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Holy Rule for Feb. 9

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Blanche Harubin, mother of our Sister Julian, who died this morning, and for all her family and
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 8, 2008
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Blanche Harubin, mother of our Sister Julian, who died this morning, and for all her family and all who mourn her.

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

      Ruth and her Mom; Ruth has been trying to care for her Mom, who has Alzheimer's, at home, but now she has turned violent and must be institutionalized. Ruth remains at risk till a bed is found. Prayers for both.

      Mary, turning 97 on Saturday, and for her family, especially Carol, who asked for prayers for her.

      Deo gratias, Elaine's leg lesion was not cancerous, continued prayers for her healing,

      Deo gratias, Bev, whose cancer we prayed ofr a while back, has come back cancer-free after treatment. May her remission continue.

      Don, a gentle young man in his early twenties. He has been unable to find steady work for over a year and has just learned that his parents obtained credit cards in his name (without his knowledge) and charged over $16,000!

      John, whose wife died recently. He is now having serious health problems himself and is in the same nursing home his wife was just in. The family asks for prayers for him. And for all of them, who are still grieving the death of their mother.

      a young man who has fallen away from the faith and who is treating his mother terribly, blaming her for all his problems. The family fears for his life. He seems so out of control right now.

      a young mother in Texas with 2 small children. She left the husband, who is on serious drugs, and came back up north where her family is. She had a job and was doing okay, but the courts in Texas have demanded she return. She's having trouble finding a job and the husband and his family aren't helping her at all. It's really a bad situation.

      Linda undergoing serious cancer surgery today.

      For Cindi who has serious health concerns.

      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 9, June 10, October 10
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The twelfth degree of humility
      is that a monk not only have humility in his heart
      but also by his very appearance make it always manifest
      to those who see him.
      That is to say that whether he is at the Work of God,
      in the oratory, in the monastery, in the garden, on the road,
      in the fields or anywhere else,
      and whether sitting, walking or standing,
      he should always have his head bowed
      and his eyes toward the ground.
      Feeling the guilt of his sins at every moment,
      he should consider himself already present at the dread Judgment
      and constantly say in his heart
      what the publican in the Gospel said
      with his eyes fixed on the earth:
      "Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up my eyes to heaven"
      (Luke 18:13; Matt. 8:8);
      and again with the Prophet:
      "I am bowed down and humbled everywhere" (Ps. 37:7,9; 118:107).

      REFLECTION

      Alcoholics Anonymous jokes about what they call "Two-steppers," that
      is, people who decide to jump right from Step 1, acknowledging their
      problem, to Step 12, carrying the message to others, with nothing in
      between! Wrong! Doesn't work that way...

      Benedictines sometimes see a similar mistake in novices and humility.
      Bingo, they go right to the twelfth degree with nothing to build
      their external humility on but the images of popular fiction and such.

      My friend, Bishop Basil, tells me that his Spiritual Father used to tell him:
      "Beware the monk whose humility you're always tripping over." Amen!!!
      Genuine humility is not affected or showy, it is quite the reverse!
      People who learn that have a chance to stay, people who don't often
      leave because no monastery fits their model, though they
      may keep looking for one that does!

      Second Section of the Reading:

      Having climbed all these steps of humility, therefore,
      the monk will presently come to that perfect love of God
      which casts out fear.
      And all those precepts
      which formerly he had not observed without fear,
      he will now begin to keep by reason of that love,
      without any effort,
      as though naturally and by habit.
      No longer will his motive be the fear of hell,
      but rather the love of Christ,
      good habit
      and delight in the virtues
      which the Lord will deign to show forth by the Holy Spirit
      in His servant now cleansed from vice and sin.

      This crucially important second part is why none of those two-steppers
      quite make it AND why the first section is spared from
      Jansenism. (Jansenism, you may recall, was a heresy which held that
      we could NEVER be worthy, NEVER do enough penance and so forth. In
      its sad extremes, it harked to a sort of Pelagian attitude, implying
      that we might be able to do something to save ourselves if we did a lot of
      harsh stuff!
      But, of course, even that would never be enough. It was a terribly mean
      idea of God.)

      Humility is NOT affected, not presupposing, hence efforts to LOOK
      humble when one is not so will fall woefully short of the mark. No
      Academy Awards for this one! When they call for the envelope, it will
      be empty!

      Genuine humility is the most unself-conscious thing in the
      world. It produces the external demeanor without any further ado,
      because the person actually (and usually unwittingly!) BECOMES the
      truth they are striving to live. Humility shows up in the face, in
      everything, just as years of bitterness or years of love often do.

      You couldn't hide humility if you wanted to, but you don't need to,
      because the true humility is rarely even noticed and those who are
      less humble tend to discount the really humble as nobodies. In one
      sense, they are quite right! Both would agree on that!

      If one never gets to the joy and love of the end of this passage,
      there will be no reason not to look artificially rather glum over
      sins that one probably doesn't believe at heart are great anyhow.
      This is where some monastics miss the mark. They can stop at the
      perpetual gloom and dread point, without realizing the contemplative
      joy and love beyond that.

      Monasticism is true, but the Gospel is more so. Neither Jansenism nor
      perpetual gloom would play very well with Matthew, Mark, Luke or
      John. That means they wouldn't play well with St. Benedict, either,
      as his second portion surely guarantees. Love and joy and humility
      are an inseparable trio! When fear is cast out, gloom goes right
      along with it!

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




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