PAX Prayers for the healing of Layla, 5, who broke two bones in her arm while skating, and for her family, who are wooried about her. Prayers that E. will
      Message 59 of 59 , Oct 9 2:11 PM

        +PAX

        Prayers for the healing of Layla, 5, who broke two bones in her arm while skating, and for her family, who are wooried about her.

         

        Prayers that E. will return to Confession after many years.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Catherine, and for her family, especially her daughter, Eliza, and all who mourn her.

         

        Birthday prayers for Kathy and Fr. Patrick, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Ernest and his sons Ernest and, Sean, they died at different times a while ago. Prayers for all their family, esp. Maria and Rosemary, and for all who mourn 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 10, June 11, October 11
        Chapter 8: On the Divine Office During the Night

        In the winter time,
        that is from the Calends of November until Easter,
        the sisters shall rise
        at what is calculated to be the eighth hour of the night,
        so that they may sleep somewhat longer than half the night
        and rise with their rest completed.
        And the time that remains after the Night Office
        should be spent in study
        by those sisters who need a better knowledge of the Psalter
        or the lessons.

        From Easter to the aforesaid Calends of November,
        the hour of rising should be so arranged that the Morning Office,
        which is to be said at daybreak,
        will follow the Night Office after a very short interval,
        during which they may go out for the necessities of nature.

        REFLECTION

        In St. Benedict's time, and for centuries afterwards, life on a self-sustaining
        farm, which monasteries were supposed to be, was far more difficult and
        time consuming than it would be today. The simplest things that we now do
        with the flick of a switch were big deals, involving lots of human workers and
        every available daylight hour.

        Hence, the monks got up early, very early, to get in much of their monastic day
        before the sun (and the critters!) rose for the day. There was, of course, a
        penitential aspect to this early rising, too, and the ancient Christian practice
        of the night vigil.

        There's at least a possible hint for Oblates of today in all this. Get up a bit
        earlier if you can, and devote those silent and dark morning hours or minutes to
        your monastic endeavors. Knock off a late TV favorite and go to bed a tad
        earlier. We always find time for what we love most. If, however, one is married
        and has a spouse that doesn't want one to blissfully retire at 7:30 or so, this
        will not work. Marriage is a primary, sacramental vocation and demands
        precedence.

        Two very human glimpses into the personality of St. Benedict here. He
        is thoughtful and kind, making sure the monastics have time for a
        bathroom run and he is not prudish about mentioning it. Its part of
        the human and part of family life. As casually as a Mother asks young
        children if anybody "has to go" before a trip, he throws out mention
        of the fact that not everyone could make it through two long services
        without great discomfort!

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

         


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