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Holy Rule for Dec. 8

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Sr. Juan de la Cruz, for whom we have prayed, who passed away Friday. Prayers, too, for all who mourn her,
    Message 1 of 78 , Dec 7, 2009
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Sr. Juan de la Cruz, for whom we have prayed, who passed away Friday. Prayers, too, for all who mourn her, especially Kathy.

      Prayers, please, for the United States, on this Solemnity of the Immaculate
      Conception, our patroness. We could sure use the prayers! May we do God's will
      and reflect His Kingdom.

      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 8, August 8, December 8
      Chapter 55: On the Clothes and Shoes of the Brethren

      For bedding let this suffice:
      a mattress, a blanket, a coverlet and a pillow.

      The beds, moreover, are to be examined frequently by the Abbot,
      to see if any private property be found in them.
      If anyone should be found to have something
      that he did not receive from the Abbot,
      let him undergo the most severe discipline.

      And in order that this vice of private ownership
      may be cut out by the roots,
      the Abbot should provide all the necessary articles:
      cowl, tunic, stockings, shoes, belt,
      knife, stylus, needle, handkerchief, writing tablets;
      that all pretext of need may be taken away.
      Yet the Abbot should always keep in mind
      the sentence from the Acts of the Apostles
      that "distribution was made to each according as anyone had need"
      (Acts 4:35).
      In this manner, therefore,
      let the Abbot consider weaknesses of the needy
      and not the ill-will of the envious.
      But in all his decisions
      let him think about the retribution of God.

      REFLECTION

      This chapter may appear to have little to say to Oblates until one
      gives a more evangelical twist to it: "where your treasure is, there
      your heart shall be also." The monastic who has separate sources of
      income has a safety net, a way to ask for things (or get them without
      asking!) that would otherwise unlikely be available. Not only is this
      bad for the common unity, it is bad for the monastic, too. It
      scatters one's focus and diminishes one's dependency on God. It
      leaves dangling threads of control all over one's life.

      Oblates in the world, have to have some source of income, whatever
      that may be, but they can readily and profitably examine where their
      treasure lies. They can also make sure that those who depend on them
      have all they truly need, yet keep them from getting spoiled or
      carried away with consumerist fluff. Especially at this holiday
      season, when the television is filled with a horrendous glut of
      materialist orgy, our Benedictine hearts should say: "Enough really
      IS enough!"

      But do we say that, or are we to some degree sucked into the lunacy
      of a secular winter fest? (One can no longer even say "pagan" of the
      secular winter fest. At least the pagans, whatever their lacks may
      be, believe in SOMETHING and worship. That can no longer be said of
      much of the world's hoopla at this time of year.)

      As Christians and as Benedictines, we have an awesome
      responsibility to be witnesses against that secular falsehood,
      against the extremes of consumerism which rob so many of life and
      maim our planet which we must share with all. Not only is the planet
      harmed, but goods are distributed with such glaring inequity and even
      the hapless consumers are often left with debts (and credit rates!)
      that enslave them years into the future. All in the name of what?
      Surely not the kind of "honor" Jesus would have sought for His birth
      and Incarnation.

      Benedictine attitudes toward poverty are not deprivation, but they
      are not excess, either. Always, always moderation. For us, virtue
      truly does stand in the middle way!

      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 1:27 AM
        +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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