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Prayers for Dec. 5

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    I accidentally sent out the Holy Rule with Dec. 4 date yesterday, here is a re-run, in case any missed the prayers. JL ... From: Br. Jerome Leo To:
    Message 1 of 244 , Dec 5, 2008
      I accidentally sent out the Holy Rule with Dec. 4 date yesterday, here is a re-run, in case any missed the prayers. JL
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Br. Jerome Leo
      To: benedictinemonasticdiurnal@yahoogroups.com ; rcb ; mona ; obl ; holyrule
      Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 9:19 AM
      Subject: Re: [HolyRule] Holy Rule for Dec. 4


      +PAX

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Marie, 46, who left behind 4 children, two still teenagers, and for her best friend, Monica, a very hard loss, and for all who mourn Marie.

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

      Lukadia, being bullied at school, and for the conversion of the bully.

      Brian, vocational discernment

      John, hunting for employment after losing his job.

      Prayers for one seeking a new place of worship and for a special intention.

      Deo gratias, Kristen delivered Madeline Grace by C-section, prayers for Kristen as she developed a fever.

      Deo gratias, Betty's Mom made it there in time, now a son is coming back from China, so continued prayers and prayers for Betty's happy death, which seems imminent short of a miracle.

      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

      April 5, August 5, December 5
      Chapter 53: On the Reception of Guests

      Let there be a separate kitchen for the Abbot and guests,
      that the brethren may not be disturbed when guests,
      who are never lacking in a monastery,
      arrive at irregular hours.
      Let two brethren capable of filling the office well
      be appointed for a year to have charge of this kitchen.
      Let them be given such help as they need,
      that they may serve without murmuring.
      And on the other hand,
      when they have less to occupy them,
      let them go out to whatever work is assigned them.

      And not only in their case
      but in all the offices of the monastery
      let this arrangement be observed,
      that when help is needed it be supplied,
      and again when the workers are unoccupied
      they do whatever they are bidden.

      The guest house also shall be assigned to a brother
      whose soul is possessed by the fear of God.
      Let there be a sufficient number of beds made up in it;
      and let the house of God be managed by prudent men
      and in a prudent manner.

      On no account shall anyone who is not so ordered
      associate or converse with guests.
      But if he should meet them or see them,
      let him greet them humbly, as we have said,
      ask their blessing and pass on,
      saying that he is not allowed to converse with a guest.

      REFLECTION

      I am living proof that, when a monastery has to, it can get by with
      less than a guestmaster "possessed by the fear of God." Some
      days, "impressed by the fear of God" in others was about the best I
      could pull off. There were other days when I took comfort in the fact
      that the
      minimum the Holy Rule gives about the guest house itself is that
      there
      be a sufficient number of made-up beds and a kitchen of its own,
      because frills beyond that were not likely to be forthcoming! But I
      digress...

      Asking that the house of God be prudently governed by the prudent
      surely applies to more than the guest house. That principle goes for
      the whole monastery, as well as for the families and homes of those
      monastics in the world outside the cloister. This is not just another
      call to frugality or economy or order for their own sakes. We are
      Benedictines, we don't do ANYTHING for its own sake, except God!

      The important reason behind this prudence and care is that we ARE
      managing the House of God. All our Benedictine homes, our monasteries
      and our guesthouses are the Houses of God. The humblest one-room
      studio apartment of an Oblate is the House of God. How easily we
      forget
      that, how commonly (the adverb is no accident here!) we think of
      those
      places as solely our own!

      The whole idea of balance and peace and moderation and serenity is
      nothing more or less than a singular setting for a pearl of very
      great price. We need those things for our monastic struggle to be
      most effective. Sometimes a surgeon might have to operate on a bloody
      battlefield, but don't be surprised if infection follows. It's the
      same with us and dysfunctional, imprudent messes.

      We CAN operate there if we have to, but infections are likely. We
      need a certain amount of reduction of inconsequential hassles to
      focus on the one thing necessary. St. Benedict strives to provide us
      with that. No, the monastery is not a sterile surgical suite (and I
      always worry when one looks that way!) but neither is it an ill-
      housed flock of free range chickens. Show me a monastery or home that
      has become a chaotic mess and I can guarantee you there will be a
      LOT of
      spiritual ramifications, as well.

      We are not necessarily Thomists (though if memory serves me properly,
      our Order conducted some of St. Thomas Aquinas' early schooling,) but
      we can surely affirm that "peace is the tranquility of order." St.
      Thomas' view of the virtues is important to us, too, imbued with the
      principles of Aristotle: "Virtus in media stat." Virtue stands in the
      middle way. What could be more Benedictinely moderate and balanced?

      It must be clearly remembered that when we speak of "prudence", we
      speak of a virtue, a thing of holiness and a golden mean. Not for
      nothing did our contemporary language get the unlovely title
      of "prude" from the same root. All manner of foolish timidity,
      cowardice, stinge and hearts-by-Frigidaire prudishness have been
      falsely named prudence.

      Prudence is not and never can be a wicked thing. Prudence, real
      wisdom, is a thing always to be desired. False prudence, on the other
      hand, of which there is sadly no shortage, is a thing always and
      everywhere to be rejected. Give such people a lot of room.

      False prudence and meanness of spirit, whatever else they
      may be, are windows into one's heart. The view is not always lovely
      and may require a lot of prayer, but one is better off to never
      follow the example of such a troubled person. Just be kind and
      very, very careful!

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





      [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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