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