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July 4

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX A blessed birthday and prayers for Maureen Tynan, one of our Oblates here. Also, prayers, for Julie, recurrent cancer after heavy treatments. God s will
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2003

      A blessed birthday and prayers for Maureen Tynan, one of our Oblates
      here. Also, prayers, for Julie, recurrent cancer after heavy
      treatments. God's will is best!! Thanks so much. NRN JL

      March 4, July 4, November 3
      Chapter 27: How Solicitous the Abbot Should Be for the Excommunicated

      Let the Abbot be most solicitous
      in his concern for delinquent brethren,
      for "it is not the healthy but the sick who need a physician" (Matt
      And therefore he ought to use every means
      that a wise physician would use.
      Let him send senpectae,
      that is, brethren of mature years and wisdom,
      who may as it were secretly console the wavering brother
      and induce him to make humble satisfaction;
      comforting him
      that he may not "be overwhelmed by excessive grief" (2 Cor. 2:7),
      but that, as the Apostle says,
      charity may be strengthened in him (2 Cor. 2:8).
      And let everyone pray for him.

      For the Abbot must have the utmost solicitude
      and exercise all prudence and diligence
      lest he lose any of the sheep entrusted to him.
      Let him know
      that what he has undertaken is the care of weak souls
      and not a tyranny over strong ones;
      and let him fear the Prophet's warning
      through which God says,
      "What you saw to be fat you took to yourselves,
      and what was feeble you cast away" (Ezec. 34:3,4).
      Let him rather imitate the loving example of the Good Shepherd
      who left the ninety-nine sheep in the mountains
      and went to look for the one sheep that had gone astray,
      on whose weakness He had such compassion
      that He deigned to place it on His own sacred shoulders
      and thus carry it back to the flock (Luke 15:4-5).


      Suffice it to say that, though it may have been acceptable in the 5th
      century, punishment by the rod has been long forbidden. Society,
      people and times have changed a lot in 1,500 years!

      The Abbess is clearly expected to go the extra mile and a bit beyond
      for the erring monastic. Hope of reform is held for the longest
      possible time. However, remember balance, that Benedictine hallmark?
      Hope to the extreme would turn to damage. The balance, the moderator
      of reality demands that, at some point, if literally all else has
      failed, the situation be faced for what it is and the monastic

      This is so important for families. How many of us know adults who are
      carrying baggage all their lives from a parent's mistake in this
      regard? All attention is focused on one child (or parent!) to the
      detriment of the rest of the family. Or all attention is focused on a
      child and it ruins the marriage. St. Benedict is very orthodox here:
      he calls us to heroic efforts, but not to stupidity, which would
      damage the rest of the family.

      OK, usually you cannot permanently "excommunicate" one of your
      children, that doesn't apply. But what does apply is that you can
      (even must, for the good of the rest of your family,) stop making
      that child or spouse the determining, pivotal point in a
      dysfunctional three ring circus. This is one of the very hard things
      the Holy Rule asks, to truly balance relationships that are often
      charged with all kinds of intense emotions.

      There are limits to our love for each sheep. Why? Because there are
      other sheep to be loved, too. The responsibility is spread over all.
      Yes, the shepherd may leave the 99 *for a while* to hunt for the lost
      one, but the rest of the flock may never be abandoned wholesale. A
      very hard saying, but, as St. Benedict so often is, right on the

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA
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