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Holy Rule for Sept. 1

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX +++NOTE: My e mail server was down for a while yesterday and I seem to have lost some messages. If you sent a prayer request that you do not see here
    Message 1 of 245 , Aug 31, 2008
      +PAX

      +++NOTE: My e mail server was down for a while yesterday and I seem to have lost some messages. If you sent a prayer request that you do not see here today, please resend, as I may not have gotten it. JL

      Prayers, please, for all those traveling on this Labor Day weekend in the US, for safe trips and returns home.

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Steve's parents, on what would have been their 61st anniversary.

      Prayers for Jane and Tom, that their relationship deepen accoding to God's perfect will.

      Deo gratias! Baby Damon is home from the hospital. The fluid around his
      heart is almost gone.

      Natalie's father is still on dialysis and has been
      "upgraded' to 50/50.

      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

      Prologue

      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.


      REFLECTION

      The Prologue is the most tender and loving of beginnings. Always,
      always, always keep this loving Father that writes here in mind 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 and tenderness of our
      holy Father Benedict.

      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 us 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
      whole.

      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
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      A Clarification on the O Antiphons posts. A reader was concerned, after reading the O Adonai reflection, that I was making the Son and the Father identical,
      Message 245 of 245 , Dec 26, 2017

        A Clarification on the O Antiphons posts.

         

        A reader was concerned, after reading the O Adonai reflection, that I was making the Son and the Father identical, one in the same. I assure all that I had no such intention, nor do I believe that. I consulted some experts and did some research. The links below are excellent articles that explain what I meant.

         

        There is a tradition among some of the Fathers of the Church that the pre-Incarnation Christ, the Logos or Word, the co-eternal Second Person of the Trinity, makes manifest the Father in many instances in the Old Testament, including the Burning Bush. Since no man could see God and live, it was felt that the Logos appeared to make manifest the Father. It was to that phenomenon that I was referring. I firmly believe that the Three Persons of the Trinity are distinct and regret it if my writing ever seemed to say otherwise.

         

        Blessed Christmastide to all!    BJL

         

        http://taylormarshall.com/2015/01/is-the-angel-of-the-lord-the-pre-incarnate-christ.html

         

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_bush

         

        http://catholicexchange.com/the-burning-bush-and-christ

         

         

         

         

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