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Holy Rule for Apr. 20

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  • jeromeleo@stmarysmonastery.org
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following: Craig and Elaine, for a rekindling of their marriage. Prayers for Paul,
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 19, 2008
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      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following:

      Craig and Elaine, for a rekindling of their marriage.

      Prayers for Paul, still in mental health ward, and Mara, his wife.

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Ken, who has gone to God, and for his wife, Margaret, and all who mourn him.

      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 20, August 20, December 20
      Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

      In the constituting of an Abbess
      let this plan always be followed,
      that the office be conferred on the one who is chosen
      either by the whole community unanimously in the fear of God
      or else by a part of the community, however small,
      if its counsel is more wholesome.

      Merit of life and wisdom of doctrine
      should determine the choice of the one to be constituted,
      even if she be the last of the order of the community.

      But if (which God forbid)
      the whole community should agree to choose a person
      who will acquiesce in their vices,
      and if those vices somehow become known to the Bishop
      to whose diocese the place belongs,
      or to the Abbots, Abbesses or the faithful of the vicinity,
      let them prevent the success of this conspiracy of the wicked,
      and set a worthy steward over the house of God.
      They may be sure
      that they will receive a good reward for this action
      if they do it with a pure intention and out of zeal for God;
      as, on the contrary, they will sin if they fail to do it.


      There is an old monastic saying that holds that "The community gets
      the Abbot it deserves and the vocations it deserves." Like most
      generalizations, this one has kernels of both falsity and truth.
      Heresy is obviously taking a small truth and making it the only truth
      and this is no different. It is rash (even if sometimes seemingly
      handy!) to simplify the inscrutable workings of the Holy Spirit, of
      our all-merciful God and His love into such a small compartment of
      phrase! There is infinitely more to God's loving plan than that.

      God has a plan from all eternity which none may ultimately thwart. Even
      those who seek to impede that plan serve only to further its cause, whether
      they want to or not, whether they know it or not. God can use anything.

      And *A* plan is exactly the right phrase: God has ONLY one plan, with
      only one goal: the salvation of all. God lacks a plan B because none is
      necessary. God uses ALL human agency, of any kind, to further the
      perfect good of His plan. God can turn absolutely every human
      event, good or evil, to useful means to further that perfect plan of love,
      mercy, salvation and good- yes, even joy!- for all.

      However, there IS that kernel of truth! I have certainly lived
      through times myself and seen them elsewhere which gave
      frightening credence to one or both halves of the axiom! There is a
      human side to these things, God DOES use human means to accomplish
      His perfect Will and we, let us face it, are far from perfect

      On that human side of things, like does tend to attract like. A house
      where holiness is at least frequent, if not common, is likely to
      elect an Abbot good and holy enough to nurture that. Unfortunately,
      houses often elect one Abbot to counterbalance the effects, (not
      always delightful,) of his predecessor, so a lot of things come into
      play here. A house where holiness abounds is likely to attract holy
      vocations. This is also sadly true of some mediocre situations. I
      have long felt that God has chosen a WIDE diversity of monastic
      observance so that all those He calls could find a slot somewhere.

      The grim truth that the saying does NOT address is that even good and
      holy houses are thirsting badly for vocations these days. Something
      else, something other, something strange has been added to imbalance
      the equation and no one can be sure just what. Pray, pray with all
      your hearts for vocations, good and holy vocations to the monastic
      life on every level, as monks, as nuns, as Oblates. With our dimmed
      vision looking through glasses darkly, we can neither see nor know
      perfectly what wonders of His Will God is working now, much less why!
      Just pray for His Will for all of us!

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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