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Holy Rule for July 2

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest and happy death of Mickey and for all her family and all who mourn her. Prayers, please for Luana, complete right
    Message 1 of 228 , Jul 1, 2008
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest and happy death of Mickey and for all her family and all who mourn her.

      Prayers, please for Luana, complete right knee replacement on Tuesday, July 1st. Please pray that she comes through the surgery okay and that the recovery and rehabilitation process is successful.

      Continued prayers for David, whose successful birth we prayed for in
      August. His tumor was successfully removed; chemo to commence shortly.
      Some rough sledding ahead.

      Kenny, age 46, suffered a stroke with many serious complications. He is a talented tenor who willingly shares his gift of music.

      Annie, under 15, who had a seizure and was unconscious for several days before they diagnosed meningitis and encephalitis. Long recovery ahead.

      Bobby beaten and stabbed by gang members while telling his little sister to
      run. They were walking in their neighborhood. He has had several surgeries,
      loss of one kidney, still hanging in there.

      Trevor, and his wife Kristen, are expecting a baby girl in November. They have waited long and prayed hard for this miracle and blessing.

      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 2, July 2, November 1
      Chapter 25: On Weightier Faults

      Let the brother who is guilty of a weightier fault
      be excluded both from the table and from the oratory.
      Let none of the brethren join him
      either for company or for conversation.
      Let him be alone at the work assigned him,
      abiding in penitential sorrow
      and pondering that terrible sentence of the Apostle
      where he says that a man of that kind is handed over
      for the destruction of the flesh,
      that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (1 Cor. 5:5).
      Let him take his meals alone
      in the measure and at the hour
      which the Abbot shall consider suitable for him.
      He shall not be blessed by those who pass by,
      nor shall the food that is given him be blessed.

      REFLECTION

      The world's concept of punishment is alien to Benedictine values. The
      world often sees punishment as nothing other than retribution. Few
      today would think of prisons (at least in my country,) as places of
      reform or moral rehabilitation. Quite the reverse!

      We want offenders to pay and we want them removed from our view
      and out of harm's way. We often even want them dead, but we do not much
      care whether or not they reform. In fact, we have little faith that they will
      and even less hope of that given the prisons in which we have warehoused them.
      The world wants problems removed, not solved, not converted.

      With St. Benedict, there is no reason for punishment other than
      correction and hope of conversion. Only when the hope of those are
      gone does he demand expulsion. The familial nature of Benedictine
      life means that we have to hold on as long as a possibility of cure
      seems to exist. Like any family, we are committed to one another
      through a lot of thick or thin and there is no shortage of either!!

      However, and some families sadly know this, too, sometimes that hope
      is dashed by the offender, the only one who has ultimate power in
      this process. Once a monastic is corrected or punished, the real
      outcome lies pretty much in the monastic's control. One can profit
      from the correction and grow, or one can stubbornly rebel and wither.

      Sometimes punishment may seem mean, but, believe me, it is really the
      most necessary form of love at times. Charity could not leave such
      wounds undressed. If it did, one would have a lot to answer for to
      God one day. Real love does not ignore, real love does not take the
      easiest route. Real love is often forced, even bravely willing, to name the
      horse on the dining room table that other diners ignore.This is as perfectly
      true of families and workplaces as it is of monasteries. There is a lot of
      wisdom
      here for all!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      jeromeleo@...
      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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        +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 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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