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Brother Jerome's Reflections: Dec 17

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for Frank; soon to be released from prison after many incarcerations. He has a number of challenges, and needs lots of support. Please pray
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 16, 2008
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      +PAX

      Please pray for Frank; soon to be released from prison after many
      incarcerations. He has a number of challenges, and needs lots of
      support.

      Please pray for the Special Intention that Brittany will receive and
      accept enlightment from the Holy Ghost.

      Please pray for Bob: leaky heart valve; also for his spiritual
      discernment.

      +++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 17, August 17, December 17
      Chapter 62: On the Priests of the Monastery

      If an Abbot desire to have a priest or a deacon ordained for his
      monastery, let him choose one who is worthy to exercise the priestly
      office.

      But let the one who is ordained beware of self-exaltation or pride;
      and let him not presume to do anything except what is commanded him
      by the Abbot, knowing that he is so much the more subject to the
      discipline of the Rule. Nor should he by reason of his priesthood
      forget
      the obedience and the discipline required by the Rule, but make ever
      more and more progress towards God.

      Let him always keep the place which he received on entering the
      monastery, except in his duties at the altar or in case the choice of
      the community and the will of the Abbess should promote him for the
      worthiness of his life. Yet he must understand that he is to observe
      the rules laid down by deans and Priors.

      Should he presume to act otherwise, let him be judged not as a priest
      but as a rebel. And if he does not reform after repeated admonitions,
      let even the Bishop be brought in as a witness. If then he still
      fails to amend, and his offenses are notorious, let him be put out of
      the monastery, but only if his contumacy is such that he refuses to
      submit or to obey the Rule.

      REFLECTION


      This chapter applies to anyone who rises at work or at school or even
      in the home. Much is required of those to whom much is given! When a
      Benedictine gets a promotion, the basic willingness to do anything
      necessary ought to remain firmly in place! All authority, all power
      entails responsibility.

      Authority, when we hold it, is not about us, it's about them, the
      people
      over whom it is exercised. It's exercise is not about us either, it
      is about
      the folks that authority is meant to serve. Just as a really good
      priest or
      minister "disappears" behind vesture and rubric when serving at the
      altar, so should those in authority be. We ought always to be able to
      see the common good in them, not a cheap and tacky caricature of a
      bad monarch.

      Authority, when it is placed over us, is to be reverenced and obeyed.
      When it is placed in our own hands, it is to serve, not to reign! All
      of us get the opportunity to deal with authority or to administer
      same. Our Benedictine hearts should make it readily evident to any
      who observes us that our style in either area is decidedly different!

      There's another thing both the world and religious life could profit
      from learning. Authority in the Holy Rule is not permanent, not even
      in the case of an Abbot, whom St. Benedict says may, even ought to be
      removed in extreme cases. So often, in cloister or world, once we
      have kicked someone upstairs, we are hesitant to ever put them
      downstairs again. That shouldn't be. It gives the person and the
      community an excellent potential for learning and teaching humility.
      Whenever anyone handles authority badly, really badly, they should
      not be rewarded with continued administration. Alas, that is often
      not the case.

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