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Holy Rule for Jan. 31

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Polly, for whom
    Message 1 of 53 , Jan 30, 2009
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      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Polly, for whom we prayed, has been moved to hospice care. Prayers for her happy death and for her family travelling to be with her.

      A. who always has a tough time for a few days after her son goes back to his home and work, thousands of miles away, for peace and serenity and calm.

      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 31, June 1, October 1
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The third degree of humility is that a person
      for love of God
      submit himself to his Superior in all obedience,
      imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle says,
      "He became obedient even unto death."

      REFLECTION

      Merton once wrote "Love is the Rule." That's what we can so often
      miss. One obeys out of love, love of God.

      Trust my limited experience here, please, if we are acting on solely
      human considerations, there is no human being on earth whose tool kit
      is so complete that one can joyously follow and obey them without any
      reserve or hesitation, not one. But we aren't doing it for human reasons:
      we are obeying for God.

      We do it for love, not for wisdom. We do it for love, not for taste
      or class or savoir faire. We do it for love, not because the superior
      is brilliant or right or gifted in any way. We don't do it because of
      the superior at all, if we are going about things the right way. We
      do it for love, for love of God.

      Anything less than love of God as a motive will fall flat on its
      face, and sooner rather than later! It never takes long. Life itself,
      within the cloister or without, is full of so much purblind stupidity
      and outright rubbish that nothing could sustain one other than love
      of God.

      Mother or Father might quite pointedly know nothing at all. The will
      of God sometimes comes through to us in spite of them, not because they
      are wise or stupid, right or wrong, but because of love, God's love for us.
      Many people in the church do the will of God for reasons that have little
      or nothing to do with God!

      They may do it unwittingly, they may do it cruelly or wrong-headedly, but
      that hardly matters: the will of God comes through. I think there is a
      mystical point where the love and will of God for one cannot ultimately be thwarted,
      where it is actually advanced by humans who have not a clue what they are
      doing. Even some actively opposed to His will nevertheless advance it without a
      clue. God can use anything, even His opponents, to do good for those who
      love Him, who trust Him and let Him act in their souls.

      We do it for love, and that love will shield us, regardless, in the
      armor of His will. We must only trust Him, trust His Divine Mercy,
      always trust!

      Love and prayers,

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

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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers, please for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Dave, recurrent
      Message 53 of 53 , Mar 13, 2009
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        Prayers, please for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

        Dave, recurrent prostate cancer, seeing oncologist on the 18th, and for Elaine, his wife.

        Tom, upper erosive esophagitus, a stomach ulcer and hiatal hernia. The current meds are
        not helping the problem. Seeing doctor today.

        Joyce, who had surgery and several organs are filled with cancer.
        The family needs prayers as it is very hard for them to deal with the diagnosis.

        Carol, undergoing surgery to repair leg tendons on Thursday... for a safe operation, and a quick, comfortable, and complete recovery.

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

        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

        March 13, July 13, November 12
        Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen

        Let the brethren serve one another, and let no one be excused from
        the kitchen service
        except by reason of sickness or occupation in some important work.
        For this service brings increase of reward and of charity. But let
        helpers be provided for the weak ones, that they may not be
        distressed by this work; and indeed let everyone have help, as
        required by the size of the community or the circumstances of the
        locality. If the community is a large one,
        the cellarer shall be excused from the kitchen service; and so also
        those whose occupations are of greater utility, as we said above.
        Let the rest serve one another in charity.

        The one who is ending his week of service shall do the cleaning on
        Saturday. He shall wash the towels with which the brethren wipe
        their hands and feet; and this server who is ending his week, aided
        by the one who is about to begin, shall wash the feet of all the
        brethren. He shall return the utensils of his office to the
        cellarer clean and in good condition,
        and the cellarer in turn shall consign them to the incoming server,
        in order that he may know what he gives out and what he receives
        back.

        REFLECTION

        I know some houses have moved away from having table waiters, but
        something is lost in that. We have cafeteria style first portions
        here, then the waiter goes around to offer seconds and clears the
        dishes. It isn't a really big deal, but it does have a great reward,
        as the Holy Rule points out. Because we are a small community, only
        8, everyone, even the Superior takes a turn at waiting.

        Formerly, in some houses (maybe in all, but I am not sure,) the
        Abbot would wait tables on Holy Thursday. There was a nice
        connection there: he who held the place of Christ waited on all on
        the feast of the Last Supper, and washed the feet of twelve in
        Church that day.

        The connection here is personalist. Waiting on people connects you
        very much to them, as any waiter could tell you. Restaurants may
        not pursue that connection to any depth, but a home situation, like
        a monastery, surely does. There's a great notion here for Oblates
        who
        do not live alone: take turns waiting. We can get slumped into Dad
        or Mom or husband or wife always being waiter or waited upon.
        Switch off, care for each other, in this and many, many other ways!

        There are tons of ways of serving another, serving each other, that
        have nothing at all to do with tables or dining. There are many,
        many, equivalent forms of foot-washing. Hunt for them diligently and
        practice them with deep love!

        Love and prayers,

        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org

        Petersham, MA





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