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Holy Rule for Mar. 3

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Andrew, vocation
    Message 1 of 53 , Mar 2, 2009
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Andrew, vocation discernment and has made his first visit here.

      John, still unable to find a job and getting very frustrated.

      Two special intentions for C.

      for C.'s brother who will have a pacemaker battery changed. They will have to stop and restart his heart.

      Peggy, recently widowed, who was just diagnosed with a couple of growths in her brain. They think one is not problematic, but aren't sure of the other. Will see a neurosurgeon on Tuesday. She is in the midst of selling and moving out of her beautiful home, to make matters worse.

      Stephen and Heather, expecting a baby boy in July, already named Seth Richard!

      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 3, July 3, November 2
      Chapter 26: On Those Who Without an Order Associate with the
      Excommunicated

      If any sister presumes without an order from the Abbess to
      associate in any way with an excommunicated sister, or to speak
      with her, or to send her a message, let her incur a similar
      punishment of excommunication.

      REFLECTION

      When punishment is necessary, the community should support it, at
      least passively. This united front should be far different from the
      human tendency we often see to abandon those in trouble. Quite the
      reverse, like everything in the Holy Rule, this must be fueled by
      the concern born of love.Times of crisis like this should awaken us to the necessary
      depth of love for all.

      Hard though it may sometimes be, we may not rejoice at the downfall
      of another. We must participate in common punishments because they
      are for the good of all, but also because they are primarily for
      the good of the offender, whom we must love. Admittedly, sometimes
      the only way one can express that concern is prayer, but we must
      pray!

      Sometimes, both superiors and communities can have an inordinate
      fear of giving punishment. What if she leaves? Yeah, what if....?
      Maybe she is supposed to leave, maybe this is God's way of telling
      her something about herself that she cannot see. Some people who
      really, truly do NOT belong in monastic life cannot be convinced of
      this.

      Some people who are terrible at a given job will not wake up to
      that fact in any other way. In some cases toxic folks must be told
      gently, but explicitly, that if they insist on continuing to harm
      themselves and others, they'll have to do it elsewhere, without
      destroying the rest of the family any longer.

      Some find the Rule harsh in this respect, but there is a great love
      and mercy here. The Holy Rule forbids what many people in groups
      will do: passive aggression. We cannot just wordlessly force the
      person out without a clue as to why.

      Punishment must be named and specific, the offender must know and
      those around her must care. It may in fact force a monk out, but he
      will know why when he leaves. This is vastly different from the
      ordinary human means of exclusion and expulsion. It includes grace.
      It includes love. Lots of love! And its justice is always somehow
      wrapped in mercy.

      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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        +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 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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