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Brother Jerome's Reflection: March 23

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please pray for safe ravel for our good Brother Jerome. Please pray for Bill. He fell down a flight of stairs - backwards - and has been in intensive
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 22, 2009
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      Please pray for safe ravel for our good Brother Jerome.

      Please pray for Bill. He fell down a flight of stairs - backwards - and has been in intensive care since Tuesday. While there are several positive signs, he's not out of the woods yet. Prayers, too for his family - lots of dynamics going on there and for the funeral home staff.

      Please continue prayers for 4 year old Jack (for whom we've been praying.) Apparently his case of meningitis has vanished (family believes it's due to prayer) and he's now being prepped for a kidney transplant. His dad, Bob, is the donor and the hope is that once everything is said and done, Jack can have a normal childhood.

      Please pray for Carol's for my husband, John, who is looking for work. Prayers for her brother, Mike, who will have heart surgery Thursday; for a colleague who is going through a very rough emotionally disturbing time; for Joanna who's ovarian cyst has returned.

      +Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have taken their own lives.+

      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 23, July 23, November 22
      Chapter 43: On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table

      Anyone who does not come to table before the verse,
      so that all together may say the verse and the oration
      and all sit down to table at the same time --
      anyone who
      through his own carelessness or bad habit
      does not come on time
      shall be corrected for this up to the second time.
      If then he does not amend,
      he shall not be allowed to share in the common table,
      but shall be separated from the company of all
      and made to eat alone,
      and his portion of wine shall be taken away from him,
      until he has made satisfaction and has amended.
      And let him suffer a like penalty who is not present
      at the verse said after the meal.


      It is terribly important for families to eat together. St. Benedict
      knew this 1,500 years ago and things have not changed that much in
      human nature since his time. The links between members are restored
      at a shared meal. Small wonder that Jesus left us a Meal as His
      legacy to remember Him by and to unite us all.

      I can hear the groans from Oblates in families that schedules
      conflict and how can this be possible. I assure you, I do not know,
      especially since I don't know all the ins and outs of anyone's
      personal situation. I do know, however, that a family meal is so
      important that it must be worked into one's life somehow. Once a week
      is better than nothing, but even that is far too little. Every day
      might be out of the picture, but it ought to be the ideal.

      Sometimes we need to get a firm grip on what is most important. That
      might mean we have to help our children get real, as well. Being
      children, they ought not to be expected to have a tool kit capable of
      enabling any and all decisions on their own. I know and love one
      family whose soccer and hockey schedules ruin much of the year. I
      worry about them, I truly do.

      The parents make at least a better than average attempt to go to
      Church, but I am in no way certain that survives either sports
      season. Hey, I know kids get invested and I know it is hard to say
      no, but Sunday? Shot? For most of the year? God can wait, hockey
      can't? Not only is a terrible religious message being given here, but
      a very false message is given to each of the two athletes as well:
      the world revolves around you. Everything stops when you have a game.
      Well, not exactly, nor is that the best idea to turn a kid loose on
      the world with.

      Make no mistake, parents DO form their kids in a religion they care
      about. Unfortunately, if that religion is sports (as it often is in
      Boston, rabidly, frenetically, alas!) the message comes through loud
      and clear. That it continues to be strong in adulthood is evidenced
      by some of the absolutely inane and stupid levels of media coverage
      of certain sports events and figures in the Boston area. Face it, who
      really cares? (Or ought to....) Even our monks who ARE sports fans
      have shaken their heads in wonder at some of the lunacy.

      Weeks and weeks of intense coverage on who might, might not or finally did
      buy the Red Sox baseball team. Goodness, (anguished hand wringing here,)
      whatEVER shall we do? The real stupidity behind this is the assumption that
      someone is going to spend millions and millions of dollars to buy
      a team and forcefully drive it unprofitably into the ground. Get a life!
      People can be dumb, but not that dumb.

      A while back opening day for the Boston Red Sox fell on Good Friday. There
      was a huge (and very embarrassing push!) for the Archdiocese to dispense fans
      from meat abstinence on that day so they could have a hot dog at the game.. I
      am not making this up, but I wish I were. Good Friday or the Red Sox, where is
      one's heart? Making things terribly serious that are not serious at all is
      not a sign of balanced health. We'd be wary if anyone got that serious about a game of
      Monopoly, but sports are, after all- or should be- GAMES, not reality.

      Reclaiming Sunday is not some hyped up Benedictine idea. It is
      Christian. Our faith itself demands that we get rest and some time
      together, hopefully for prayer! It would seem that, if one was to be
      firm anywhere, on any day of the week, Sunday might be the place to
      start. Frankly, if the child gripes that everyone else does it, this
      would offer a particularly apt time to convey the message that we are
      not like everyone else, nor are we supposed to be. That's part of
      being Christian..

      Heavens, my Jewish friends grew up with a far better
      sense of who they were than many Christian (or post-Christian!) kids
      get today. And their Sabbath (O horror!) was SATURDAY. Now that cut
      into more than a few things. But there was a great, great lesson
      available there for those kids. Pity the ones who missed it.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA
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