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Nov 10

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX A blessed Solemnity (it is for them!) of Saint Leo to all the monks, Oblates and friends of St. Leo Abbey! Say a prayer for them all! Also, please pray
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 10, 2002

      A blessed Solemnity (it is for them!) of Saint Leo to all the monks,
      Oblates and friends of St. Leo Abbey! Say a prayer for them all!

      Also, please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Richard
      Bourgeois, OSB, a monk of Glastonbury Abbey who died yesterday
      morning. He was only 55.

      March 11, July 11, November 10
      Chapter 33: Whether Monks Ought to Have Anything of Their Own
      This vice especially
      is to be cut out of the monastery by the roots.
      Let no one presume to give or receive anything
      without the Abbot's leave,
      or to have anything as his own --
      anything whatever,
      whether book or tablets or pen or whatever it may be --
      since they are not permitted to have even their bodies or wills
      at their own disposal;
      but for all their necessities
      let them look to the Father of the monastery.
      And let it be unlawful to have anything
      which the Abbot has not given or allowed.
      Let all things be common to all,
      as it is written (Acts 4:32),
      and let no one say or assume that anything is his own.

      But if anyone is caught indulging in this most wicked vice,
      let him be admonished once and a second time.
      If he fails to amend,
      let him undergo punishment.


      Ever read George Orwell's parable on communism, "Animal Farm"? Things
      went pretty well at first, when the proletarian animals overthrew the
      human oppressors. Trouble crept in when the dictum," All animals are
      equal" was changed without any fanfare to: "Some animals are more
      equal than others."

      Community ( from the Latin, meaning "with oneness",) absolutely
      cannot work without a certain degree of equality among members.
      Whenever some nuns or some monks or some employees or some children
      are more equal than others, watch out for rifts and dissension in the
      ranks. This insistence on communal ownership is one of St. Benedict's
      steps toward attaining that goal of equality.

      Yes, we must be personalist, we must observe that some need more than
      others, and certainly not in material areas alone. The Holy Rule
      provides for that, but it urges that those requiring more view it as
      an infirmity, not an entitlement of divine right, and be humbled by
      it. Few things are more pathetically tragic than a megalomaniac in
      monastic life, one whose vocation becomes all but lost in a quest for
      power and control. Granted, God can save anyone, but what a heart-
      breaking waste of a monastic life that can seem! To say nothing of
      being very unpalatably ascetic to all those forced to live with such
      an individual.

      There is a certain inequality built right into our flawed and fallen
      world. It exists in the animal kingdom and, alas, that surely
      includes us! However, we are called to be ever less flawed, we are
      called to permit the supernatural to fills us with grace and rule us,
      not the law of the pack. Hence, while struggling with the limits of
      human nature, we must be ever guardful not to exalt those limits. Our
      goal must be ever equality, ever detachment, ever abdication of turf.

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB jeromeleo@... Petersham, MA
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