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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Nov 4

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2007
      +PAX


      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
      friend support.

      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:
      michael_oblate@...


      Chapter 28: On Those Who Will Not Amend after Repeated Corrections

      If a sister who has been frequently corrected for some fault, and
      even excommunicated,
      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.

      REFLECTION

      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
      causes quite
      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,

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