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Brother Jerome's Reflections: Dec 13

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Well... things do have a way of repeating themselves and this is another example. Right about this time last year a bad Ice Storm laid waste to Brother
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 12, 2008
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      Well... things do have a way of repeating themselves and this is
      another example. Right about this time last year a bad Ice Storm laid
      waste to Brother Jerome's part of the Country and knocked out all
      their electricity at St. Mary's and a large part of the State. An
      early morning phone call from our good Brother Jerome informed me
      that another Ice Storm, this one much worse than last year's, has
      struck again. Brother says this is the worst one he has has seen.
      Please send a storm of your good prayers Heavenward that all will be
      safe on the treacherous footpaths and roads and that power will be
      restored quickly.

      In the meantime I will attempt the impossible task of filling his
      shoes so please bless me with Prayer Requests at:

      +++Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have
      taken their own lives.+++

      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 13, August 13, December 13
      Chapter 59: On the Sons of Nobles and of the Poor Who Are Offered

      If anyone of the nobility offers his son to God in the monastery
      and the boy is very young, let his parents draw up the document which
      we mentioned above; and at the oblation let them wrap the document
      itself and the boy's hand in the altar cloth. That is how they offer

      As regards their property, they shall promise in the same petition
      under oath that they will never of themselves, or through an
      intermediary, or in any way whatever, give him anything or provide
      him with the opportunity of owning anything. Or else, if they are
      unwilling to do this,
      and if they want to offer something as an alms to the monastery for
      their advantage, let them make a donation of the property they wish
      to give to the monastery, reserving the income to themselves if they
      And in this way let everything be barred, so that the boy may have no
      expectations whereby (which God forbid) he might be deceived and
      ruined, as we have learned by experience.

      Let those who are less well-to-do make a similar offering. But those
      who have nothing at all shall simply draw up the document and offer
      their son before witnesses at the oblation.

      This is the chapter that allows us to have (and be!) Oblates. How
      different would all of our lives be if this chapter had never been
      written! While I dwell on the Order as a whole in this reflection,
      how drastically different and how impoverished my life would be
      without Oblates. How very deeply my life is shaped by so many of you
      and how very grateful for that I am!

      Reflect a moment on how rich your life WOULDN'T be if you had no
      Benedictine family, if the Order had never even been founded. Think
      about brothers, sisters and friends whom you would not know, about
      what you would have missed. For starters, many of us would not be
      members on at least a couple of the forums this appears on- they
      wouldn't exist! Our wonderful fraternity in cyberspace would have
      never happened at all.

      In my own life there would have been no St. Leo, no Brother Patrick,
      no Petersham or Pluscarden. My college degree would never have
      happened and my dear friend, Jean Ronan, would never have even met
      me, let alone taught me theology.

      Every single thing I ever received from the Benedictine Order, all the
      example, all the awe and joy, and yes, even all the pain that formed
      me, would never have existed, nor would I have had any role in the
      lives of my Benedictine family of brothers and sisters. Nada. Zilch.

      Europe would look a lot different, probably worse, and the Book of
      Common Prayer would be devoid of all those wonderful OSB elements
      like Morning Prayer and Evensong. Even the architecture of Anglican
      Churches would differ: the monastic choir-in-sanctuary style would
      probably be unknown.

      Often the best way to access a treasure is to imagine its loss. We
      can take for granted things which are of inestimable value. Make
      today's chapter an opportunity for such an assessment. Carry it even
      further, to some other dear and wonderful things in your life. What
      if there were no Church? What if you had no family ? (I know, I
      know... sometimes that sounds tempting! But even in dysfunctional
      families, you would NEVER be exactly who you are without them.) Often
      the best appreciation of how things are can be had by such

      We all owe a great, great deal to St. Benedict and to his sons and
      daughters. Let us pray for our Benedictine family and give thanks,
      deep thanks for the gift we have all received!

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB
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