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Holy Rule for June 7

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Ashley,
    Message 1 of 228 , Jun 6, 2008
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      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Ashley, depression and other signifcant personality changes after the onset of puberty.

      Charles, dyslexia.

      J., severe and multiple reactions to pain mangament drug, now choosing the pain itself over side effects. For improved health soon, please God.

      Maria that she finds some very important documents that she has misplaced if not thrown out ... she is very distraught over them. Extra prayers to St. Anthony, patron of lost objects being found.

      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

      February 6, June 7, October 7
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The ninth degree of humility
      is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence,
      not speaking until he is questioned.
      For the Scripture shows
      that "in much speaking there is no escape from sin" (Prov. 10:19)
      and that "the talkative man is not stable on the earth" (Ps. 139:12).

      REFLECTION

      OK, if you are a parent, you cannot speak to your children only when
      they question you. The therapy bills in later years would be
      astronomical. There are many situations in a Benedictine life lived
      in the world, among non-monastics, where this has to be altered, but
      its kernel of truth must be discovered and maintained.

      WHY do we talk needlessly? Quite often it is nothing more than a
      trick to change the reality around us. We are bored, or we feel we
      are not getting enough attention or we think the mood too heavy, so
      we speak to change whatever annoys us at the moment. I should know.
      I am infamous for creating my own entertainment when things seem
      dull to me. That's not always a great idea...

      Some tough moments, some difficult stuff are meant to be endured.
      They are part of our necessary learning and growth. Ever notice how
      we assess a child's maturity by its ability to be quiet and non-
      fidgety in surroundings (like Church!) that do not spoon feed its
      attention span? Well, the same is true of us at every stage. We do
      ourselves harm if we defuse every single tense moment with a word or
      two. We cheat ourselves.

      All too often we speak only to remind the universe around us, which
      has carelessly forgotten for a second that we are its center, of a
      whole bevy of falsehoods: I am the cutest, smartest, or wittiest, I
      have the solution to all of this. What folly on the part of the
      entire cosmos to forget our importance! Better speak to clear the
      matter up...

      Those who know me are thinking: "HE wrote THIS?!?" Yes, alas, I am
      guilty of all I wrote. Three times a year the Holy Rule reminds me of
      that and each time I am aware that I need to work on it. Thanks be to
      God, the Rule IS read three times a year: usually by the time the
      next reading comes up, my interest has flagged and I have to start
      over. As for the part about the talkative not being "stable on the
      earth," well, there have been plenty of times in the last eight years
      when God had to nail my feet to the floor to keep me here and I am
      not dead yet... I have not always been His most willing pupil, but
      oh, is He ever patient! And infinitely merciful!

      But, as one Desert Father said, that's what we do all day in
      monasteries: "We fall down and we get up."

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA





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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Br. Tobias, OSB, for his monastic community, his family and for all who mourn him. Please pray
      Message 228 of 228 , Jan 19, 2009
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        Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Br. Tobias, OSB, for his monastic community, his family and for all who mourn him.

        Please pray that the US Congress and the new administration will respect all human life, from conception till natural death.

        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 20, May 21, September 20
        Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

        To fear the Day of Judgment.
        To be in dread of hell.
        To desire eternal life with all the passion of the spirit.
        To keep death daily before one's eyes.
        To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life.
        To know for certain that God sees one everywhere.
        When evil thoughts come into one's heart, to dash them against Christ
        immediately.
        And to manifest them to one's spiritual mother.
        To guard one's tongue against evil and depraved speech.
        Not to love much talking.
        Not to speak useless words or words that move to laughter.
        Not to love much or boisterous laughter.
        To listen willingly to holy reading.
        To devote oneself frequently to prayer.
        Daily in one's prayers, with tears and sighs, to confess one's past
        sins to God, and to amend them for the future.
        Not to fulfil the desires of the flesh; to hate one's own will.
        To obey in all things the commands of the Abbess, even though she
        herself (which God forbid) should act otherwise, mindful of the
        Lord's precept, "Do what they say, but not what they do."
        Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy; but first to be
        holy, that one may be truly so called.

        REFLECTION


        The first four on today's list are not very palatable to many modern
        ears, but, like all of the Instruments of Good Works, they are
        important, they are interrelated and each one helps one fulfill the
        others. Arguably, one could say that the focus of the first four is
        the fifth: "To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life."

        We have largely "gotten over" dreading Judgment. We went from a
        paralyzing, Jansenistic, scrupulous fear of it right into a smug
        assurance that everyone passes the test with honors. Well, there's got to
        be truth hidden between those two false extremes somewhere!

        I know, beyond any doubt that I shall be both delighted and very,
        very embarrassed and ashamed to meet God face to face, to find that
        my faith has been confirmed. Ah, joy at the confirmation, but oh,
        crushing shame at the simultaneous confirmation of how very far short
        of Him I have fallen, through choice, through laziness, through
        negligence, through sin.

        One can dread that realization without thinking that God is some
        intrinsically mean sort, just waiting for one to trip up, hunting for the
        slightest loophole to nail us. Quite the opposite is the truth! God's awesome
        Divine Mercy seeks every possible way to bring us to Himself and
        His rewards of bliss. Every possible way!!

        Let us admit that we have been all too good at tripping
        on our own: God has no need to duplicate services there! Fearing
        judgment is part and parcel of knowing who we are. We have all
        sinned. And I know I have failed faith, hope and love, again and again
        and again, usually with no more excuse than selfishness.

        We keep goals in sight while training. Forget the Olympic gold and
        you will quite likely forget why you are training so hard. For us,
        between now and the "Olympics" of death, it is only the training that
        matters. It is also good to recall that, as Benedictines, our goal is
        NOT simply to "pass", but to stand on the podium.

        That's not because we are any better, it is only because
        we ourselves have added great holiness to our goal. Why else embrace
        the Rule? Keeping "death daily before our eyes," we are ALWAYS at
        the Olympics, thanks to our vow of conversion of manner of life, we
        are daily in training, every minute, in fact.

        All of these four lead to the fifth, keeping guard over one's
        actions, or mindfulness. Here is a great connection between the
        Benedictine way and the Buddhist way.

        The Buddhists have a saying that monastics can preach a sermon just
        by the way they walk. That's what the care of mindfulness can do!
        Just wait till we get to the 12th degree of humility, which says that
        the monastics' humility will shine through their outward appearance,
        whether walking or sitting or working or praying.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

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