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Holy Rule for July 20

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Because of an unusually busy wekend, with the nuns work party of volunteers today and me cooking and being thurifer on Sunday, I am sending Sunday s Holy
    Message 1 of 209 , Jul 18, 2009
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      Because of an unusually busy wekend, with the nuns' work party of volunteers today and me cooking and being thurifer on Sunday, I am sending Sunday's Holy Rule out today. JL

      March 20, July 20, November 19
      Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken

      From holy Easter until Pentecost
      let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
      and supper in the evening.

      From Pentecost throughout the summer,
      unless the monks have work in the fields
      let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
      on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
      This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
      if they have work in the fields
      or the heat of summer is extreme;
      the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.

      Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
      in such a way that souls may be saved
      and that the brethren may do their work
      without just cause for murmuring.

      From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
      let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.

      In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
      But this evening hour shall be so determined
      that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
      Indeed at all seasons
      let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
      that everything will be done by daylight.


      Something like one third of the United States population is said to
      be medically overweight. We don't notice it so much, because we are
      used to it, but go to another country and you will see far less
      obesity than at home. No doubt our affluence and unhealthy diet is
      largely to blame here. Think of the last news clip you saw from
      Japan: most of the people are of average weight for their height.

      It's a fair guess that this attitude to food in the US has influenced
      our attitude to fasting negatively. Now we look on the least thing as
      a dreadful privation, when those of us Roman Catholics over fifty can
      clearly recall meatless Fridays every week, all year and fasting from
      midnight for Communion, even if you were only 7 years old!!

      When the US Bishops addressed the issue of Friday abstinence, they
      did not abolish it. They merely said some other form of penance might
      be substituted. Whoops! That got lost in a big hurry. How many of us-
      me included- do something extra on Friday because we do not abstain
      from meat? Might be time to take a really hard look at that.

      As always, Oblates in the world must find ways that they can fast or
      abstain without imposing monastic ways on their non-monastic
      families. However, it is worthy of note that Friday abstinence is of
      the Church, not the Holy Rule and might be safely re-instituted, with
      careful explanation as to WHY we do it, for whole families.

      The meatless idea might be easiest for many, but what if something
      else was done to really set Friday apart? Skip one, just one half-
      hour TV show and you have a slot for a devotional family practice
      like the Scripture sharing or the Rosary. Could we imagine just 30
      minutes once a week of TV gone? What if (horrors!) you chose to skip
      a show you like? Find something that works for
      you and then be faithful to it.

      Our spirits are like our bodies in many respects. If we get soft, we
      get weak, if we get lazy, our energy actually diminishes while our
      total lives suffer from that inactivity. That's why Christian life
      itself, not just monastic life, is a life requiring a fair amount of
      discipline, of pushing oneself, of self-denial. Those values still
      exist in the secular world, but are usually only invoked for profit,
      power, athletics or sex. See what I mean? We need badly to get our
      acts together in affluent, developed nations.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      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
        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.


        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
        Petersham, MA
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