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Holy Rule for Oct. 28

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Denis, 64 and Mike, 63, and for all their families and all who mourn them. Prayers for the spiritual, mental and
    Message 1 of 78 , Oct 27, 2009
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      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Denis, 64 and Mike, 63, and for all their families and all who mourn them.

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

      Maria and her husband and family, they are expecting another child.

      Eileen, who has ovarian cancer and is now waiting for a surgery date.

      Sue, out of work for a long time, desperately seeking employment that will be permanent.

      Fr. Nigel, bronchitis which developed into a critical case of pneumonia. He is currently in the hospital on a ventilator and in a coma.

      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 27, June 28, October 28
      Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery

      If the community is a large one, let there be chosen out of it
      brethren of good repute and holy life, and let them be appointed
      deans. These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
      observing the commandments of God and the instructions of their
      Abbot.

      Let men of such character be chosen deans that the Abbot may with
      confidence
      share his burdens among them. Let them be chosen not by rank but
      according to their worthiness of life and the wisdom of their
      doctrine.

      If any of these deans should become inflated with pride and found
      deserving of censure,
      let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time. If he will
      not amend, then let him be deposed and another be put in his place
      who is worthy of it.

      And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.


      REFLECTION

      St. Benedict reverences seniority- a traditional monastic value- in
      many places, but he also moderates that tradition, keeping it from
      turning into ageism. When considering the appointment of these
      deans, their worthy lives and teachings are the criteria, not their
      age. Unspoken here, but nevertheless evident, is the demand that seniors
      obey such young officials.

      There is no room for griping about young "whipper-snappers" here!
      Obedience is not about the age or wisdom or human perfection of the
      superior. It is about faith that God leads us through such flawed
      human beings of every sort. When "X" crosses you or breaks your
      heart or stokes your anger, it is imperative to recall that this
      often has precious little to do with "X" and his or her
      personality. It's is God's gift to your self-study. He wants you to
      learn something about yourself and tests you. "X" might not even be
      faintly aware of being used as an instrument of His will!
      (Recalling this all the time is a LOT harder than it sounds, for some a
      lifelong struggle.)

      A further check here is given by the insistence on personal
      holiness. Granted, even in monasteries, the clever and
      manipulatively ambitious sort can get around this and sometimes do,
      but what if all our offices, in monastery AND Church went to really
      holy people? The first objection (usually put forward by the
      ambitious who would be overlooked under this system!) is that they
      would be TERRIBLE administrators. So? The point there was what?

      Next time you want a fun day-dream, try to picture a Church and
      Order run entirely by the holy and wise. Wow! Now usually, day-
      dreaming is an utter waste of time, but this one is not. After you
      have spent some time envisioning all those things, go out and BE
      what you
      dreamed. Truly live as if the dream had come to pass. Be prepared
      to be a little lonely: none of us are likely soon to see a Church
      run entirely by saints. But we can all make that dream one person
      closer to coming true, by changing ourselves, by incarnating that
      ideal as best we can. The only ones we can surely change are
      ourselves!

      Of course, there will be loud complaints about saints in charge,
      too. For one thing, as Dorothy Day observed, saints can be terribly
      hard to live with. For another, the problem is our lack of faith,
      a problem even good governance will not remove. Only we can remove
      that
      problem. It starts with us!

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


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • carmelitanum
      +PAX Please continue prays for the recovery of our good Brother Jerome. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God s will is best. All is mercy and grace. God
      Message 78 of 78 , Oct 14, 2014
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        Please continue prays for the recovery of our good Brother Jerome.


        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 14, June 15, October 15
        Chapter 12: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said

        The Morning Office on Sunday shall begin with Psalm 66
        recited straight through without an antiphon.
        After that let Psalm 50 be said with "Alleluia,"
        then Psalms 117 and 62,
        the Canticle of Blessing (Benedicite) and the Psalms of praise (Ps.
        148-150);
        then a lesson from the Apocalypse to be recited by heart,
        the responsory, the verse,
        the canticle from the Gospel book,
        the litany and so the end.

        REFLECTION

        Ever notice how a loving parent makes allowances so the kids WON'T
        slip up or be discouraged? Good teachers do the same thing. Some
        things are made so deliberately easy that all of the students can
        generally make it through the hoop!

        St. Benedict does this with both morning Offices, beginning Vigils
        and Lauds with 2 psalms that are said every day. He even stresses
        that, at Lauds, the 66th Psalm is to be said slowly, so that the
        monastics may have time to gather.

        Those two Offices are the time people are most likely to be running
        late, either because they had to bound out of bed at the last minute,
        or because the "necessities of nature" break between Vigils and Lauds
        delayed them unexpectedly. It is worth noting that only with these
        two Offices, when tardiness can so easily occur, does the Holy Rule
        make such allowance. For a further bit of trivia, these four Psalms
        are repeated every day: one could miss them several times in a week
        and still have said all 150 Psalms in that week.

        Sometimes people (including, alas, ourselves!) can make unrealistic
        conditions and demand that others meet them. The concept of failure
        is built into those demands. We fence people about with our own
        standards that they could not possibly meet, then condemn them for
        failing to meet them! What a sad and tragic game.

        Take a self-inventory and check to see if there is anyone you dislike so
        intensely that they cannot be right, no matter what they do. If there are any
        such folks, it's time for you to change, not them! I recall, alas, one pastor
        who annoyed me so much that even when he used incense (something I ordinarily
        love,) I carped to myself that he didn't do it right. With me, he just could NOT
        win. Sigh... When things get that bad, it's ourselves who need the overhaul,
        not the presumed "offender."

        St. Benedict, by his example, teaches us to be the exact opposite. He
        shows us that we should be gentle and loving, that we should not be
        about setting burdens on others that are guaranteed to make them fail
        or quit or be discouraged. If we have received such kindness, we
        should pass it on!

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


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