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Holy Rule for June 28

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Continued prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the person tempted to suicide we have been praying for, who is doing much better, no
    Message 1 of 209 , Jun 27, 2009
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      +PAX

      Continued prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the person tempted to suicide we have been praying for, who is doing much better, no doubt due to prayers, so keep them coming, please.

      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

      February 27, June 28, October 28
      Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery

      If the community is a large one,
      let there be chosen out of it
      brethren of good repute and holy life,
      and let them be appointed deans.
      These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
      observing the commandments of God
      and the instructions of their Abbot.


      Let men of such character be chosen deans
      that the Abbot may with confidence
      share his burdens among them.
      Let them be chosen not by rank
      but according to their worthiness of life
      and the wisdom of their doctrine.


      If any of these deans should become inflated with pride
      and found deserving of censure,
      let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time.
      If he will not amend,
      then let him be deposed
      and another be put in his place who is worthy of it.


      And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.

      REFLECTION

      Did anyone read this as I did at first, many years ago, and
      wonder: "Why did St. Benedict give them an academic name
      like "deans"? Well, it was probably the other way around! Since the
      first schools were monastic ones, it is quite likely that the
      term "dean" entered academia via the Holy Rule!

      Surely the academic gown of today is a modified form of our Benedictine
      choir robe, the cowl or cuculla. In fact, Benedictines used to wear their
      cucullas with the appropriate academic hoods as their formal dress at
      graduations and the like. With all due respect to the johnny-come-
      latelies like the Dominicans, Franciscans and Jesuits, when they don
      full academic regalia, they're wearing a derived form of our choir
      habit!

      But, enough of trivia...This chapter repeats another important
      consideration in St. Benedict's plan: people are not to be
      overburdened. This theme is less noticeable than the more important
      ones of moderation and the like, but it is there. Again and again,
      the Holy Rule says that people should have help with their charges,
      certain officials should even be exempted from serving in the
      refectory.

      Two things are going on here, both very important. Surely the first
      is kindness, gentle consideration for human frailty. The second,
      however, is every bit as defining and important: we are not our work,
      we are not our jobs, our vocation and worth is only connected to such
      things tangentially at best. Our motto is Work AND Prayer. The
      message is that neither of these should make the other impossible.

      This message is equally important for both choir monastics and
      Oblates. If your work is so much that your prayer suffers, something
      is wrong. However, especially true for those of us in the secular
      world, if your prayer is so much that your job or children or
      marriage suffers, something is REALLY wrong. If your work deprives
      your family or spouse, it might be time to look at changing it, time
      to rearrange goals and priorities a bit.

      One of the occasional problems of modern life everywhere is not just
      that we are too busy, but that we FOCUS too much attachment and will
      on stuff that really doesn't matter. Examine and change that focus.

      Picture your job today if you had died yesterday. The important stuff would
      still get done by someone else. The rest, your own agenda, would go merrily
      down the tubes. Well, learn from that!

      A LOT of our own agendas are worth little more than that: going down the
      tubes. So why waste so much time and spiritual and emotional energy on
      them? As it does so frequently, the Holy Rule and Benedictine life tell us:
      "Get real!"

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@...
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      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 4:30 PM
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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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