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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Oct 30

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for David whom we have prayed before as he has been in and out of the hospital several times with heart problems and related depression, and
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2007
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      Please pray for David whom we have prayed before as he has been in
      and out of the hospital several times with heart problems and
      related depression, and is not doing at all well. Also, please pray
      for his wife Rea, his daughter Lori, her husband, and her mother-in-
      law Ruth, who asks for the prayers. Also please pray for Joyce.
      For Abbot Isaac Camacho, newly elected Abbot of St. Leo ABbey, FL.

      For Rod, who has a very severe infection in his hand.

      Please continue prayers for our good Brother Jerome who is in Rome.
      He is happy, busy and tired, but napping, too!

      Please pray for Nadeem in Pakistan and for:
      Khalida Shakeel -- leg infection requiring surgery. Pray for Gama --
      cancer and sugar.
      Pray for Romash Nazir -- applying for an Official job. There is a
      very strong bias against hiring Christians in Pakistan. Pray for
      Shameem --TB disease --recently married and her husband is is not
      able to buy medicine for her. So please pray for Shameem and
      husband. Please pray for Nadeem's mom -- knee pain and difficulty
      walking. Also pray for Nadeem's dad he is now becoming old and his
      health is not good. Pray for Imtiaz's son -- Imtiaz had a son after
      three daughters and that son is now sick.

      Please pray for the B. Eubanks family, to do Gods will. Also, Deo
      Gratias for all God has given us and to stop abortion, euthanasia,
      wars, & fighting.

      +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:

      Chapter 23: On Excommunication for Faults

      If a brother is found to be obstinate, or disobedient, or proud, or
      murmuring, or habitually transgressing the Holy Rule in any point
      and contemptuous of the orders of his seniors,
      the latter shall admonish him secretly a first and a second time,
      as Our Lord commands (Matt. 18:15). If he fails to amend, let him
      be given a public rebuke in front of the whole community. But if
      even then he does not reform, let him be placed under
      provided that he understands the seriousness of that penalty; if he
      is perverse, however,
      let him undergo corporal punishment.


      Calm down, folks! Nobody uses corporal punishment any more, though
      I can tell you that its use in certain cases has often been a
      daydreaming temptation! It's worth noting that, for most people,
      such daydreams always chuckle at the thought of someone ELSE getting
      corporal punishment, not themselves! Sigh... Me included.

      While some today may chafe at these chapters, known as the penal
      code of the Holy Rule, believe me, the modern problem is NOT that
      they are too stringently enforced. Quite the opposite. The
      Benedictine atmosphere of gentle moderation can cloak and empower a
      lot of timidity and cowardice, too. Neither are very loving,
      they're just useful means of avoidance.

      Not all love is tough love, but all love IS tough. When a parent or
      boss or superior chooses their own comfort by avoiding
      confrontation with a problem member, everyone suffers. Those in
      authority are called to love, and love leaves no stone unturned, not
      even those that are horribly difficult to lift.

      Most of us can think of far too many examples of timid authority
      failures in families and workplaces. One probably cannot change the
      people in charge that effect such negligence. One ought to bravely
      try, but it often doesn't work. One can moan a lot about it, but
      that gets to murmuring in no time and is also counter-productive.
      The message here for all of us is "Look at your own choir stall",
      which is a Benedictine way of saying "Mind your own business and
      examine your conscience." If you are in authority, or get there
      someday, don't be a flop or an unloving wimp. If you are not in
      charge, don't make yourself one of the problems. It is terribly
      hard for rank and file to ignore what seemingly ought not to be
      ignored, but sometimes we simply have to do so or leave. That is one
      of the VERY great ascetic disciplines of common life. Believe me,
      fasting pales to nothing beside this one. I'd rather fast any day!

      Over the years I have heard excuses close to whining from people in
      all areas of authority: political, ecclesiastical, parental,
      monastic and administrative. "Nothing can be done about so-and-so.
      My hands are tied." I hate to say that I remain unable to
      completely buy that,
      largely because sometimes I've been around long enough to see a
      successor (or the courts!) DO something about so-and-so. My own time
      as list owner of Monastic Life taught me that deciding to do
      something can heap tons of abuse on one's head, but something often
      can be done.

      Monastics come to the Holy Rule for the benefit of discipline and
      growth and guidance toward holiness. We have a right to same, and
      no one should have to know that only for the most flagrant of abuses
      will he or she get it. St. Benedict points us toward the "bonum
      obedientiae", the good, the gift of obedience.

      That means that, for Benedictines, there must be something much more
      than mere non- intervention. There has to be someone on the rudder.
      There has to be something more stable than the ever-changing weather
      vanes of consensus or self-will. Micro managing is a
      terrible fault, but no management at all is far worse in many ways.
      BOTH extremes are to be avoided. Virtue stands in the middle: virtus
      in media stat!

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