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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. March 2

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for the conversion of Aurélie. She hates God, and when something is mentioned about the Holy Spirit, she gives a very nasty look, almost
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2008

      Please pray for the conversion of Aurélie. She hates God, and when
      something is mentioned about the Holy Spirit, she gives a very nasty
      look, almost scary.

      Please that Almighty God will perfect and help complete the work of
      Elaine her and co-workers, that God will bless them all so they get
      along and see Him in each other and by His grace meet their deadlines

      Please pray for John, for whom we have been praying, has been raced
      into hospital with internal bleeding ... he is riddled with cancer
      so prognosis is not good at all.Please pray that he turns to the God
      whom he has been denying the existance of.

      Please pray for Dale (USMC) who is deploying again. Obviously I
      can't say when in email. Please pray for his protection, his
      units protection (I won't state) and a change in Muslim Extremists
      hearts that they will turn to the Lord and stop the killing.

      Please pray for safe travel for our good Brother Jerome and all
      those blessed to participate in the Retreat.

      +Please pray the Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have
      taken their own lives. +

      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 2, July 2, November 1
      Chapter 25: On Weightier Faults

      Let the brother who is guilty of a weightier fault be excluded both
      from the table and from the oratory. Let none of the brethren join
      him either for company or for conversation.
      Let him be alone at the work assigned him, abiding in penitential
      sorrow and pondering that terrible sentence of the Apostle where he
      says that a man of that kind is handed over
      for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in
      the day of the Lord (1 Cor. 5:5). Let him take his meals alone in
      the measure and at the hour which the Abbot shall consider suitable
      for him. He shall not be blessed by those who pass by, nor shall
      the food that is given him be blessed.


      Justice demands that the punishment fit the crime, and St. Benedict
      gives the two points between which a spectrum of other methods may
      be employed. He does not want a one-size-fits-all system of
      correction and clearly says so more than once.

      Think of any parent or authority figure you have ever heard
      criticized. If punishment was in any way involved, it is most
      likely that the fault was in doing too much or too little. A cruel
      person can make employees or children or monastics live in terror.
      Punishment is relentless and swift and often comes without warning.

      This may result in slavish compliance or outright rebellion, but it
      never results in a healthy self, for authority or subject. We are
      not called to live in dread of unwittingly angering some
      intransigent despot, whose whims may be dangerous, indeed. We are
      called to live
      in peace and mercy: to receive it and to give it to others. That is
      true of all monastics, superiors and those governed.

      But we are not called to peace at any price whatsoever, which is
      the fault of those who do too little to correct. Fear of the
      governed is as stupid and pointless as fear of the governor and
      neither helps anyone. While too much control may lead the community
      to fear the
      Abbess, too little will leave them equally afraid of each other!

      Note carefully that the missing ingredients in either extreme are
      love, real charity, as well as a trusting prayer for grace and
      guidance. God is NEVER in charge of such vicious extremes, and if
      they occur, it is quite likely that we either didn't ask Him for
      grace and help or didn't listen when it came. If we are not showing
      His love to all, something is very wrong. If mercy does not temper
      justice (and justice does not temper total inaction!) something is
      quite amiss.

      Really peaceful people do not avoid confrontation at all costs, if
      they do, even they will never have peace. They will have nothing
      more than an uneasy truce or more less perpetual fear. That is not
      the loving way to deal with a problem.

      The Benedictine way is, as usual, the middle way. Some would put
      down the middle way, call it weak, but, as we have seen, it takes a
      tremendous amount of guts and grace to do it well. Our way is quite
      the reverse of a cop-out: it requires genuine courage and grace, to
      say nothing of its chief component, a lot of very frank and
      truthful LOVE! Ah, yes, and that mercy which is a mirror of the
      Divine Mercy, too!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
      _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
      Petersham, MA
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