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Holy Rule for May 23

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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: Sr. Germaine,
    Message 1 of 209 , May 22, 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:

      Sr. Germaine, unexpected complications after surgery and further tests being done.

      Virginia, in her 80's, a widow with no family other than nieces and nephews who are out of state, who has terminal cancer and now is in hospital with a heart attack, prayers for her happy death. Also for Donna, her health care surrogate, who is trying to arrange hospice care for her from another state. Donna has had significant losses of family members through death of late, so this is terribly hard on 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

      January 22, May 23, September 22
      Chapter 5: On Obedience

      The first degree of humility is obedience without delay.
      This is the virtue of those
      who hold nothing dearer to them than Christ;
      who, because of the holy service they have professed,
      and the fear of hell,
      and the glory of life everlasting,
      as soon as anything has been ordered by the Superior,
      receive it as a divine command
      and cannot suffer any delay in executing it.
      Of these the Lord says,
      "As soon as he heard, he obeyed Me" (Ps. 17:45).
      And again to teachers He says,
      "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).


      Such as these, therefore,
      immediately leaving their own affairs
      and forsaking their own will,
      dropping the work they were engaged on
      and leaving it unfinished,
      with the ready step of obedience
      follow up with their deeds the voice of him who commands.
      And so as it were at the same moment
      the master's command is given
      and the disciple's work is completed,
      the two things being speedily accomplished together
      in the swiftness of the fear of God
      by those who are moved
      with the desire of attaining life everlasting.
      That desire is their motive for choosing the narrow way,
      of which the Lord says,
      "Narrow is the way that leads to life" (Matt. 7:14),
      so that,
      not living according to their own choice
      nor obeying their own desires and pleasures
      but walking by another's judgment and command,
      they dwell in monasteries and desire to have an Abbot over them.
      Assuredly such as these are living up to that maxim of the Lord
      in which He says,
      "I have come not to do My own will,
      but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

      REFLECTION

      A few monks were talking with a Brother with a charge who was
      expressing his frustration that people did not do what he asked. He
      had tried to be polite, but his requests were ignored or excuses were
      given at every turn. He was clueless as to why this was happening and
      honestly upset.

      Finally, a senior monk interrupted him with one of the nicest remarks
      I have ever heard made to a monastic. He said: "Wait a minute, Brother,
      you don't understand. You're not like other people, you do what you
      are told without further argument." Another monk added: "For most
      people being told to do something is merely a point to begin
      negotiations."

      Sad, but true! Bluntly put, obedience doesn't do its best work until it
      messes with your life, until it disturbs you and stirs up your
      complacent, settled smugness. It's rather like a light switch. The
      bulb doesn't go on until someone throws the switch. The potential is
      always there, but no switch, no light. Potential light alone is not
      terribly enlightening, as anyone who's tried to read in a fully-wired,
      darkened room can tell you!

      There is a big difference between apathy and detachment.
      This chapter offers a prime example: one leaves one's own affairs,
      drops whatever one was in the midst of and forsakes one's own will.
      That's detachment. Apathy is selfish, detachment is selfless. Apathy
      makes oneself the center, detachment revolves around God and
      others. Detachment cares deeply, but not for the selfish will!

      Apathy, on the other hand, truly doesn't care one way or the other about
      anything. There is no ascesis in apathy, because all things are regarded with
      equal indifference. It is the LACK of indifference and the level of personal
      attachment that makes detachment work. Detachment is active, apathy
      is passive. Apathy is the uncaring state, detachment is the lover's struggle
      against undue caring. It sets our priorities aright and they need that badly!

      Satan hates monastic life, so different aspects will chafe different
      people; that's his only hope of success. Obedience may not bother one
      who goes off the deep end over chastity. Poverty may be a simple
      cinch for one who can scarcely endure stability.

      Obedience was the victim of a lot of word play in the 60's and 70's.
      One must hope it was all sincere, but it was often misguided.
      Beloveds, if you call it "coordination" or "dialogue" or "consensus"
      you run a terrible risk of referring to a light switch more or less
      perpetually in the off position, or to one which casts light only where we'd
      like it to shine. Alas, we are not usually wise enough to request light
      where we need it most. That must be left to God and God uses obedience.

      Always be wary of euphemism, it can be a harbinger that something is askew.
      Euphemisms often stem from a chip on the shoulder and a chip on
      the shoulder usually means wood higher up- like in the cranial regions!
      When any of those euphemisms actually work, actually intervene in
      one's life dramatically, they do so as obedience, plain and simple.
      One might as well just call the rose a rose! It does smell wondrously
      sweet, but it also has thorns...

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      jeromeleo@...
      Petersham, MA





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      I have no idea why this didn t go through yesterday. Catching up. BJL +PAX Prayers for the grace-filled success of our Oblate Day and our Sisters Monastic
      Message 209 of 209 , Mar 14
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        I have no idea why this didn't go through yesterday. Catching up. BJL
         
        +PAX
        Prayers for the grace-filled success of our Oblate Day and our Sisters' Monastic Experience weekend at Petersham and for all participating.
         
        Urgent prayers needed for Brian's brother-in-law, Paul. He is a diabetic, and now has been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. It is stage 3, and a biopsy this coming Tuesday will check to see if he is stage 4. He will be starting chemo & radiation. His wife is devastated. Brian has known Paul since they were very young, loves him like a brother and is crushed. Please pray for Paul, his wife, Brian and all their family and friends.
        Deo gratias, the twin's fluid build up is gone.

        Prayer for Brian T.,( another Brian,) who is being viciously harrassed.

        Prayers for JS, discernment and assistance in making an important life decision.

        Prayers for Beverly, special intention plus dicernment regarding another of perplexing issues..

        Deo gratias for all prayers and graces of the past.
        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 14, July 14, November 13
        Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen

        An hour before the meal let the weekly servers each receive a drink
        and some bread over and above the appointed allowance, in order
        that at the meal time they may serve their brethren without
        murmuring and without excessive fatigue. On solemn days, however,
        let them wait until after Mass.

        Immediately after the Morning Office on Sunday, the incoming and
        outgoing servers shall prostrate themselves before all the brethren
        in the oratory and ask their prayers. Let the server who is ending
        his week say this verse: "Blessed are You, O Lord God, who have
        helped me and consoled me." When this has been said three times and
        the outgoing server has received his blessing, then let the
        incoming server follow and say, "Incline unto my aid, O God; O
        Lord, make haste to help me." Let this also be repeated three times
        by all, and having received his blessing let him enter his service.

        REFLECTION

        Families, and parents and caregivers, listen up! There's an
        important lesson here. No task is too small to be blessed by
        prayer. More than that, no task is so easy that it can be done
        without God's help, so remember to thank Him. Of ourselves, we can
        do nothing, literally nothing. All our strength and power comes from God.

        Making dinner or washing the dishes? Take a quiet moment in the
        midst of either to say "Help!" and "Thanks!" Two simple, one word
        prayers. No matter how chaotic your household, everyone will find
        time for at least that. God knows the details, knows your heart and
        can readily fill in the blanks! We may think God needs essay-length
        prayers, but He doesn't. He may enjoy hearing from us, but trust
        me, we NEVER tell Him anything that's news to Him.

        This chapter is not simply the humility and charity of service, it
        is also the honest acknowledgment of complete helplessness without
        God. For most folks, only sickness or debility will teach them
        that. It may seem like nothing to bend down and pick up a pin off
        the floor until a bad back makes that impossible. Handicaps hone
        our perceptions of being in charge very, very well.

        Of course, there is another side to simple things like serving
        table, picking up pins and the like. One could not have done
        anything without God's help, but ah, if one does them out of love
        and care! Bingo! Double coupons, so to speak! If that pin got
        carefully picked up because of a barefoot and running child, or a
        beloved pet who is prone to "tasting" whatever she can find on the
        floor, simplicity becomes a very much greater matter, indeed. Now
        it is very close to the heart of God, and that is a wonderful place
        to be.

        By the way, though some might think me daft for saying this, it is
        not at all that crazy. There is no reason why families could not
        bless whomever is assigned to a domestic task for a week or month
        or whatever. A simple prayer asking God to help them serve us all
        and get over any rough times could be tastefully done without a lot
        of fuss. This could really help drive home the message of the worthwhile
        merit to be had in doing small things with love!

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