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Holy Rule for Feb. 17

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Sean - a dad with two girls in college who is out of work and for the safety of his daughter Samantha who is about to embark on her
    Message 1 of 54 , Feb 16, 2009

      Prayers, please, for Sean - a dad with two girls in college who is out of work and for the safety of his daughter Samantha who is about to embark on her first college "break" trip away from home in March.

      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

      February 17, June 18, October 18
      Chapter 14: How the Night Office Is to Be Said on the Feasts of the

      On the feasts of Saints and on all festivals
      let the Office be performed
      as we have prescribed for Sundays,
      except that the Psalms, the antiphons and the lessons
      belonging to that particular day are to be said.
      Their number, however, shall remain as we have specified above.


      Check out the sickening glut of consumerist advertising that attends
      the approach (even the very remote approach!) of Christmas,
      Valentine's Day, or any other holiday whose traditions include gift-
      giving. Man, the sharks move in for the kill! We can firmly trust the
      secular world to promote and protect the days they stand to profit

      In fact, in the US, at least, we can count on the greeting card
      industry to even increase those special days. Long since bored with
      just Mother's Day and Father's Day, now the card industry has now
      gone to Grandparents' Day, Secretaries' WEEK, and who knows what is
      next. (Not that I don't love Secretaries, I do, but let us be frank, the
      greeting card industry had something other than love and gratitude in

      There's a truth in all this annoying materialism: those who profit
      from a thing must make it special themselves. In other words, we must
      use our best efforts to celebrate our own feasts, in our own hearts, for our
      own spiritual gain, since it is highly unlikely that the holiest feasts for us
      (unless one is named Valentine or Patrick!!) are likely to turn up anytime
      soon in the scheme of secular promotion.

      In our monastery, we celebrate feastdays, not birthdays. This took a
      bit of adjusting to, but now my feastday is even more special than my
      birthday: it is the one everyone knows about and celebrates and tries
      to make special. WE make feastdays special. We profit from them
      spiritually and it is up to us to ensure their importance.

      Take a hint from this chapter and go out of your way to make your own
      special saint's feast or feast of the Lord come alive for you. For
      years now I have loved Feb 2, the Presentation of the Lord, or
      Candlemas. It has become my favorite feast and I honestly look
      forward to it and revel in it. But I had to do that myself, to
      nurture the associations with the day and so forth. All of us can
      give that gift to ourselves and there's no consumerist madness
      involved! Especially in families, this can give the grace of a holy
      and joyous celebration that is truly ours, not some whim of the
      corporate world or a meaningless secularity.

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB
      St. Mary's Monastery, Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for our Sister Mary Paula, on her feastday, graces galore and many more! Ad multos annos! Prayers for Mary, on her birthday, graces galore and
      Message 54 of 54 , Jan 24



        Prayers for our Sister Mary Paula, on her feastday, graces galore and many more! Ad multos annos!


        Prayers for Mary, on her birthday, graces galore and many more! Ad multos annos!


        Deo gratias, Moira, for whom we prayed, safely delivered Victor, 11 lbs, and 2 oz., 22 inches long! Prayers, too, for all the family, Dad and brother, Angel and Angel 3rd, and for Gerry and Eva and Victor’s other set of grandparents.


        Prayers for three couples that need to get their marriages blessed and receive the Sacraments.


        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!

        January 25, May 26, September 25
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        Holy Scripture, brethren, cries out to us, saying,
        "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,
        and he who humbles himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
        In saying this it shows us
        that all exaltation is a kind of pride,
        against which the Prophet proves himself to be on guard
        when he says,
        "Lord, my heart is not exalted,
        nor are mine eyes lifted up;
        neither have I walked in great matters,
        nor in wonders above me."
        But how has he acted?
        "Rather have I been of humble mind
        than exalting myself;
        as a weaned child on its mother's breast,
        so You solace my soul" (Ps. 130:1-2).

        Hence, brethren,
        if we wish to reach the very highest point of humility
        and to arrive speedily at that heavenly exaltation
        to which ascent is made through the humility of this present life,
        we must
        by our ascending actions
        erect the ladder Jacob saw in his dream,
        on which Angels appeared to him descending and ascending.
        By that descent and ascent
        we must surely understand nothing else than this,
        that we descend by self-exaltation and ascend by humility.
        And the ladder thus set up is our life in the would,
        which the Lord raises up to heaven if our heart is humbled.
        For we call our body and soul the sides of the ladder,
        and into these sides our divine vocation has inserted
        the different steps of humility and discipline we must climb.


        Today we begin St. Benedict's extensive treatment of humility.
        Humility and obedience are so closely linked that it is virtually
        impossible to speak of one without adding the other. Since both are
        essential Benedictine virtues, it is easy to say that there is no
        such thing as a holy Benedictine who has not climbed or is not
        climbing this ladder. I have never known a holy monk who was not
        humble, in fact, along with charity, it was usually their most outstanding trait.

        A lot of this chapter will grate on modern ears. I will be the first
        to admit that some people need assertiveness training. However, in my
        experience, most of us do not. Most of us manage to be assertive on a
        daily- even hourly- basis without much difficulty. Remember, too,
        that modern psychology is a science which, like all science, is
        limited to observable data.

        Hence, it is not surprising that the generalities of psychology deal
        with relations between people and things. The catch here is that the
        humility St. Benedict speaks of is rooted in relationship of humans
        to God, a sphere in which psychology finds itself woefully out
        of its element. It lacks the supernatural basis of faith; this impedes it in this
        area. Balance, always balance. Keep God in focus in these areas.
        The model is His greatness, not our own.

        A quickie on the Psalm quote today: "...neither have I walked in
        great matters, nor in matters above me." This was a favorite of
        Brother Patrick Creamer, my mentor. He learned to do it quite
        well and in just 46 years or so!! He'd laugh at my saying that.

        I speak as one who has been all too focused at many times on the
        monastic soap opera and its hand-wringing tempests in teacups. About
        many things, even most, we must learn simply not to get upset, not to
        trouble ourselves with matters too great, even though we may have to
        call them "great" with an inner, rueful chuckle.

        That's not apathy, simply a frank admission that, in many cases, others
        have charge of areas so that the rest need NOT worry or concern themselves.
        The purpose of the division of responsibility is to give the community the
        chance to focus their energy on the one thing really needful. This is especially
        true in monasteries, but the principle has applications in the workplace, too.
        In the latter, there may be times when one is morally obliged to get involved,
        but the key word is "morally". About trivia or non-essentials in any milieu,
        shrug, say nothing and keep your sanity.

        You will never have peace until you learn to leave all that alone, to
        distrust it for the empty and tragic charade that it truly is. And you will
        never get anywhere if you don't have peace. The road to that peace is
        humility and love.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        Petersham, MA



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