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Holy Rule for July 21

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death of a woman now dying in New York, and for her eternal rest and for all who will mourn her. Prayers for Chuck, that a
    Message 1 of 211 , Jul 20 9:53 AM

      Prayers, please, for the happy death of a woman now dying in New York, and for her eternal rest and for all who will mourn her.

      Prayers for Chuck, that a job prospect work out very soon.

      Cindy, just diagnosed with breast cancer, for her husband, Pat, and their children and grandchildren.

      Dot, high blood pressure problems.

      Prayers, please for Br. Daniel of Pluscarden on his feastday, graces and
      blessings and ad multos annos.

      Prayers, please, for employment for John and for the job God wants him to

      Prayers for Greg, on the anniversary of his Oblation.

      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 21, July 21, November 20
      Chapter 42: That No One Speak After Compline

      Monastics ought to be zealous for silence at all times,
      but especially during the hours of the night.
      For every season, therefore,
      whether there be fasting or two meals,
      let the program be as follows:

      If it be a season when there are two meals,
      then as soon as they have risen from supper
      they shall all sit together,
      and one of them shall read the Conferences
      or the Lives of the Fathers
      or something else that may edify the hearers;
      not the Heptateuch or the Books of Kings, however,
      because it will not be expedient for weak minds
      to hear those parts of Scripture at that hour;
      but they shall be read at other times.

      If it be a day of fast,
      then having allowed a short interval after Vespers
      they shall proceed at once to the reading of the Conferences,
      as prescribed above;
      four or five pages being read, or as much as time permits,
      so that during the delay provided by this reading
      all may come together,
      including those who may have been occupied
      in some work assigned them.

      When all, therefore, are gathered together,
      let them say Compline;
      and when they come out from Compline,
      no one shall be allowed to say anything from that time on.
      And if anyone should be found evading this rule of silence,
      let her undergo severe punishment.
      An exception shall be made
      if the need of speaking to guests should arise
      or if the Abbess should give someone an order.
      But even this should be done with the utmost gravity
      and the most becoming restraint.


      Anyone who lives in any family, monastic or otherwise, can attest
      that undistracted silence in solitude is very hard to find. That is
      precisely why St. Benedict deliberately and firmly carved this chunk
      out of the monastic day. Believe me, it is a rare treat and a sacred
      hush which blankets the already mysterious darkness of the night.

      Not every community observes grand silence these days. Some have
      abolished it or left it up to the individual. In one sense, that is
      too bad: one of the reasons behind grand silence actually working so
      well is that it is a social contract agreed upon and practiced by
      all. It is done together, like most things in cenobitic community
      life and that enhances both its power and its appeal. The whole place
      more or less shuts down together. A few lights stay on longer than
      others, but profound silence reigns.

      There is a very close relationship between silence and solitude. Each
      has the potential to produce the other. One can be all alone and
      filled with noise and one can be silent in a group without any
      solitude at all. All that is necessary is to add distractions of
      whatever kind. The end of both silence and solitude is to free the
      mind for God, for prayer, for rest in Him. Done right, a community of
      a hundred in the same room could be individually as alone as a cave-
      dweller on Mount Athos. Done wrong, one might as well be in Times

      Ever know the joy of lovers alone when they know absolutely no one
      will disturb their privacy? The door is locked, the phone is
      unplugged, the world is theirs. Why? Because (at least hopefully,)
      nothing will distract them from each other. So it is with silence and
      solitude and God. That's what makes it so wonderful. Try to recall
      that lover's joy, if you have ever known it, and you will have a
      clear picture of what grand silence ought to be. The final relief and
      joy of leaving the world outside one's door, the retreat into the
      privacy of the inner chamber.

      I will not pretend to be clever enough to tell Oblates in families
      how they might find this. Creative ways probably exist, but you might
      have to just wait for a visit to a monastery to get the full effect.
      All I will say is that one must always carve silence out of any
      family LOVINGLY, that's what makes it holy and sacred. If you become
      at all cranky about it, the whole value is flushed and you might as
      well watch a really mindless TV show. Silence and solitude can work
      together, but only with the catalyst of love that makes them a
      trinity of power and grace.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      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



        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.


        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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