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Brother Jerome's Reflection: Oct 8

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  • michael_oblate (aka carmelitanum)
    +PAX Please pray the George will be effective in his work for an Agency that deals with people who are drug addicted. These individuals are all addicts and
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 7, 2009
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      +PAX

      Please pray the George will be effective in his work for an Agency that deals with people who are drug addicted. These individuals are all addicts and just don't seem to care about getting it together at all. The Agency gets them off the streets and into a shelter where they stay for a night then its back to the street and more of the same over and over again. Please pray for these people so that they might receive the grace to seek a new direction in life without the use of alcohol and other drugs.

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following:

      Cecelia, pet scan Wednesday morning to see if the nodule on her lung is cancer.

      Billy, Cathy, Ed, & Marianna that they do God's Will; for the success of 40 days for life in Okla. and more participation.


      +Please pray the Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have taken their own lives.+

      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

      February 7, June 8, October 8
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The tenth degree of humility
      is that he be not ready and quick to laugh,
      for it is written,
      "The fool lifts up his voice in laughter" (Eccles. 21:23).

      REFLECTION

      Note that the Holy Rule does NOT say not to laugh at all, but just
      not to laugh too fast! In another place, the Rule condemns "idle words"
      which can "provoke buffoonery" (read immoderate laughter!) We are
      not, however, forbidden to laugh at all. Life together will always produce
      some truly comical stuff, and well-ordered appreciation of that gift of
      humor is right in line with a good, balanced Benedictine life.

      WHAT do we laugh at, and how? Do we find humor at others' expense cruelly?
      Do we laugh in such a way as to make the person feel a fool, or in such a way
      as to make her feel part of a shared family joke and joy? Do we laugh with
      love and affection or with pompous derision? There are, make no mistake,
      lots of good and bad ways to laugh.

      Ever know someone who laughs too fast, too often, and at things that no one
      else finds funny? Sometimes we laugh along, in kindness and charity, just to
      keep such a one from feeling as out of place as they well might. Pejoratively,
      we might say such people were kooks, but honestly, what we really feel is that
      they lack depth or maturity or both.

      Christians, all Christians, even Benedictines, are commanded to
      rejoice. There is a Christian imperative to joy, even in the midst of
      the sufferings promised us in this life. Picture joy with never one
      single moment of throw-your-head-back-in-glorious-laughter. My!
      What a prim, prudish and bloodless little party animal that would be!
      What a great, lifeless remove from the abandon of genuine joy, what a
      total lie!

      I have never known a Benedictine so bad as to never laugh at all, and
      I have known more than a few who seemed to be, to all appearances,
      dreadful enough. Granted, some of the holiest ones chuckled softly a
      good deal more than they roared in laughter, but ALL of them laughed!
      Even those holiest ones, who tended to occasionally just chuckle,
      smiled a LOT and warmly!

      There are, in every age, inappropriate uses of humor. Humor is often
      a nervous cover-up, an avoidance, a substitute for real
      communication. I think these examples are what the Holy Rule
      addresses. We are called to relate to people on a more honest level
      than perpetual joking about. That playfulness may be an antechamber
      to intimacy, but it is no substitute. All loving friends share jokes,
      but if jokes are ALL they share, they are, as yet, neither truly
      loving nor friends. It takes something more than that humor alone.

      It is because humor, jokes and shared laughter can be that first step
      towards intimacy that they are so very necessary for a cenobitic,
      community-loving Benedictine heart. Then, of course, there is also
      that Christian imperative to JOY!

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