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Holy Rule for Dec. 21

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Please pray for the eternal rest of Margaret s mother, Elizabeth, who just died at age 99, and for Margaret and family, who are already stressed due to
    Message 1 of 77 , Dec 20, 2009
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      Please pray for the eternal rest of Margaret's mother, Elizabeth, who just died at age 99, and for Margaret and family, who are already stressed due to the cancer and Parkinson's of their daughter-in-law Jennie, for whom we've prayed. Also for Margaret's trip to Montana and others who will be traveling there at this difficult time for travel.

      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 21, August 21, December 21
      Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

      Once she has been constituted,
      let the Abbess always bear in mind
      what a burden she has undertaken
      and to whom she will have to give an account of her stewardship,
      and let her know that her duty is rather to profit her sisters
      than to preside over them.
      She must therefore be learned in the divine law,
      that she may have a treasure of knowledge
      from which to bring forth new things and old.
      She must be chaste, sober and merciful.
      Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
      that she herself may obtain mercy.
      She should hate vices;
      she should love the sisterhood.


      In administering correction
      she should act prudently and not go to excess,
      lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust
      she break the vessel.
      Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes
      and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken.
      By this we do not mean that she should allow vices to grow;
      on the contrary, as we have already said,
      she should eradicate them prudently and with charity,
      in the way which may seem best in each case.
      Let her study rather to be loved than to be feared.


      Let her not be excitable and worried,
      nor exacting and headstrong,
      nor jealous and over-suspicious;
      for then she is never at rest.


      In her commands let her be prudent and considerate;
      and whether the work which she enjoins
      concerns God or the world,
      let her be discreet and moderate,
      bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said,
      "If I cause my flocks to be overdriven,
      they will all die in one day."
      Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
      the mother of virtues,
      let her so temper all things
      that the strong may have something to strive after,
      and the weak may not fall back in dismay.


      And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details,
      so that after a good ministry
      she may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard
      who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due season:
      "Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his goods" (Matt.
      24:27).

      REFLECTION

      Anyone reading this would perhaps quite rightly think: "Wow!
      That's a tall order to fill!" They would, of course, be right.

      Now for the clincher: this is not just a model for Abbots, but for
      all of us with any authority, in fact, for all of us period. This is
      the way Benedictines should treat others, seniors, juniors, all
      people. This Christ-like attitude ought to pervade every parent,
      teacher, boss, nurse and grocery clerk, all of us. For every one of
      us the model here is exquisite. Read it over and over and etch it
      into your very heart. This is St. Benedict at his best!

      Pay particular attention to the deceptively short paragraph about
      not being "excitable and worried," along with its other cautions. Its
      warning that such things mean we shall never be at rest is a very
      important one. Without such, rest, without a certain level of serenity
      and peace, the spiritual journey is very, very tough going, indeed.
      We badly need that restful serenity to focus on Christ and the tasks
      of our souls at hand.

      "Now THAT," he said in an unusually short reflection, "is a REALLY
      tall order!" Sure is! You can only do it with grace, with prayer and
      God's all-merciful help.

      Love and prayers,

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


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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX On this Feast of St. Stephen, Protomartyr and one of the first Deacons, prayers, please for all Deacons and all in preparation for the diaconate,
      Message 77 of 77 , Dec 26, 2009
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        On this Feast of St. Stephen, Protomartyr and one of the first Deacons, prayers, please for all Deacons and all in preparation for the diaconate, especially Dave and Bill, and for Deacons Walter and Thomas. Thanks so much. JL

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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