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Holy Rule for May 2

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    Sorry, I made a typo in the address yesterday and it didn t go through... JL +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the
    Message 1 of 5 , May 2, 2008
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      Sorry, I made a typo in the address yesterday and it didn't go through... JL


      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who treat or care for them:

      Michaela and her Dad, he has chronic lung disease. (COPD)

      Robert and his family, for special intentions and final perseverance.

      Patty, having surgery to repair damage done to her hand in poor care after an accident.

      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

      January 1, May 2, September 1

      L I S T E N carefully, my child,
      to your master's precepts,
      and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20).
      Receive willingly and carry out effectively
      your loving father's advice,
      that by the labor of obedience
      you may return to Him
      from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.

      To you, therefore, my words are now addressed,
      whoever you may be,
      who are renouncing your own will
      to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King,
      and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.

      And first of all,
      whatever good work you begin to do,
      beg of Him with most earnest prayer to perfect it,
      that He who has now deigned to count us among His children
      may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds.
      For we must always so serve Him
      with the good things He has given us,
      that He will never as an angry Father disinherit His children,
      nor ever as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil actions,
      deliver us to everlasting punishment
      as wicked servants who would not follow Him to glory.


      The Prologue is the most tender and loving of beginnings. Always,
      always always keep in mind this loving Father that writes here as you
      read the rest of the Holy Rule. This and the epilogue are the key to
      it all, and the key to the saintly personality of our holy Father
      Benedict. The loving kindness found herein is the lens through
      which all that follows must be seen, never lose sight of it!

      The Holy Rule can seem so lofty that it sometimes turns people away.
      They think: "This is for those really holy people, not for me. I'll
      bet it's easy for saints like them, but I couldn't even dream of
      trying." Wrong on both counts and St. Benedict makes that clear.

      We return "by the labor of obedience" and if we are not one of those who
      has "to do battle" against our own will, he makes it abundantly certain
      that he is not talking to us. If, in fact, there is anyone for whom the Rule
      is a cinch, and I doubt that very much, then it was not written for them. It
      was written for us who struggle, for us for whom it is NOT easy, to help us in a
      battle that sometimes wears us out.

      St. Benedict also makes his point that our distance from God is due
      to our "sloth of disobedience." Yet he doesn't tell the slothful to
      quit because they are worthless, he tells them they are the very ones
      for whom he is writing this Rule! This is the Rule for the fallen and
      beginners, this is an entry level position which can advance to great
      sanctity, but it *IS* an entry level position!

      This is the door and gate for all. This is most decidedly NOT a Rule
      just for monks and nuns in monasteries. Were that so, no provision
      for Oblates would ever have been made. No, this is a Rule for all who
      wish to try to become better and because they have made that
      intention, God "has deigned to count us among His children." There is
      no more us-and-them here. Just by beginning, we become part of the

      How many of us who were not in the advanced reading group as children
      secretly got the suspicion that the whole class was really for the
      wonder kids, not for us, that we were somehow extraneous and just
      tagging along to whatever was REALLY going on? Well, the Holy Rule is
      quite direct about stating that this time, it is not about wonder
      kids: the center of its focus is the rest of us! Now there's a
      refreshingly upside down and all too rare world view!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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