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Apr 28

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX In my rush to remember my Orthodox friends Easter yesterday, I forgot (mea culpa!) to wish those celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday a blessed day! Ah, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28, 2003
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      +PAX

      In my rush to remember my Orthodox friends' Easter yesterday, I
      forgot (mea culpa!) to wish those celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday a
      blessed day! Ah, the traps and pitfalls of inclusion!
      I love the Divine Mercy, as you may have guessed and the day was one
      of awesome holiness here!

      Prayers,please, for Peter Satori's eternal rest and for his
      daughters, Claudia and her sisters; also for Jean, flying today to
      Europe. God's will be done! Thanks! NRN JL


      April 28, August 28, December 28
      Chapter 70: That No One Venture to Punish at Random

      Every occasion of presumption
      shall be avoided in the monastery,
      and we decree that no one be allowed
      to excommunicate or to strike any of her sisters
      unless the Abbess has given her the authority.
      Those who offend in this matter
      shall be rebuked in the presence of all,
      that the rest may have fear.

      But children up to 15 years of age
      shall be carefully controlled and watched by all,
      yet this too with all moderation and discretion.
      All, therefore, who presume
      without the Abbess' instructions
      to punish those above that age
      or who lose their temper with them,
      shall undergo the discipline of the Rule;
      for it is written,
      "Do not to another what you would not want done to yourself" (Tobias
      4:16).

      REFLECTION

      "Every occasion of presumption should be avoided in the monastery."
      This is about a lot more than saying who can punish whom. This is
      pointing out that, whenever there are more than one to be considered,
      absolute freedom cannot exist. This is about central authority, yes,
      but it is also about the total way one conducts oneself in a home or
      group that others share.

      Ever think about your first home away from your parents house? It was
      probably different in a lot of ways, especially if you lived there
      alone. Heady freedom that! I recall my own first place very well and
      fondly. However, I can assure you, I could not have lived as I did
      there had I been in a family, with younger siblings at home. (OK, it
      was 1969, so go figure...) Even alone, however, I was not free to
      play my stereo at undue volumes at 3 AM. We live on a common planet,
      at some point ALL of our lives touch others. When they do, control of
      some sort is necessary if people are to live in peace.

      There is a great and treacherous myth of individualism among
      Americans and, to a lesser extent, I think, among all Western
      European cultures. Non-western cultures often have a much more highly
      developed sense of sharing and commonality. Schweitzer pointed out
      that Europeans found the Africans lazy, because they would not work
      to a point of exhaustion without need.

      They worked all right, but when the work was done, they quit. They
      had a casual and natural attitude to work, proper to their own
      economic system, that drove the Europeans nuts, because the latter
      had more of a 40-hours-a-week-and-then-you-rest notion. Both
      Schweitzer and I tend to side with the natives on this one!

      That myth of total freedom, of self-sufficiency being able to buy one
      the right to any activity is totally wrong. Even at 20, in my richly
      bohemian digs that I called "Shackri-la", I was not totally free. I
      didn't know it back then, but I wasn't. I had no right to waste water
      or leave lights on all night or drive drunk. My fantasy might have
      been chronologically appropriate as Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco,
      but hey, even there, even then, people were not free in any absolute
      sense. None of us are.

      Every presumed domain of our control exists on a planet shared by
      billions. No one of us is an island. Our complete interdependence is
      not only objective fact, it is our only hope. You might never have
      read this chapter as an ad for ecological consciousness, but look at
      the first line again. We are ALWAYS in this with others and that
      always means responsibilities to "...not do to another what one would
      not have done to oneself."

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