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Holy Rule for July 24

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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: Kyle, re-taking
    Message 1 of 209 , Jul 23, 2009
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      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Kyle, re-taking his exam for Emergency Medical Technician. He failed the first time and was terribly depressed, ardent prayers that he passes this time.

      A woman having extreme attacks of hysteria and withdrawal from pain killers, needing to be hospitalized as soon as possible, but there are complications to that.

      Marty, lump on breast being biopsied.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Pauline Tinguely, charter member of Monastic Life list, on the anniversary of her death. She was truly an Amma to us all.

      Continued prayers for Elijah, 6, no update other than the oncologist said it was serious.

      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 24, July 24, November 23
      Chapter 44: How the Excommunicated Are to Make Satisfaction

      One who for serious faults is excommunicated
      from oratory and table shall make satisfaction as follows.
      At the hour when the celebration of the Work of God is concluded in the
      oratory, let her lie prostrate before the door of the oratory, saying
      nothing, but only lying prone with her face to the ground at the feet of
      all as they come out of the oratory. And let her continue to do this
      until the Abbess judges that satisfaction has been made.
      Then, when she has come at the Abbess's bidding, let her cast herself
      first at the Abbess's feet and then at the feet of all, that they may
      pray for her.

      And next, if the Abbess so orders, let her be received into the choir,
      to the place which the Abbess appoints,
      but with the provision that she shall not presume to intone Psalm or
      lesson or anything else in the oratory without a further order from the

      Moreover, at every Hour, when the Work of God is ended, let her cast
      herself on the ground in the place where she stands. And let her
      continue to satisfy in this way until the Abbess again orders her
      finally to cease
      from this satisfaction.

      But those who for slight faults are excommunicated
      only from table shall make satisfaction in the oratory,
      and continue in it till an order from the Abbess, until she blesses them
      and says, "It is enough."


      There is a LOT here for family and workplace, though one might not think
      so at first glance. This chapter is not about kneeling and prostrations,
      it is about asking for and receiving forgiveness.

      The most important part of the puzzle here is that the offender accepts
      correction, even punishment, and goes through the process to amend. If
      the principles of mercy outlined here are employed without that VERY
      important proviso, heartbreak and trouble for many can ensue. If the
      offender walks off in a huff at the first sign of correction, this is
      NOT about such a monastic at all.

      One more really important point here. Especially in the really major
      offenses, it is quite likely that more monastics are involved, not just
      the Abbot and the offender. Still, St. Benedict does not include them in
      the decision to forgive.

      This is strikingly useful. The terms of forgiveness are NOT in our
      hands, but in those of the Abbess. There is someone who has the
      authority and right to say: "This is finished, we've got to move on!"
      Wow! Now that's the sort of umpire or referee we could use in many areas
      of life. It may not be available at your place of work (unless you
      are the boss,) but it surely can be a big help in any family when a
      parent assumes this role justly.

      There is yet another bit of wisdom to be gleaned here that has nothing
      to do with body language 1,500 years old. St. Benedict establishes a
      system for the contrite one to actually make amends, to ask for
      forgiveness and receive it. Sad to say, I have known, both in my own
      life and in the lives of others, people who would not forgive
      or forget. "There is NOTHING you could do that would ever make me
      forgive you!"

      This is a horrible thing, but truthfully, after a certain point, it is
      no longer the fault of the one who originally goofed, but of the
      one who refuses to forgive, who bears a grudge. This is a much more
      serious issue than kneeling or not kneeling in choir, more detrimental to
      community than stretching out by the door for a week or so. This is cancerous.

      Nobody is asking anyone to be so purblind stupid as to hold their hands
      firmly on the same hot stove twice, but if Christians don't forgive when
      asked, our common life cannot go on, and common life is an integral part
      of Christianity. When people accept correction and ask for forgiveness and try
      to amend, we must honor that somehow.

      People confuse forgiveness with total memory block. Total memory blocks
      are impossible for most people, maybe not even very healthy: we received
      the gift of memory from God for a good reason. I can assure
      you that there are people in my life who will never make me cry over and
      over again. Some added protection has been afforded by me that
      precludes that.

      But we still have to live with such people, for all 7x70 times they ask
      to be forgiven. Maybe we will never be able to be as vulnerable with
      them again, but we have to establish at LEAST civility, and hopefully
      even more than that. And, who knows, maybe, in time (long time!)
      most of our original innocence and vulnerability will return. Maybe. But
      those things do take time. To refuse outright to forgive is to guarantee
      that the good things about reconciliation for both parties will never
      happen at all. We are denied the "luxury" of such refusals
      by both Gospel and Rule.

      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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