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Holy Rule for Sept. 30

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for my late Dad and grandfather, and yeah, even for me, on our feastday of St. Jerome, and prayers for all our Jeromes. Special prayers
    Message 1 of 244 , Sep 29, 2008
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for my late Dad and grandfather, and yeah, even for me, on our feastday of St. Jerome, and prayers for all our Jeromes. Special prayers for two Oblate Jeromes who took the name for me, much to my joy and delight.

      Prayers of huge thanks and Deo gratias: the couple who were going to have their baby without medical assiatnce went to the ER when labor got going. Good thing they did, as complications arose which may well have resulted in loss of both Mother and baby. God is good!

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

      Bob, leukemia.

      Larry, 54, is undergoing Chemo-therapy for Merckle cell carcinoma. This is a very rare form of cancer, and the prognosis isn't good. He's undergone 3 days of chemo and was expected to have the 2nd round starting Monday Sept. 29, but his platelets aren't high enough, so they've canceled this session till he can increase them.

      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 30, May 31, September 30
      Chapter 7: On Humility
      The second degree of humility
      is that a person love not his own will
      nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires,
      but model his actions on the saying of the Lord,
      "I have come not to do My own will,
      but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).
      It is written also,
      "Self-will has its punishment,
      but constraint wins a crown."

      REFLECTION

      OK, who doesn't love their own will, or take pleasure in satisfying
      their desires? Who doesn't love their individuality or some of the
      dearest things they own and treasure? For a healthy person, all of
      these are very normal loves. For some of us, one or another of these
      loves is very much part of our vocation, for example, in marriage
      one's sexuality is the very means of self-gift. The key is to keep
      them ordinate, in line and yes, balanced!

      The means to this step is neither to go overboard hunting for things
      we hate to afflict ourselves with nor to insist on our own way at all
      costs. The real meaning here is found in the statement that Christ
      came not to do His own will, but the will of His Father. With the exception
      of fasting, we don't see Jesus going out His way to find things distasteful to
      Him, nor do we see Him stoically and resolutely refusing to enjoy things that
      please Him. His will is one with the Father's. He also has a human nature
      that prayed in Gethsemane to be spared from that Divine will, but, in
      Jesus, the human nature is perfectly obedient to the will of His Father, so He
      can never sin.

      Alas, in us, that human will often DOES win: why else would we be
      struggling along the monastic way all our lives? Unlike Jesus, we are
      not sinless, we are able to sin and often do so all too gladly! We
      must daily- even from minute to minute- turn from the bad in our own
      wills. It is an ongoing fight, but that is what conversatio morum
      means, "conversion of manner of life"! As Benedictines we will-
      indeed, must- always be straining against the negative goad, always
      be seeking the place of greater light and good.

      The will of God is frequently very hard to see. For some of us, at
      some times, it is all but impossible to see. There will always be
      times when we must trundle along blindly, without our senses to
      reassure us. That is why trust is such an integral part of our
      monastic struggle. At those times, the only way haltingly forward is
      to embrace the blinding darkness before us and firmly, trustingly
      clutch the hand of Christ. Even in the darkness, we must say: "Jesus,
      I trust in You!"

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




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • russophile2002
      +PAX Prayers for Nina, admitted to hospice, and for her husband, Larry, who also has health concerns, and for their children and family and all who will mourn
      Message 244 of 244 , Aug 30

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for Nina, admitted to hospice, and for her husband, Larry, who also has health concerns, and for their children and family and all who will mourn Nina.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Abbot Benno Malfer, OSB, of Muri-Gries Abbey, 70, and for his family, Community and all who mourn him.

         

        Prayers for safe travels for Peter D., going to Europe. For a safe, happy and holy trip.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of my parents, Jerome and Louise, on what would have been the 76th anniversary of their wedding.

         

        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

        May 1, August 31, December 31
        Chapter 73: On the Fact That the Full Observance of Justice Is Not
        Established in This Rule

        Now we have written this Rule
        in order that by its observance in monasteries
        we may show that we have attained some degree of virtue
        and the rudiments of the religious life.

        But for those who would hasten to the perfection of that life
        there are the teaching of the holy Fathers,
        the observance of which leads to the height of perfection.
        For what page or what utterance
        of the divinely inspired books of the Old and New Testaments
        is not a most unerring rule for human life?
        Or what book of the holy Catholic Fathers
        does not loudly proclaim
        how we may come by a straight course to our Creator?
        Then the Conferences and the Institutes
        and the Lives of the Fathers,
        as also the Rule of our holy Father Basil --
        what else are they but tools of virtue
        for right-living and obedient monks?
        But for us who are lazy and ill-living and negligent
        they are a source of shame and confusion.

        Whoever you are, therefore,
        who are hastening to the heavenly homeland,
        fulfill with the help of Christ
        this minimum Rule which we have written for beginners;
        and then at length under God's protection
        you will attain to the loftier heights of doctrine and virtue
        which we have mentioned above.

        REFLECTION

        I used to love to teach 8th graders. At the top of a kindergarten
        through 8th grade school, they thought they had REALLY arrived, they
        were very pleased with themselves! My 8th graders knew that I loved
        them, so I could afford to tease them a bit. I used to narrow my
        eyes into a fake menacing gaze and say: "Ah, now you're the top, but next
        year? Next year you will be FRESHMEN! The lowest of the low! Just
        wait till high school." And they would laugh, secure in the fact
        that I MUST be joking....

        Well, folks, the beauty of this last chapter is that is tells us we
        are ALL eighth graders, if even that. We'd do well to take St.
        Benedict seriously on this one, but I'll bet he smiled with the same
        affection I used to show to my kids. Three times a year we read the
        Holy Rule entirely and three times a year he lovingly shakes us
        awake to the reality that we will for all of our lives, always be
        freshmen next year!

        That's the Benedictine surprise that's wrapped in conversion of
        manners: we never "arrive", we're not so hot as we thought ourselves
        to be, we are just barely ready for the next step.
        This is VERY different from the self-loathing we spoke about
        yesterday with the bitter zeal. This is the true self-knowledge, the
        smiling, even shrugging acceptance of the fact that we are just on
        the way, nothing special there!

        God is so vast and beyond us, we are always taking the tumbling
        first steps of toddlers towards Him, but He is always holding on and
        beaming with the pride and love of a parent guiding those steps. Our
        Holy Rule is filled with awesome things, yet it is only
        the "rudiments" of the spiritual life!

        Eighth graders, eighth graders all, but ah, what a high school
        awaits!

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

         

         


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