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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Oct 17

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Deo gratias for Jennifer, Carol s granddaughter. Her brain tumor has been determined to be a noncancerous congenital tumor whose size can be reduced by
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 16, 2007
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      +PAX


      Deo gratias for Jennifer, Carol's granddaughter. Her brain tumor
      has been determined to be a noncancerous congenital tumor whose size
      can be reduced by surgery!

      Please pray for the conversion, happy death and eternal rest of
      Peter Clough and comfort to all those who mourn him. Peter was the
      father of my English son-in-law who died two days before meeting his
      first grandchild.

      Please pray for Ruth's husband Frank -- thyroid cancer. In his third
      yearly scan this year some areas in his hip or colon underneath the
      hip are a cause of great concern. Also, Tony (for whom we have
      prayed also), their son, who also had thyroid cancer surgery about
      six weeks ago, goes back soon to begin the radiation. Be pray for
      the whole family under much stress and increasing financial
      difficulties.

      +Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have
      taken their own lives.+

      Please pray for all those whose prayer requests were not able to be
      posted for whatever reason. God is outside of time and our prayers
      are never, ever late. 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

      Until the return of our good Brother Jerome please bless me with
      your prayer requests at:
      michael_oblate@...



      February 16, June 17, October 17
      Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays

      The Morning and Evening Offices should never be allowed to pass
      without the Superior saying the Lord's Prayer in its place at the
      end so that all may hear it, on account of the thorns of scandal
      which are apt to spring up. Thus those who hear it, being warned by
      the covenant which they make in that prayer when they say, "Forgive
      us as we forgive," may cleanse themselves of faults against that
      covenant.


      But at the other Offices let the last part only of that prayer be
      said aloud, so that all may answer, "But deliver us from evil.


      REFLECTION

      The Our Father is THE Christian covenant of peace. If St. Benedict
      insists it be said aloud twice a day, it is because he knows well
      the tempests- nay, HURRICANES- in teacups that can spring up in any
      enclosed home group, be it cloister or family. Things get magnified
      inappropriately precisely because those we live with are dear to
      us. If they weren't, they would be much less able to hurt or annoy
      us!

      There weren't subways in St. Benedict's time, but there was a world
      outside. Picture yourself riding a subway with any or all of these
      types: an alcoholic, an abuser, a severely disturbed mental
      patient, a tragic drug addict. These are just the ones that we
      might notice, too. All of us on the subway ride daily with liars,
      thieves, adulterers and worse, we just don't know it. Even though
      the subway can offer a bit of a challenge to Christian peace, to
      forgiveness, one usually has only to wait for one's stop, hoping
      meanwhile that a transit cop will appear. If the situation is
      really frightening, one could get off early and catch the next
      train.

      In family or community, sometimes even in the workplace, we may not
      change trains. Not only that, but there are often no transit cops
      at all. Always remember that Christian life, Benedictine life, is
      never tested when it is easy. Sorry folks, but it is only through
      testing that we grow, that our practice improves.

      On the subway or bus, or even in the artificially detached
      situation of world newscasts, it can be a LOT easier to forgive. It
      comes at little or no price at all. It's pretty easy to forgive
      even horrible criminals if they have not harmed our home circle, if
      they have not directly harmed us. Hate to say it, folks, but the
      easy stuff is not where it's at for us. A 50 yard dash may be the
      beginnings of an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, but it is
      never the whole picture.

      The key to Benedictine peace is forgiveness, which is why St.
      Benedict stresses that phrase and calls it a covenant. It truly IS
      a covenant of peace. We are daily asking God, twice out loud, but
      ideally many more times than that alone, to forgive us in the
      measure
      that we forgive.

      Whoa! Risky business there! Any chain's strength is decided by its
      weakest link, so think of the person you LEAST forgive. There you
      will have the model you are suggesting to God
      that He use in forgiving you. As Fr. Hugo used to say: "You love
      God as much as the one you love least."

      Fortunately, God is always offering us His infinite Divine Mercy,
      in spite of the terms we offer Him. If He did not do so, I imagine
      heaven would be a quite appallingly empty place, indeed.
      Nevertheless, I'll bet He will remind us of the terms we offered
      and how little mercy they would afford us. That is one very good
      reason why Roman Catholics believe in Purgatory- a chance to shower
      off the terms we offered God that were so limited they would never
      cut anyone much slack!

      Roman Catholicism and most other mainline Christian denominations
      have not been known as peace churches, historically. They have not
      made the dogmatic necessity of pacifism that the Mennonites or
      Quakers have. Still, it is very hard to look at the Gospel itself or
      at the daily Our Fathers and understand how so many wars have
      happened in Christian history, especially between allegedly
      Christian nations.

      If every monastery refectory, every dining room table and every
      workplace lunch room had perfect forgiveness and peace, there would
      likely be no war. Wouldn't happen, because genuine peace truly is
      contagious. Do you see why we have to start at home, to start
      small? It's the only place we have to begin.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
      Petersham, MA
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