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Holy Rule for Feb. 6

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX For the spirirtual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Suzanne, 47, ill for six weeks
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 5, 2008
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      For the spirirtual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Suzanne, 47, ill for six weeks with pneumonia and no sick pay time.

      Katrina's family, multiple needs and for her husband, John, and she, that they remain strong during this trials:son, Matthew 15, was just diagnosied with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) and his steroids are making him physically sick but they are helping with the stiffness in his joints. Also, we are being sued by the people aother son, Joe 18, had a motor vehicle accident with over three months ago. Also, my father-in-law just fell off the stairs and now has limited motion is in legs. AND my oldest son's application was put on hold for the college of his choice.

      Scotttie, 79, knee replacement, and for her daughter, Liz, to be there for her and pray aright for all.

      Kevan, a spate of TIA's, had a stroke in 2000, doctors trying to figure out what is wrong.

      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

      February 6, June 7, October 7
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The ninth degree of humility
      is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence,
      not speaking until he is questioned.
      For the Scripture shows
      that "in much speaking there is no escape from sin" (Prov. 10:19)
      and that "the talkative man is not stable on the earth" (Ps. 139:12).


      Well, you can safely bet that I fail this one right and left.

      Obedience is essential to humility, but as we climb the steps, other
      virtues that figure in humility are presented to us. Why is silence
      important? Because when someone like me is shooting his mouth off all
      the time, whether being really funny, or just thinking he is, offering the
      world choice observations of his "exquisite" wisdom, what's really
      going on is a desire to be at the center of things, to be star and
      protagonist. Lights, camera, action! Why?

      If I am bored- and I often am- I make a joke, create my own
      excitement, change the human situation I have walked into to suit MY
      needs. Maybe others weren't bored at all, even if they politely laugh
      and seem to enjoy it. That trait doesn't say much for my depth.

      I need to be entertained? Hello!?!? Can't I find enough material in
      silence to keep me busy? What's really going on here? Short attention
      span much? I can get so absorbed in elevating humor and speech as
      positive, necessary goods that I can easily forget that both can be
      tools of control, and control is not for the humble.

      Naming that does not mean I do not have to work at change. I do. I
      think it was Flannery O'Connor who said that accepting ourselves does
      not preclude an effort to be better. Change may be so gradual that
      none will ever notice, but every time I resist any useless temptation
      to open my mouth, there is a small victory.

      Face it, we think a lot of what we have to say is important because we
      think WE are important, or funny or clever. We truly have divinely created
      dignity, but that is not usually what is employed in making these decisions
      to speak!

      Silence is not incompatible with charity or cheerfulness. Brother
      David Gormican, OSB, of St. Leo, now gone to God, was a paragon of
      this step (actually, of all of them!) Brother would speak first if he
      needed something, but otherwise, he waited until he was spoken to or
      asked something. No surprise that he usually looked very recollected:
      he was!

      When he was called on to speak, it was always cheerfully and
      with something I can only describe as sweetness. I don't mean he was
      sugary, I mean sweetness in the best possible sense. When Brother
      David DID speak, one would never think that silence was unloving; all
      his compassion and love just shone right through.

      Brother David was truly a saint. No doubt, had he wished to run off
      at the mouth as I do, he could have given you all much better and
      deeper wisdom and holiness than me. But part of his holiness was
      silence and his humility allowed people far less bright (like me,) to
      talk all they wanted, unchallenged.

      On the rare occasion when he wouldn't leave something unchallenged,
      the weight of a well-chosen phrase or two of his would offset pages of prose!
      Part of the reason his words bore such weight is that he was so usually
      silent that people LISTENED when he spoke. Sadly, that is not true for most of us.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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