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Holy Rule for Feb. 8

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Michael, 20, a soldier killed by an IED in Iraq and for all his family and all who mourn him. Prayers,
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 7, 2008
      +PAX

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Michael, 20, a soldier killed by an IED in Iraq and for all his family and all who mourn him. Prayers, too, that his funeral is not marred by protesters with signs disturbing to his family.

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

      Karen, having gastric by-pass surgery later this month. She has some blood pressure problems, so is a bit concerned about the surgery.

      Peter, who was just diagnosed with a tumor, growing in his bladder. He will have emergency surgery today for it.

      Deo gratias, Anastasia, a troubled teen we have prayed ofr, has a new job and hopefully will graduate this year from high school. 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

      Chapter 7: On Humility cont.
      February 8, June 9, October 9

      The eleventh degree of humility is that when a monk speaks he do so gently
      and without laughter, humbly and seriously, in few and sensible words, and
      that he be not noisy in his speech. It is written, "A wise man is known by
      the fewness of his words."

      REFLECTION

      I read this one and cringe, largely because I fail it so much. Part of my
      loudness is being 40% deaf, and while I try to control my levels of speech, I
      sometimes forget. That, however, in NO way absolves me from the wise man and
      fewness of words part, nor does it cover the sins of my tendency to make a
      big splash nearly every time I'm entering the pool. Face it, beloveds, for those
      at poolside dining on dry snacks like potato chips, those big splashes can get
      very old, very fast!

      I'm speaking of my own failure here, but I imagine some of it may apply to
      others' lives, too. So many wasted words, and at such volume! What is their
      purpose, what insecurities do they cover? How many times do I speak as if on
      stage and why? To show that I am cool or a big shot or clever or funny? All
      those things are ultimately lies and the person I may be trying most to
      convince is my pathetically false self.

      How many times do I call it teasing when another is really hurt? How many
      times do I go over the top and not even notice, because my focus is really on
      myself? Even if I am only futilely trying to overcome my own boredom by
      creating some excitement, the message reads frighteningly clear: I am more important,
      I am a big deal, I matter more than the people or silence that make me
      uncomfortable. None of that is true in the sense I am modeling it. None. So why do I bother?
      Why do any of us? These are tough and excellent questions!

      There are, however, both positive and negative sides to this virtuous method
      of speech. Check out the "gently" part, check out the "fewness" of words, not
      their total absence. I have been at gatherings, not a few of them, alas,
      monastic, where such a tense and uneasy silence obtained that one began to
      ardently hope that someone would serve cyanide kool-aid and end the
      suffering! One leaves such a mess hankering for an antacid. Not what recreations are
      supposed to be and especially bad if they come right after a meal!

      What is behind such recreations that have all the charm of a dead string
      quartet is often shyness or social ineptitude, but these, too, are faults in some
      instances and must be overcome. Just as the braying fool like myself must
      rein in, others must consciously "rein out". To fail to do so is to embrace
      the same lie: I matter more than this situation, than these people. My feelings
      are paramount. Whoops! Not so. Many humble people may be reticent, but there are
      plenty of ways to be shy that are decidedly neither humble nor kind.

      The twofold key is charity and balance. There have been times when I have
      seen a person- even been a person- who monopolized a recreation. There have been
      other times when I have longed for someone to do so. It requires that mindfulness
      born of love and balance to truthfully ascertain whether a situation would
      profit more from our silence or our speaking. But the key here is "profit
      more" and the recipients in mind must be others, not just ourselves. Buffoonery can
      certainly annoy, but silence can also sometimes hurt: this person doesn't
      care about me at all, it's like I didn't even exist. Somewhere between the
      extremes lies love, folks, and that is our precarious goal.

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



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for all affected by the severe tornado that hit New Orleans. Prayers for all affected by the record snowfall in British Columbia. Prayers for
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 7

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for all affected by the severe tornado that hit New Orleans.

         

        Prayers for all affected by the record snowfall in British Columbia.

         

        Prayers for David and Neesha and their unborn baby, A. J.. Their pregnancy is at 9 weeks and is high risk. The risk will diminish when they enter the 2nd trimester at 12 weeks. They have waited for this baby for 11 years, ardent prayers, please, that everything continues to go well.  Mother and baby are both well so far, thanks be to God!

         

        Prayers for Fr. Peter P., critically ill and hospitalized, not released to rehab, healing prayers for his continued recovery.

         

        Prayers for baby Devin, who has an inoperable brain tumor. Doctors have given him 8 months to 2 years to live. Prayers for a miracle of healing, and for his devastated parents and family.

         

        Prayers for Joshua, meeting with the vocation director.

         

        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

        Chapter 7: On Humility cont.
        February 8, June 9, October 9

        The eleventh degree of humility is that when a monk speaks he do so gently
        and without laughter, humbly and seriously, in few and sensible words, and
        that he be not noisy in his speech. It is written, "A wise man is known by
        the fewness of his words."

        REFLECTION

        I read this one and cringe, largely because I fail it so much. Part of my
        loudness is being 40% deaf, and while I try to control my levels of speech, I
        sometimes forget. That, however, in NO way absolves me from the wise man and
        fewness of words part, nor does it cover the sins of my tendency to make a
        big splash nearly every time I'm entering the pool. Face it, beloveds, for those
        at poolside dining on dry snacks like potato chips, those big splashes can get
        very old, very fast!

        I'm speaking of my own failure here, but I imagine some of it may apply to
        others' lives, too. So many wasted words, and at such volume! What is their
        purpose, what insecurities do they cover? How many times do I speak as if on
        stage and why? To show that I am cool or a big shot or clever or funny? All
        those things are ultimately lies and the person I may be trying most to
        convince is my pathetically false self.

        How many times do I call it teasing when another is really hurt? How many
        times do I go over the top and not even notice, because my focus is really on
        myself? Even if I am only futilely trying to overcome my own boredom by
        creating some excitement, the message reads frighteningly clear: I am more
        important, I am a big deal, I matter more than the people or silences that make
        me uncomfortable. None of that is true in the sense I am modeling it. None. So why
        do I bother? Why do any of us? These are tough and excellent questions!

        The twofold key is charity and balance. There have been times when I have
        seen a person- even been a person- who monopolized a conversation. There have been
        other times when I have longed for someone to do so. It requires that
        mindfulness born of love and balance to truthfully ascertain whether a situation
        would profit more from our silence or our speaking.

        But the key here is "profit more" and the recipients in mind must be others, not
        just ourselves. Buffoonery can certainly annoy, but silence can also sometimes
        hurt: this person doesn't care about me at all, it's like I didn't even exist.
        Somewhere between the extremes lies love, folks, and that is our precarious goal.

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

         

         

         

         

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