Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. March 3
Please pray for, Monique. She is in very critical condition with a
rare lung disease. The Dr. thinks it is Goodpasture syndrome, an
autoimmune disorder that attacks the lungs and kidneys.
Please pray for Jeanni, undergoing exploratory surgery March 3rd for
probable ovarian cancer, for the calming of her anxieties and her
comfort in Christ.
Please pray for Anastasia for whom we have prayed before. She tried
to commit suicide two nights ago and is hospitalized.
Please pray for Terry G.. Terry is suffering with inoperable cancer
and just this past week lost her husband of 53 years to a heart
Please pray for the happy death and eternal repose of Richard's mom,
who is nearing the end of her life due to bladder cancer and for
Rich and Maraya who are caring for her 24/7 with tenderness and
care, that they receive the strength to continue this most
challenging ministry of love.
+Please pray that Divine Mercy wi;; 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 3, July 3, November 2
Chapter 26: On Those Who Without an Order Associate with the
If any sister presumes without an order from the Abbess to
associate in any way with an excommunicated sister, or to speak
with her, or to send her a message, let her incur a similar
punishment of excommunication.
When punishment is necessary, the community should support it, at
least passively. This united front should be far different from the
human tendency we often see to abandon those in trouble. Quite the
reverse, like everything in the Holy Rule, this must be fueled by
concern born of great love.
Common life can often leave one with a slew of relationships which
are polite and civil, even cordial, but frankly no deeper than a
lot of people at work have with each other. That's sad, but it does
happen. Times of crisis like this should awaken us to the necessary
depth of love for all.
Hard though it may sometimes be, we may not rejoice at the downfall
of another. We must participate in common punishments because they
are for the good of all, but also because they are primarily for
the good of the offender, whom we must love. Admittedly, sometimes
the only way one can express that concern is prayer, but we must
Sometimes, both superiors and communities can have an inordinate
fear of giving punishment. What if she leaves? Yeah, what if....?
Maybe she is supposed to leave, maybe this is God's way of telling
her something about herself that she cannot see. Some people who
really, truly do NOT belong in monastic life cannot be convinced of
Some people who are terrible at a given job will not wake up to
that fact in any other way. In some cases toxic folks must be told
gently, but explicitly, that if they insist on continuing to harm
themselves and others, they'll have to do it elsewhere, without
destroying the rest
of the family any longer.
Some find the Rule harsh in this respect, but there is a great love
and mercy here. The Holy Rule forbids what most people in groups
will do: passive aggression. We cannot just wordlessly force the
person out without a clue as to why.
Punishment must be named and specific, the offender must know and
those around her must care. It may in fact force a monk out, but he
will know why when he leaves. This is vastly different from the
ordinary human means of exclusion and expulsion. It includes grace.
It includes love. Lots of love! And its justice is always somehow
wrapped in mercy.
Love and prayers,