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Holy Rule for May 26

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Deo Gratias and continued prayers for Sister Germaine who will be coming home this week from the hospital with a very positive prognosis. The community
    Message 1 of 211 , May 25, 2009
      +PAX

      Deo Gratias and continued prayers for Sister Germaine who will be coming home this week from the hospital with a very positive prognosis. The community is relieved that complications from cancer surgery have been successfully resolved.

      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 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 exhaustive 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, 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 visible, created 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 often
      finds itself woefully out of its element. It can see some things
      amiss, but not all. It lacks the supernatural basis of faith, and
      this impedes it somewhat in this area. Balance, always balance.

      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 late mentor. He learned to do it quite
      well and in just 45 years or so!! Say a special prayer for Patrick's
      eternal rest with God.

      People can, alas, get sucked up by power, even in monasteries.
      There is very little difference from the secular workplace in this regard,
      which should point out to us that something is very wrong with the
      picture!

      There is another group, in both monastery and world, that is almost
      equally pathetic: the intriguers who think they are really involved
      with moving and shaking the movers and shakers. Sigh. Both of these
      groups are, let us face it, a sorry lot, surely to be pitied, but
      never to be emulated.

      Hey, what if they gave a power struggle and no one came? That's the
      idea folks! Pay no attention to such things at all, other than a bit
      of heartbreak for the poor losers who have missed the Bridegroom and
      married the Wedding March. No wonder they're frustrated!

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

      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, both effective vaccinations against the
      fatal disease of power.

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



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • russophile2002
      +PAX Many ardent prayers for Mario, substance abuse problem and getting help and treatment, may he stay clean and sober. Prayers, too, for his parents, D. and
      Message 211 of 211 , Mar 13

        +PAX

         

        Many ardent prayers for Mario, substance abuse problem and getting help and treatment, may he stay clean and sober. Prayers, too, for his parents, D. and M. and all his family.

         

        Prayers for Kristen, young wife & mother with serious cancer. Parishioners are praying to Ven. Rose Hawthorne for a miracle.

         

        Prayers for Diana and her daughter, Diana left the Church long ago, prayers that they both may return.

         

        Many ardent prayers for Steve, in hospice, that he may get all the Sacraments, and for his wife and family and all who will mourn him. Divine Mercy chaplets, please, from those so inclined.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Kathy, who died in her sleep, and strength for her husband, Mark and for their family. Kathy was a very devout prayer warrior.

         

        Continued ardent prayers for Josh, drug problems and hopefully already in treatment.

         

        Prayers for Patty, 56, who has been home battling bacterial pneumonia for over a week.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of 35 girls killed in a fire at a state-run home for youth in Guatemala, and for their families and all who mourn them. Prayers, too, for the other girls at that facility, where allegations of abuse have prompted riots from those housed there.

         

        Prayers for a man estranged from his children for many years, that they resume contact with him.

        Prayers for E., that she go to Confession, also for Liz, that she go to Confession. It has been many years for both.

        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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