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Holy Rule for Jan. 24

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX SINCE I ACCIDENTALLY SENT OUT THE 24TH YESTERDAY, THIS IS THE MISSING READING FOR JAN. 23. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Mary, 97, who
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 23, 2009

      FOR JAN. 23.

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Mary, 97, who has gone to God and for all who mourn her.

      Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Mr. Kelliher, and for all his family and all who mourn him.

      Prayers for the spiritual, mental and phsyical health of the following and for all who love them and all who take care of them:

      Zinie, physical healing and that she find her way to Jesus.

      Chris, who has 6 blockages in his heart each ranging from 70-90 %. He is having open heart surgery as soon as it can be scheduled.

      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 23, May 24, September 23
      Chapter 5: On Obedience

      But this very obedience
      will be acceptable to God and pleasing to all
      only if what is commanded is done
      without hesitation, delay, lukewarmness, grumbling, or objection.
      For the obedience given to Superiors is given to God,
      since He Himself has said,
      "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).
      And the disciples should offer their obedience with a good will,
      for "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7).
      For if the disciple obeys with an ill will
      and murmurs,
      not necessarily with his lips but simply in his heart,
      then even though he fulfill the command
      yet his work will not be acceptable to God,
      who sees that his heart is murmuring.
      And, far from gaining a reward for such work as this,
      he will incur the punishment due to murmurers,
      unless he amend and make satisfaction.


      Trust me, folks, I am not second-guessing St. Benedict on this one, I
      just think there is a chance that he is often misread and that
      something not at all contrary to his precepts needs to be emphasized.

      Few who share my cynical bent would fail to chafe at a reading of
      this passage which implies that we must all be cheerful, Pollyanna
      optimists, blithely smiling automatons. Yes, we are told not to
      murmur, and to put the very best face on our obedience that we
      possibly can. Often the real miracle of grace is that we can just
      barely obey in silence, without any comment at all. No doubt that is
      a tender mercy to those who live with us! We must not read St.
      Benedict harshly, even less so God. We must keep the loving parent
      image ever before our eyes in both instances.

      I want to expand the image of the non-murmuring heart a bit. Some
      days one's heart cannot murmur, because it is numb and paralyzed,
      unable to do much of anything more explicit than ache. After being racked
      and tortured brutally in prison, St. Edmund Campion's keeper asked him
      how he felt. He replied: "Not ill, because not at all."

      Some days everything seems like another trip to the rack, some days
      one's heart is Ground Zero, and everything coming at it seems to be
      just one more horrible plane. Never, never think that St. Benedict is
      telling us to put a happy face on this. A brave face or even a blank
      expressionless one may be all one can muster. We are asked to try, to
      do our best, to be as brave as we can.

      How very great is the love of God for us at such times. A favorite
      image I have used before is very apt here: the heart of God is like a
      Mother's refrigerator door, plastered with children's bad, even
      ghastly art. (OK, I KNOW it may be age-appropriate art, but bear with
      me on this one....) God is bursting and beaming with pride at our
      struggling efforts. He cares not a wit that we are not beaming with
      false cheer ourselves. With all that mud on our faces, who could see
      the forced smile anyhow?

      There will never be a time, in this world or in the next, when God
      loves us more than He does when we are fallen, crawling toward Him on
      all fours and still barely hanging on. The effort, always the effort
      is what God sees.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Sylvia, who died a terrible death from Lou Gehrig s disease/ALS, and for her husband and family and all who mourn her.
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 20




        Prayers for the eternal rest of Sylvia, who died a terrible death from Lou Gehrig’s disease/ALS, and for her husband and family and all who mourn her.


        Prayers for Wendy, who has an incurable lung condition which requires thousands of dollars in prescription meds to keep her alive. She is nearing retirement and worried about finding insurance that will cover her medications.


        Prayers for Alicia, 76, suffering terribly from severe loneliness. Her best (and virtually only,) friend died recently and her family does not visit. Many prayers, please, she is so alone.


        Prayers for Moira, going in for a scheduled Caesarean section on Monday, to deliver her second son, Victor. Prayers please for a safe delivery and for her husband, Angel, and son, Angel 3rd. Prayers. too, for her parents, Gerry and Eva, Ultrasounds have been positive to this point.


        Prayers for Sinead, about 24, suffering from Lyme disease, having a lot of problems and pain.


        Prayers for the eternal rest of Zachary, 32, and for his wife and family and for all who mourn him.


        Prayers for Jackson, a seminarian, on his birthday. May he persevere in his calling and find graces galore and many more years in the Lord’s service.


        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 21, May 22, September 21
        Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

        To fulfil God's commandments daily in one's deeds.
        To love chastity.
        To hate no one.
        Not to be jealous, not to harbor envy.
        Not to love contention.
        To beware of haughtiness.
        And to respect the seniors.
        To love the juniors.
        To pray for one's enemies in the love of Christ.
        To make peace with one's adversary before the sun sets.
        And never to despair of God's mercy.
        These, then, are the tools of the spiritual craft.
        If we employ them unceasingly day and night,
        and return them on the Day of Judgment,
        our compensation from the Lord
        will be that wage He has promised:
        "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
        what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9).

        Now the workshop
        in which we shall diligently execute all these tasks
        is the enclosure of the monastery
        and stability in the community.


        One very quick little thought here: even the tools we do manage to
        pull off using are not our own: we are to return them on the Day of
        Judgment!!! Hey, before we fall all over ourselves, patting our own
        backs for this or that, we are doing it all with borrowed tools!
        Humbling thought there!

        Dryer sheets may have many other handy uses (cleaning your monitor or
        TV screen is one of them,) but they will not soften clothes unless
        the clothes stay in the dryer with them and tumble about for as long
        as necessary. Of course, one can use a dryer without such softening
        sheets, but then the clothes cling statically, inappropriately and
        inordinately to things and each other, resisting being pulled apart
        for their proper uses by (forgive me,) downright shocking means. How
        like monastics without stability, community and enclosure!

        Stability is not a lot of good without community, neither is
        enclosure. The dryer sheet essential to both enclosure and stability is genuine,
        sometimes annoying, tumbling community. The heat employed, at times
        intense, is reality checks, objectivity, outside-referenced truth.
        Like any good dryer or community, there may be a separate setting for
        delicates and permanent press, but everybody gets the heat, one way
        or the other.

        If you are one of the many Benedictines living in the world, just
        substitute family or circle of friends for community and home for
        monastic enclosure. The stick-to-it-tiveness I'm afraid you'll have
        to provide yourself, but I think you get the picture. Community is
        any connected group, workplace or home. Enclosure is your home, as
        well as your heart.

        Without being obsessive, or making the people who live with you
        crazy, guard what comes into your enclosure, both heart and home.
        There is a switch on your TV. There is a less visible, but equally
        effective one on your mouth. There is a useful one on your heart and
        thoughts, too.

        Enclosure is not a prison, neither should your home
        be. The Middle Ages spoke of the "Paradisus claustralis" , the
        cloistered Paradise. Every home, for one or for several hundred, must
        strive for that paradise. It is comfort and leisure to an extent, it
        is peace and order to an extent, it is the proper arena of love and
        spiritual growth. The components will necessarily vary from case to
        case, as will their balanced levels.

        Guard the people who tumble in the dryer with you, too, especially
        the annoying ones. Without the moisture they share with you, you
        would soon wither in the heat and die, you would go well beyond
        simply drying to utter destruction. And please, the next time you
        think the dryer is hellish (and we all do sometimes,) bear in mind the
        scarring charms and delicate fragrance of damp mildew.....Yecch!

        At the center of most older monasteries was a garden, a cloister
        garth, a deliberate attempt at a paradise in the heart of things. In
        the heart of those gardens was usually a fountain. That symbolic
        fountain, the heart of everything, is Love and Divine Mercy.
        Go for it, folks!

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        Petersham, MA







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