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Holy Rule for July 3

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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: Richard, serious
    Message 1 of 208 , Jul 2, 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:

      Richard, serious cardiac procedure being done and for his sister, Sr. Pat.

      Tracey, taking state board exam for registered nursing.

      Prayers for Br. Thomas and all our Thomases on their feastday.

      Charlie who was in a motor vehicle accident today. He suffers from many health ailments and also from Alzheimer's. Thank the Lord no one was hurt. He is very shaken up. He then found out he is being moved to a private care home in a few months. He is very scared and depressed and confused. Please pray that God grants him peace and acceptance in whatever happens and my Dad finds God through all his suffering. Please also pray for his wife who has no understanding of Alzheimer's. She blames him for everything and is very abusive to him. Please pray that God softens my her heart and she sees how much she loves my Dad and she starts treating him nice and taking good care of him instead of neglecting him.

      Jill has had a run of bad luck with her much loved dog dying, her car being broken into and being written off. She had just bought another when today she had an epileptic seizure, her first, losing her front teeth. She is having a scan tomorrow. She needs a car to do her work and now won't be allowed to drive for a year. There is no public transport where she lives, so will need to move or find some other work - not easy in these days.

      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 3, July 3, November 2
      Chapter 26: On Those Who Without an Order Associate with the
      Excommunicated

      If any sister presumes
      without an order from the Abbess
      to associate in any way with an excommunicated sister,
      or to speak with her,
      or to send her a message,
      let her incur a similar punishment of excommunication.

      REFLECTION

      When punishment is necessary, the community should support it, at
      least passively. This united front should be far different from the
      human tendency we often see to abandon those in trouble. Quite the
      reverse, like everything in the Holy Rule, this must be fueled by the
      concern born of great love.

      Common life can often leave one with a slew of relationships which
      are polite and civil, even cordial, but frankly no deeper than a lot
      of people at work have with each other. That's sad, but it does
      happen. Times of crisis like this should awaken us to the necessary
      depth of love for all.

      Hard though it may sometimes be, we may not rejoice at the downfall
      of another. We must participate in common punishments because they
      are for the good of all, but also because they are primarily for the
      good of the offender, whom we must love. Admittedly, sometimes the
      only way one can express that concern is prayer, but we must pray!

      Sometimes, both superiors and communities can have an inordinate fear
      of giving punishment. What if she leaves? Yeah, what if....? Maybe
      she is supposed to leave, maybe this is God's way of telling her
      something about herself that she cannot see. Some people who really,
      truly do NOT belong in monastic life cannot be convinced of this.
      Some people who are terrible at a given job will not wake up to that
      fact in any other way.

      Some find the Rule harsh in this respect, but there is a great love
      and mercy here. The Holy Rule forbids what most people in groups will
      do: passive aggression. We cannot just wordlessly force the person
      out without a clue as to why. Punishment must be named and specific,
      the offender must know and those around her must care. It may in fact
      force a monk out, but he will know why when he leaves. This is vastly
      different from the ordinary human means of exclusion and expulsion.
      It include grace. It includes love.

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

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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL BE AWAY FROM OCT. 6-14. ON THOSE DAYS, PLEASE SEND PRAYER REQUESTS TO MICHAEL LOPICCOLO. If you are on his list or my Holy Rule
      Message 208 of 208 , Oct 5, 2009
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        +PAX

        PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL BE AWAY FROM OCT. 6-14. ON THOSE DAYS, PLEASE SEND PRAYER REQUESTS TO MICHAEL LOPICCOLO. If you are on his list or my Holy Rule list, you can just reply to the Holy Rule post, otherwise, send them to carmelitanum@...


        Bishop Rawsthorne, for whom we prayed as a member of the African Synod, is staying at the Venerable English College in Rome, where one of our readers, Sr. Mary Joseph, OSB, works. She told him that he was on our list for prayers and he was delighted and asked that thanks be extended to all. Small world! Continued prayers for him and the Synod, please.

        Prayers for all Carthusians on the feast of St. Bruno, their founder. They spend their lives praying for the world, for all of us, let us return the favor.

        Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the folloiwng, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

        Deo gratias, for Maggi, free of cancer, now prayers that the lung damage from chemo and radiation may be repaired.

        Heather, about to have tests done on her heart, having a lot of problems with chest and neck pain. Please pray this turns out to be nothing serious.

        Continued prayers for Cheryl and all evacuated by the wildfire in California.

        Cindy who is being operated on today for pancreatic cancer.


        Kelia, in the hospital with abdominal pain and a high white cell count.



        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 5, June 6, October 6
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The eighth degree of humility
        is that a monk do nothing except what is commended
        by the common Rule of the monastery
        and the example of the elders.

        REFLECTION

        Well, this one looks deceptively simple enough. Just try it! I speak
        as one who has frequently failed it and who sometimes* fails it
        still. [* I only fail it on special occasions: Sunday, Monday,
        Tuesday, Wednesday.... you get the picture.] This step of humility,
        by the way, will translate very easily into family life, the
        neighborhood, or the workplace.

        The goal here is not just external uniformity so much as internal
        detachment. We are deeply attached to the things we do. Demanding to
        do things our own way is not humble. When vocation observers come to the
        monastery, for the monks or the nuns, I often see little quirks of
        external piety in church and think: "Well, that'll have to go..."

        One cannot profitably go through monastic formation cherishing the
        notion that one has got it right and one's elders have it wrong. You
        may even be right, or the matter may be completely neutral. (The
        term "optional" comes to mind, but that was NOT used to express
        neutrality!) That's not the issue here. Detachment and humility are.

        When we singularize ourselves without real moral imperative, the
        message given to the whole community is "I know better." That this is
        not warmly received in a junior or newcomer should come as no
        surprise. A monastic family is like any spouse: you had better not
        marry what you hope to change them into, but only what they ARE. If
        we fail this, we change "Thy will be done" into "MY will be done!"
        and we do so with sorry results.

        No spouse is perfect, neither is any family, monastery or job, but if
        you expect to change them right off the bat, you're doomed to woe. In
        monastery and marriage and workplace, the only person you can REALLY
        change is yourself and the sooner you get around to doing that, the
        better for all concerned.

        The sad thing (and I am guilty here!) is that sometimes these things
        we do on our own have nothing to do with piety at all. They are,
        pure and simple, revolt, passive aggression, small, though very
        public ways of expressing our scorn for this or that concept or
        person. Having lived in the Church of the 60's and 70's, I picked up
        the idea of refusal as a kind of non-violent demonstration. Not quite
        as laudable as my youthful self may have thought!

        I also must say that, in those less-than-halcyon days, I picked it up
        from my monastic seniors, just not always the best seniors! I still
        do it at times, and I still wrestle with paring those times down day
        by day. The hardest humility and obedience are to things we truly
        think are dumb and do not matter. The difficulty alone must mean
        there is great potential for growth there.

        An interesting aside here. The dissenter often thinks she is a grand
        and eloquent witness for justice and truth. The stubborn monk thinks
        he has scored a real victory for integrity and correctness. In fact,
        those who live with them often think they're just silly and pathetically
        off the mark. Of the two impressions, this last is closer to truth!

        It is also interesting to note (again, from sorry personal experience,)
        that the rebel often looks at other rebels (with whom he does not agree,
        so they are, of course, WRONG...) as silly. Wow! If one can be so right
        about those other rebels, how come the other monastics aren't right about
        oneself?? Hmmmm....

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






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