Please pray for the safe delivery of Tatiana's child... it is her
and her husband's first baby.
Deo Gratias! for the continuing recovery of, Chris, who has heart
failure at 27, that his native heart continues to heal so a
transplant won't be necessary. Prayers also for Dr. Gerry, a
urologist is having one of his own diseased kidneys removed on
Tuesday. The hope is that there is no tumors or cancer discovered.
Haley, 3 months old died unexpectedly this past week. Please pray
for her 4 year old brother and mother who are confused about this.
Please pray for Joanna, who has possible recurrent ovarian cancer.
Prayers for a 19y/o boy who was shot in the face this week, and
still in intensive care.
Prayers of thanks for the end of Dianne's successful cancer
Please continue prayers for Amy for whom we have prayed.
+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 6, July 6, November 5
Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be
If a brother who through his own fault leaves the monastery should
wish to return, let him first promise full reparation for his
having gone away; and then let him be received in the lowest place,
as a test of his humility. And if he should leave again, let him be
taken back again, and so a third time; but he should understand
that after this all way of return is denied him.
There are variant readings of the first line of this chapter among
manuscripts. Some authorities accept the additional phrase "or is
expelled", though the RB1980 translation does not. As with so many
things this ancient, it is hard to tell who is right (and
sometimes, if that matters!) I checked in the library downstairs,
but I can't find our autographed first edition of the Holy Rule
However, let's err on the side of mercy if we are to err at all.
Since most modern translations omit the phrase, let's take a look
at the other possibility: what if it really was what St. Benedict
had in mind?
If so, it reveals a mercy and love and tenderness beyond anything
we have ever seen in the Holy Rule. If, even after all the hassle
that can occur before one actually gets thrown out one could STILL
be forgiven, and up to three times, that is verging on divine mercy
say the least. Still, it is a very consistent reading with the
penal code that precedes it. If the only reason for Benedictine
punishment is reform and conversion, then even the ultimate
punishment of expulsion ought to have a hook of possible conversion
From this perspective, let us look at ourselves for a moment. How
do we "punish" people or banish them from our lives and hearts? I
use quotes around "punish" to stress the lunacy that very often
such "punishments" harm no one but ourselves. We decide, once and
for all that this or that person has had it. End of story. Well, if
one reads the Holy Rule carefully, there MAY be an "end of story"
point for Benedictines, but it does not come as often or as early
or as readily as some of us might think and we must be saddened if
it does come!
Face it, a lot of us think of punishment as about us, not the
offender. It is OUR "justice" that gets fed, that makes demands,
that says we are done with the problem person. Whoa! If God's ideas
are anything like that (and we daily ask Him to use our standards of
mercy in the Our Father,) we are in deep, deep trouble. Our
punishments must have an eye to reform, not revenge, to conversion,
not conclusion. Permanent rifts, as even the Rule allows, may
sometimes occur, but our attitude then should be sadness, not joy.
Love and prayers,