Brother Jerome's Reflections: Dec 17
Please pray for Frank; soon to be released from prison after many
incarcerations. He has a number of challenges, and needs lots of
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
+++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
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
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.
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
Authority, when we hold it, is not about us, it's about them, the
over whom it is exercised. It's exercise is not about us either, it
the folks that authority is meant to serve. Just as a really good
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
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,