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Holy Rule for Mar. 13

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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 1 of 54 , Mar 13, 2009
      +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





      [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

        +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 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.

        REFLECTION

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

         

         

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