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July 2

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the repose of the soul of Father Gerald Gerry Fitzgerald, a Boston area pastor; also for Rick, lung cancer AND pneumonia, and for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2003
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      Prayers, please, for the repose of the soul of Father Gerald "Gerry"
      Fitzgerald, a Boston area pastor; also for Rick, lung cancer AND
      pneumonia, and for his wife, Linda. Trappist Fr. Robert is home and
      concelebrating Mass. Deo gratias! God's will is best! Thanks so
      much. NRN JL

      March 2, July 2, November 1
      Chapter 25: On Weightier Faults

      Let the brother who is guilty of a weightier fault
      be excluded both from the table and from the oratory.
      Let none of the brethren join him
      either for company or for conversation.
      Let him be alone at the work assigned him,
      abiding in penitential sorrow
      and pondering that terrible sentence of the Apostle
      where he says that a man of that kind is handed over
      for the destrucion of the flesh,
      that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (1 Cor. 5:5).
      Let him take his meals alone
      in the measure and at the hour
      which the Abbot shall consider suitable for him.
      He shall not be blessed by those who pass by,
      nor shall the food that is given him be blessed.


      The world's concept of punishment is alien to Benedictine values. The
      world often sees punishment as nothing other than retribution. Few
      today would think of prisons (at least in my country,) as places of
      reform or moral rehabilitation. Quite the reverse! We want offenders
      to pay and we want them removed from our view and out of harm's way.
      We often even want them dead, but we do not much care whether or not
      they reform. In fact, we have little faith that they will and even
      less hope of that given the prisons we have warehoused them in. The
      world wants problems removed, not solved, not converted.

      With St. Benedict, there is no reason for punishment other than
      correction and hope of conversion. Only when the hope of those are
      gone does he demand expulsion. The familial nature of Benedictine
      life means that we have to hold on as long as a possibility of cure
      seems to exist. Like any family, we are committed to one another
      through a lot of thick or thin.

      However, and some families sadly know this, too, sometimes that hope
      is dashed by the offender, the only one who has ultimate power in
      this process. Once a monastic is corrected or punished, the real
      outcome lies pretty much in the monastic's control. One can profit
      from the correction and grow, or one can stubbornly rebel and wither.

      Sometimes punishment may seem mean, but, believe me, it is really the
      most necessary form of love at times. Charity could not leave such
      wounds undressed. If it did, one would have a lot to answer for to
      God one day. Real love does not ignore, real love does not take the
      easiest route.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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