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Holy Rule for Nov. 22

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX In the U.S., we celebrate Thanksgivng today. I give special thanks to God for the gift that all of you are and have been to me, for the many ways you have
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 21 1:55 PM
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      In the U.S., we celebrate Thanksgivng today. I give special thanks to God for the gift that all of you are and have been to me, for the many ways you have enriched my life. DEO GRATIAS!!

      Deo gratias and thanks, Catherine, for whom we prayed has agreed to go into a nursing home, a MUCH better care option for her. Prayers now that the social worker makes the arrangements in time, there is some red tape to fear.

      Deo gratias for B., whose husband has come home and is resolving their marital problems.

      Prayers, please for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who care for them:

      Beth, Multiple sclerosis.

      Tim, chronic anxiety, suffering for some years now

      Barb's son, bipolar and alcoholism.

      Prayers for B., needing an annulment to complete her reception into the Catholic Church. 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

      March 23, July 23, November 22
      Chapter 43: On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table

      Anyone who does not come to table before the verse,
      so that all together may say the verse and the oration
      and all sit down to table at the same time --
      anyone who
      through his own carelessness or bad habit
      does not come on time
      shall be corrected for this up to the second time.
      If then he does not amend,
      he shall not be allowed to share in the common table,
      but shall be separated from the company of all
      and made to eat alone,
      and his portion of wine shall be taken away from him,
      until he has made satisfaction and has amended.
      And let him suffer a like penalty who is not present
      at the verse said after the meal.


      OK, before we all get hopelessly mired in the belief that St.
      Benedict is REALLY mired in punctuality issues, let's try a parable
      reality check. What if every bus (or train or plane or subway,)
      waited for the latecomer to arrive? For starters, the schedule of
      everyone sitting helpless on that mode of transportation would be
      disrupted. Everyone would be late, every single one. Some would miss
      work, others a wedding, others still a connection with friends to
      leave on vacation. If all public transport followed such a program,
      our whole world would be a chaotic mess of very unhappy campers in
      nothing flat.

      Benedictine communities do things together. Usually, that means that
      a late arrival at a meal keeps everyone sitting there when already
      finished, waiting for the tardy one to eat. (Occasionally a superior
      will intervene and end the meal more or less on time, but often that
      is not the case. Everybody waits.) This lengthening of the meal then
      throws the whole schedule off. The Office cannot suffer, it's times
      are inexorable, so what usually gets clipped is free time, recreation
      or work. Rob people of these on a regular basis and they can get very

      Lateness which is unavoidable is just that, unavoidable. That's a
      time when the meal ought to be prolonged, when the others ought to
      witness that we "bear one another's burdens" and so fulfill the law
      of Christ. However, chronic unnecessary lateness is often a sign of
      lack of consideration, lack of care for others, maybe even of lack of
      respect. Brother X is my brother. I am responsible for a large chunk
      of his communal life. If I say that doesn't matter and stroll into
      dinner whenever I feel like it, something is terribly wrong with me.
      I need to have my skewed vision and values corrected. That's what
      this is all about: loving one another rightly.

      Much of the Holy Rule which deals with communal life (and is VERY
      easy to apply to family life or workplace,) has to do with what should
      really be common courtesy and decency. Granted, sometimes those values get
      wrapped in ancient language and gesture, making it less easy to see
      how simple and modern they are, but those exhortations to polite,
      considerate, gentle living are things anyone can follow in any milieu, to great
      benefit! Many of those courtesies are threatened or altogether lacking today.
      Helping keep them alive may start a conversion in another we will never know
      until heaven.

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB
      Petrsham, MA

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