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Holy Rule for July 26

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX A blessed feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin, to all and especially prayers for all our Anns and Joachim s on their nameday.
    Message 1 of 209 , Jul 25, 2009
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      +PAX

      A blessed feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin, to all and especially prayers for all our Anns and Joachim's on their nameday.

      Prayers for our Br. Bernard on the anniversary of his solemn profession.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Marjorie, 70, who passed away from cancer early Friday morning. She was a fallen away Catholic who did not want any of the sacraments before she died and not because she didn't believe in God but she did not feel worthy to receive them as she felt like a sinner and had fear of our Lord. Ardent prayers for her eternal rest.

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

      Dave, multiple musculo-skeletal problems keeping him from his active exercise routine and the lack of activity is stressing and depressing him. Pray that he can allow God's love and will to be manifest in his life in the way He intends.

      Thomas, celebrating seven years of sobriety, Deo gratias!!

      Jenny, Don & their family as there is a
      great amount of spiritual warfare going on. Daughter Beth needs extra strength
      from God in dealing with a crisis in her life.

      Brendan, possible right eye hemorrhage and needing to lie at 30 degree angle till he sees the doctor on Monday, possible retinal involvement, too.

      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 26, July 26, November 25
      Chapter 46: On Those Who Fail in Any Other Matters

      When anyone is engaged in any sort of work, whether in the kitchen, in
      the cellar, in a shop, in the bakery, in the garden, while working at
      some craft, or in any other place, and she commits some fault, or breaks
      something, or loses something, or transgresses in any other way
      whatsoever, if she does not come immediately
      before the Abbess and the community of her own accord
      to make satisfaction and confess her fault, then when it becomes known
      through another, let her be subjected to a more severe correction.

      But if the sin-sickness of the soul is a hidden one, let her reveal it
      only to the Abbess or to a spiritual mother, who knows how to cure her
      own and others' wounds without exposing them and making them public.


      REFLECTION

      The Chapter of Faults, wherein monastics confessed public, external
      faults, had become rather routine the way it was practiced before Vatican
      II. I remember, years ago, seeing a glossary list of Latin phrases used
      to describe different faults. As practiced, I'm not sure it was the most
      useful thing in the world at all.

      However, look at the kernel here, important for both monasteries and
      families: communication. What St. Benedict wrote about was not the
      formalized and largely empty ritual that the late 20th century had come
      to know, it was an airing session of sorts. These can be very useful.
      People in any life are often reluctant to open up about what bothers
      them, monastics are often even more so! To provide a structured way and
      time to do so might have given some just the extra distance and
      protection they needed.

      Slights and wrongs and hurts that lie hidden and unexpressed can
      fester into a spreading, malignant growth. Note that the Holy Rule
      bids us never let the sun set on our anger. We have to get the things
      that REALLY bother us out. This hardly means a free for all, that would
      be very contrary to the whole spirit of the Rule, but it does mean that
      genuine differences must be solved in an open and
      respectful and humble way.

      The way for today's community or family may not be to do this all
      together- but then again that might not be all bad, occasionally. At
      any rate and however we do it, St. Benedict asks us to own up to our
      failures and those of others because he knows it is terribly damaging
      not to do so. A important item here is that the all the members must
      feel safe to express themselves. How many kids who were afraid to open
      their mouths to a parent about really serious troubles in their
      relationship are still in therapy years later?

      Whether alone or in a group, when we confess our fault to others, we
      lighten our load. When we honestly and gently tell others that they have
      hurt us or wronged us, we are often surprised to find that they were
      unaware of having done so- no wonder they "kept right on doing it!" We
      can also be wonderfully surprised at the depth of feeling with which
      apologies may be made. Very often the gentle and loving exposure of a
      problem between people gives us remarkable opportunities to show our
      nobler side and to see that side of our brothers and sisters.

      The goal of this is peace, so it must never be done for any other
      motive, for anything less than loving. There is the danger that we
      lose track of the important "difference between the virtue of honesty
      and the vice of brutal frankness" as my friend, Fr. Roger used to say.
      This must never become an accepted arena for getting back at one
      another. The whole purpose here is to end strife, not perpetuate it.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      jeromeleo@...
      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
         
        +PAX
        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.

        REFLECTION

        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
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA
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