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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Nov 3

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Deo gratias from Drew, for whom we ve prayed, for healing from pneumonia. He is back working and financial burdens have lifted somewhat. God is good!
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2007

      Deo gratias from Drew, for whom we've prayed, for healing from
      pneumonia. He is back working and financial burdens have lifted
      somewhat. God is good!

      +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:

      March 4, July 4, November 3
      Chapter 27: How Solicitous the Abbot Should Be for the

      Let the Abbot be most solicitous in his concern for delinquent
      brethren, for "it is not the healthy but the sick who need a
      physician" (Matt 9:12) And therefore he ought to use every means
      that a wise physician would use. Let him send senpectae, that is,
      brethren of mature years and wisdom, who may as it were secretly
      console the wavering brother
      and induce him to make humble satisfaction; comforting him that he
      may not "be overwhelmed by excessive grief" (2 Cor. 2:7), but that,
      as the Apostle says, charity may be strengthened in him (2 Cor.
      2:8). And let everyone pray for him.

      For the Abbot must have the utmost solicitude and exercise all
      prudence and diligence
      lest he lose any of the sheep entrusted to him. Let him know that
      what he has undertaken is the care of weak souls and not a tyranny
      over strong ones; and let him fear the Prophet's warning through
      which God says, "What you saw to be fat you took to yourselves, and
      what was feeble you cast away" (Ezec. 34:3,4). Let him rather
      imitate the loving example of the Good Shepherd who left the ninety-
      nine sheep in the mountains
      and went to look for the one sheep that had gone astray, on whose
      weakness He had such compassion that He deigned to place it on His
      own sacred shoulders and thus carry it back to the flock (Luke 15:4-


      This is the chapter that makes the entire penal code (as it is
      usually termed,) of the Holy Rule clear. Drop this one and it DOES
      become mean. The Abbot (or parent or teacher or boss or spouse,) is
      actually called to exercise super concern for the fallen. Hence, it
      is clear that the whole purpose of punishment in the Holy Rule is
      only to heal, to reform. It is an action of great hope, not a cop
      out of exclusion, not simply writing a person off because of the
      difficulties presented.

      How often do we "punish" another, or even ourselves, as a means of
      write-off, of abdication of our responsibility to love? Both the
      Gospel and St. Benedict teach us that is wrong, it is not a
      Christian response and not at all the way we should "conveniently"
      unload ourselves of a troubled human being in our lives.

      All of us charged with the care of others must pay close attention
      to this chapter. It is so easy to love the "perfect" child or the
      whiz kid student. It is so easy to heap acceptance and confident
      affirmation on the types of employees who least need it, while the
      strugglers and the strays have their feelings of inferiority
      confirmed. People of any age quite often stoop to the level that
      others expect of them. We must offer them the best chance we can to
      do and be all that they can.

      The world will offer all the empty praise that is necessary to the
      successful. It is the shallow way of the world to do so. Christians
      and monastics, however, are called to be OTHER than the world.
      There has to be something topsy-turvy in the way we love that
      becomes puzzlingly apparent. We have to love the underdog, even
      when the underdog is driving us slowly nuts. This doesn't mean we
      don't love the holy and good ones, it means we never, never fail to
      love the plodders. It means that we always remember that we are
      in many ways ourselves.

      Love and prayers,

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