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Holy Rule for Apr. 15

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  • jeromeleo@stmarysmonastery.org
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of Jenny, blood clot, now complications with bleeding and had to have a transfusion, back
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 13, 2008
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      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of Jenny, blood clot, now complications with bleeding and had to have a transfusion, back in a special care unit, and prayers for all her loved ones and those who take care of her.

      Prayers for Bobby on his Oblate discernment searching.

      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

      April 14, August 14, December 14
      Chapter 60: On Priests Who May Wish to Live in the Monastery

      If any ordained priest
      should ask to be received into the monastery,
      permission shall not be granted too readily.
      But if he is quite persistent in his request,
      let him know
      that he will have to observe the whole discipline of the Rule
      and that nothing will be relaxed in his favor,
      that it may be as it is written:
      "Friend, for what have you come (Matt. 26:50)?"

      It shall be granted him, however, to stand next after the Abbot
      and to give blessings and to celebrate Mass,
      but only by order of the Abbot.
      Without such order let him not make any exceptions for himself,
      knowing that he is subject to the discipline of the Rule;
      but rather let him give an example of humility to all.

      If there happens to be question of an appointment
      or of some business in the monastery,
      let him expect the rank due him
      according to the date of his entrance into the monastery,
      and not the place granted him
      out of reverence for the priesthood.

      If any clerics, moved by the same desire,
      should wish to join the monastery,
      let them be placed in a middle rank.
      But they too are to be admitted only if they promise
      observance of the Rule and stability.


      One of the quintessential questions of the Holy Rule is that of
      Jesus: "Friend, for what have you come?" This question is not just
      for priests, but for each of us, for all Christians and all monastics.
      The only acceptable answer to the question is: "To seek
      God." That might be rephrased in any of a number of ways, but that's
      the main event, the only game in town, the end all and be all of
      Benedictine monastic life.

      It is very necessary, in stating that we seek God, to admit that we
      haven't altogether found Him yet, nor will we ever do so before
      death. Even in the beatific vision of heaven itself, we creatures
      will never, ever get to the root of our Creator, to the "ground zero"
      of God. Ain't gonna happen. We will just keep going deeper and
      loving more for eternity. The more we know, the more we will love,
      but we shall never know all!

      Another way of saying this is that we need to come to the Holy Rule
      and to the Gospel and to Christ admitting how frighteningly little we
      DO know. If we think holy orders or an MDiv or an MD or a BS have
      corrected that problem, even slightly, well, maybe the sacrament or
      that degree is just about all we've gotten from the experience.

      For heaven's sake, after spending so many years of my life trying to
      become clever, or thinking I was, what a tremendous relief it is to
      be dumb: pluperfectly, fallibly, humanly, screamingly, shriekingly
      DUMB! Boy, I love it! Ignorance truly *IS* bliss, just like they told
      ya! Truly, with Socrates, we ought to know enough to know that we
      know nothing! Realizing that the very best of us has nothing but the
      barest tip of the iceberg is a great and tender mercy, indeed!

      In one sense, I heartily recommend it. It is the only position from
      which one may learn anything at all. Get too smart (or think you
      have!) and you will never listen, failing yet another Benedictine
      hallmark. You won't learn because all your energy will go into
      composing your rejoinder or response. Such people do not learn. They
      merely joust. Life is more than that, much more. Tons more.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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