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Holy Rule for Dec. 6

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Fr. Jude on the anniversary of his death. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God s will is best. All is
    Message 1 of 78 , Dec 5, 2009
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Fr. Jude on the anniversary of his death.

      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

      April 6, August 6, December 6
      Chapter 54: Whether a Monastic Should Receive Letters or Anything
      Else

      On no account shall a monastic be allowed
      to receive letters, blessed tokens or any little gift whatsoever
      from parents or anyone else,
      or from her sisters,
      or to give the same,
      without the Abbess's permission.
      But if anything is sent her even by her parents,
      let her not presume to take it
      before it has been shown to the Abbess.
      And it shall be in the Abbess's power to decide
      to whom it shall be given,
      if she allows it to be received;
      and the sister to whom it was sent should not be grieved,
      lest occasion be given to the devil.

      Should anyone presume to act otherwise,
      let her undergo the discipline of the Rule.

      REFLECTION

      Part of this is about equality, part of it is about depending on
      one's community for everything. But there is another part that is
      more readily available to monastics and Oblates in the world, a
      certain cloister of the heart, a partial flight from the secular.

      Outside news, to which we all can become so easily addicted, is not
      always useful, let alone nourishing. When I was a pastoral associate
      in Boston, I was the slave of the weather channel: knew the five day
      forecast ALL the time. Then I moved here- no cable anywhere- and
      pretty much let God surprise me each morning with whatever was
      available. Granted, traveling on foot and by subway to do a lot of
      ministry in Boston, I did have a greater need to know, but not THAT
      great!

      We get a Sunday paper (the NY Times,) once a week and that is it. If
      something really big happens between Sundays, the regulars who come
      to Mass will tell us. That's how we found out about Princess Diana.
      Our contractor told us about 9/11. We were in Mass, praying for the
      world anyway, with no clue that the towers were literally falling as
      we prayed, that the Pentagon was on fire and thousands were dead.

      It really didn't matter, in one sense, whether we knew or not: we
      were already praying. Our prayers did not need details to be
      effective. The heart of God was already breaking, already knew, HAD
      already known from all time and beyond. We were just begging Him to
      look at His people while not knowing which ones needed it most. That
      made no difference. We ALWAYS know less than Him. It is the usual
      human condition!

      You may be sure we all watched Diana's funeral, and you may be sure
      we all watched the 9/11 news. We're not dinosaurs and we cared
      deeply. However, having lived on both sides now (what a song cue for
      Judy Collins!) of the media divide, I can assure you that a whole lot
      of extraneous stuff got mixed in with a very little bit of worthwhile
      data.

      There is much that is false, truly false and illusory in the
      world. We all know that quite well. What we can miss is that media's
      job is to make a lot of things much, much more real and pressing than
      they are or will ever be. That sort of illusion we can easily do
      without.

      This is in no way obscurantist or anti-intellectual, but a part of
      the monastic heart actually LIKES to be out of touch in some areas
      and profits from same. No one has to live in a cave, but I, as I
      imagine most of us without any dream of large stock holdings, would
      have managed quite well without knowing about every corporate scandal
      in excruciating detail.There's a lot of stuff we DON'T need to
      know, and in not knowing some of it there lies a great peace!

      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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        +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 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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