Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Holy Rule for Jan. 13

Expand Messages
  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of the following, for their loved ones and all who mourn them: Jan s friend and colleague, 52 Brian,
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 12, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of the following, for their loved ones and all who mourn them:

      Jan's friend and colleague, 52

      Brian, 50, head-on car collision, and especially for his aunt, Norma and for Carol, who asked prayers.

      Marcelle, 39, and her two children, 4&5, all struck and killed on an interstate.


      Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all who love them and all who care for them:

      Joyce, bad news on her cancer diagnosis, and for Deirdre, her daughter and family care-givers.

      Mike, Deo gratias, is cancer-free after three months of aggressive treatment. May he continue in remission!

      Skyler, brain damage after a 25 foot fall through an attic floor.

      Pete, in prison

      Tracy and Monte, going on a 50 day mission in Guatemala. 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

      January 13, May 14, September 13
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

      In her teaching
      the Abbess should always follow the Apostle's formula:
      "Reprove, entreat, rebuke" (2 Tim. 4:2);
      threatening at one time and coaxing at another
      as the occasion may require,
      showing now the stern countenance of a mistress,
      now the loving affection of a mother.
      That is to say,
      it is the undisciplined and restless
      whom she must reprove rather sharply;
      it is the obedient, meek and patient
      whom she must entreat to advance in virtue;
      while as for the negligent and disdainful,
      these we charge her to rebuke and correct.

      And let her not shut her eyes to the faults of offenders;
      but, since she has the authority,
      let her cut out those faults by the roots
      as soon as they begin to appear,
      remembering the fate of Heli, the priest of Silo (1 Kings 2-4).
      The well-disposed and those of good understanding
      let her correct with verbal admonition the first and second time.
      But bold, hard, proud and disobedient characters
      she should curb at the very beginning of their ill-doing
      by stripes and other bodily punishments,
      knowing that it is written,
      "the fool is not corrected with words" (Prov. 18:2; 29:19),
      and again,
      "Beat your son with the rod,
      and you will deliver his soul from death"(Prov. 23:13-14).

      REFLECTION

      As our world grows more populated and less personalist, "One size
      fits all" becomes a favorite chant of marketing. We all know that's
      usually not true, and it is surely not true of parenting or
      governing, as St. Benedict points out. This chapter firmly
      contradicts the lie of such marketing. We are all individuals, all
      treasures with different needs. Generic brand parenting will not do.

      I was a miserable failure at discipline when teaching high school
      sophomore English. I am sure it is an experience neither they nor I
      would like to repeat. I tried to treat them like college students or
      adults, a point they had not reached.

      In my naivete, I expected them to respond. When they didn't, matters
      escalated between us, but not into anything that did much good. I was
      terribly at fault: I didn't see who they were, I gave them what *I* would
      have liked to have had, but I was already in my mid-thirties with a lot of
      life experience.

      I wasn't serving their needs, because I didn't know who or what they
      were, nor, in that first year, did I even know how to find out! So,
      like many before me, I substituted what I would want or need and
      proclaimed that would fit all. Wrong! NOT!

      Any abbess or parent who wants to try my way, not St. Benedict's,
      will quickly find that it is as hard on them as it is on their
      charges. My year of high school teaching was hell and I hated it. My
      students hated it, too. It was terrible for both of us at many, many
      points. The light that entered in from time to time, the genuine
      enjoyment of each other was only a flash that appeared rarely, faded
      soon. I pray for those kids (and for those who taught me!) every day
      of my life.

      St. Benedict is not only moderate and balanced, he sees the person
      clearly. He is a personalist of the first rank. Practice his
      principles of government without the checks and balances of this
      portion and you will be very displeased with the results. It
      sometimes takes St. Benedict a while to make his point. Cut him short
      before he has, and you will often wind up very sorry. Always let him
      finish: the whole is a thing of beauty, but the parts may fall far
      short of that.

      My superior, Father Anselm, once wisely commented that most preaching
      is preaching to oneself, meaning that we give others what we need to
      hear. Sadly, I think he's right. I know I have often done that.
      Mercifully, God alone can bring good out of anything, so He can even
      use our wrong-headedness to bring others to Him. He can do that with
      obedience, too, but if we give Him a bit less chaos by following
      Benedict's methods rather than our own, it will be better for all
      concerned.

      To a certain point, some people thrive on a lot of leeway, others do
      not. Some people need rigid order, others will wither under that. A
      superior who is into super control will soon be left with none but
      those who need that and a few conflicted types who can at least
      endure it.

      A superior who is too easy-going can also do harm. Sad is the
      community where the only thing will ever get all the horses back into
      the barn is death, and a few of them exist. They were produced by
      mutual efforts of bad government and bad response.

      This is not so different from the message throughout the Holy Rule:
      eyes on the other, not the self, eyes on God for the good of all!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.