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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. March 16

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for: Rob, newly diagnosed Hodgkin s and starting treatment this week; CL, kidney disease and in a lot of pain; AG, special intention. Please
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 15, 2008
      +PAX


      Please pray for: Rob, newly diagnosed Hodgkin's and starting
      treatment this week; CL, kidney disease and in a lot of pain; AG,
      special intention.

      Please pray for continued healing for our good Brother Jerome.

      Please pray for Cheryl's sister Lori and her her family. Lori was
      hospitalized needing a liver. They are working on her but she is not
      responsive as of last night.

      +Please pray that 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 16, July 16, November 15
      Chapter 37: On the Old and Children

      Although human nature itself is drawn to special kindness towards
      these times of life, that is towards the old and children, still
      the authority of the Rule should also provide for them.

      Let their weakness be always taken into account, and let them by
      no means be held to the rigor of the Rule with regard to food. On
      the contrary, let a kind consideration be shown to them, and let
      them eat before the regular hours.


      REFLECTION

      The tenderness of St. Benedict shines through here. These are
      strong words for weakness: "ALWAYS taken into account," and "BY NO
      MEANS held to the rigor of the Rule for food." Though he prefaces
      his chapter recalling that any healthy human nature has a certain
      level
      of consideration for these age groups, our holy Father Benedict
      quickly returns to a very consistent theme of the Holy Rule: we are
      called to more than mere nature. We are called to enhance our
      nature to the heights of sanctity. Our considerate mindfulness for
      every
      person and their individual needs must be greater than that of the
      world.

      St. Benedict's aim is that each of us ALWAYS see the person first.
      That kind of loving mindfulness will make the chapters on the sick
      and the young and old complete no-brainers. This is the way we
      should be seeing everyone: real people for whom they really are,
      nothing more or less. Circumstances do arise that require greater
      attention, but the foundation of that is a firm theology of
      personalism.

      It should come as no great shock that the most frequent obstacle to
      viewing others correctly is ourselves. Our own image, our self, our
      projections get in the way of the lens of truth. We have to spend
      our monastic struggle learning to put those things aside, so that
      the light of others may shine through unobstructed. With our own
      needs at least on a back burner, or better yet, shelved far off in
      the pantry, we can begin to truly see others and their needs. Wipe
      the mud of self from our eyes and we can see the treasures that
      surround
      us. Mother Teresa of Calcutta surely did that. She saw beauty that
      all of us less holy than she missed big-time and she saw it in
      everyone.

      A key to all this is a favorite quote from Antoine de St.
      Exupery's "Little Prince":

      "The essential is invisible to the eyes. One can only see rightly
      with the heart."

      That's what our Rule demands: the cultivation of the very loving
      eyes of our hearts! And we open those eyes by expanding our hearts
      in love!

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