Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Nov 4
Prayers please for Hannah Grace who was born on Monday, October
29th. She has a heart defect know as hypoplastic left heart and will
need surgery on Monday to survive. Prayers for the surgeons, nurses,
social workers and all health personnel assisting the family. And
prayers for Christine and Brian.......Hannah's Mom and Dad......
Please pray for Rocco, very large growth upper right chest and
shoulder; much pain and immobility. Seeing surgeon Monday.
Please pray for Mr. Younis Akhtar and Tahira Arif who have liver
problems and Saleema Bibi and Marthan Bibi who have pain in their
knees and for all the sick in the village.
Please pray for Kathie: that her religous aspiratons be granted soon.
Please pray for a special intention for Courtney.
Please pray for Tom B., fighting a major bladder infection & Cancer
issues. He is currently in the Hospital with lots of family and
Please pray for Ann struggling with depression. After finding an
answer that will save her employer a great deal of money. Another
lady was made Manager of Ann's department. They will be moving the
new nabager into Ann's office and Ann into a cubicle. Inside. There
are also problems inside her family.
Please pray for a special intention for Courtney concerning work.
+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 28: On Those Who Will Not Amend after Repeated Corrections
If a sister who has been frequently corrected for some fault, and
does not amend, let a harsher correction be applied, that is, let
the punishment of the rod be administered.
But if she still does not reform or perhaps (which God forbid) even
rises up in pride and wants to defend her conduct, then let the
Abbess do what a wise physician would do.
Having used applications, the ointments of exhortation, the
medicines of the Holy Scriptures, finally the cautery of
excommunication and of the strokes of the rod, if she sees that her
efforts are of no avail, let her apply a still greater remedy, her
own prayers and those of all the others, that the Lord, who can do
all things may restore health to the sister who is sick.
But if she is not healed even in this way, then let the Abbess use
the knife of amputation,
according to the Apostle's words, "Expel the evil one from your
midst" (1 Cor. 5:13),
and again, "If the faithless one departs, let her depart" (1 Cor.
7:15) lest one diseased sheep contaminate the whole flock.
The Holy Rule and its author, St. Benedict, are tremendously kind,
insisting that we go all the way we possibly can and even a bit
beyond with the erring. All that love and care and sorely tried
patience is absolutely necessary before this point, "the knife of
amputation," is reached. This, too, is a great and important part
of mercy, though we may not easily see that at first.
It is tremendously unkind, unloving and unmerciful to hang onto a
person to whom we can no longer offer hope of treatment or genuine
help. It is cruel to continue behavior which can no longer help,
which can only further enable the sufferer's pain, leaving its
untouched. There are times when such played out relationships
become terribly toxic to the sufferer and to all concerned.
There are times when nothing is left but, as AA would put it, to
let that person hit bottom. Even that may or may not work, but we
sometimes have nothing else to apply. To continue forbearance at
such a time is merely to enable, to actually participate in the
person's self-destruction. Al Anon could tell you a lot about the
wisdom of enabling.
This is so hard for us, to finally, seemingly "give up" on someone.
In truth, we never do that. We still pray, we must, but we must
also have the humility to admit that we no longer can be of useful
help, that we are even likely to harm further by enabling. That is
an affront to
our natural pride: we OUGHT to be able to heal ANYTHING, ANYONE...
Sigh... But we aren't. We are also wounded, also imperfect, little
better or capable than the poor sufferer for whom we erroneously
think we can be a healing god from the sky.
St. Benedict is NOT saying to give up on the person- I still pray
for people who left decades ago and probably should have done so. I
have no idea where they are or what they're doing, but I do know
the monastery didn't seem to be the place that was most helpful to
them, nor were they particularly a gift to the community.
What St. Benedict is saying is that we must have the wisdom and
humility to finally stop trying things that don't work, for the
good of all concerned, including ourselves. When this point is
reached, no one can help but God. He can always do so, but to wait
for Him to do
it in a situation already mired beyond hope in dysfunction is not a
great notion. Fix what you can, stop making it worse by enabling
and pray for the rest.
Love and prayers,