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July 19

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the repose of Brother Joseph, also for the conversions of Louis, Bonnie, Kim, Darla and Stephen. God s will is best! Thanks so much.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2003
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the repose of Brother Joseph, also for the
      conversions of Louis, Bonnie, Kim, Darla and Stephen. God's will is
      best! Thanks so much. NRN JL

      March 19, July 19, November 18
      Chapter 40: On the Measure of Drink

      "Everyone has her own gift from God,
      one in this way and another in that" (1 Cor. 7:7).
      It is therefore with some misgiving
      that we regulate the measure of others' sustenance.
      Nevertheless, keeping in view the needs of the weak,
      we believe that a hemina of wine a day is sufficient for each.
      But those to whom God gives the strength to abstain
      should know that they will receive a special reward.


      If the circumstances of the place,
      or the work
      or the heat of summer
      require a greater measure,
      the superior shall use her judgment in the matter,
      taking care always
      that there be no occasion for surfeit or drunkenness.
      We read
      it is true,
      that wine is by no means a drink for monastics;
      but since the monastics of our day cannot be persuaded of this
      let us at least agree to drink sparingly and not to satiety,
      because "wine makes even the wise fall away" (Eccles. 19:2).


      But where the circumstances of the place are such
      that not even the measure prescribed above can be supplied,
      but much less or none at all,
      let those who live there bless God and not murmur.
      Above all things do we give this admonition,
      that they abstain from murmuring.

      REFLECTION

      Two things stand out here: the gentleness of St. Benedict and the
      necessity of praise in every circumstance.

      St. Benedict admits he is hesitant to set forth a principle of how
      much others he will never know might need for their sustenance. He
      may not have seen just how many other people and lands and times he
      was writing for, but he did see enough to be uneasy. This is not the
      voice or tone of a relentless dictator whose undue hunger for control
      finds his finger in every pie. This is a father who knows an
      important fact: father may very well NOT always know best! Gentleness
      and humility are two of the finest gems in any crown of authority.

      Every bit as important, but hidden and even lost amidst worries about
      how much a hemina is in metric, is the wonderful injunction that
      those who lack must praise. However much we have or do not have, of
      anything, is from God, not ourselves. How little we have may very
      well have nothing to do with God at all. Even if it does, even if He
      wills straitened times and tightened belts for our good and growth,
      we must bless Him and not murmur.

      Look back at the Instruments of Good Works in Chapter 4 and the Steps
      of Humility in Chapter 7 and you will find in both a statement of
      this same principle. The monastic is not to complain or murmur, but
      to be happy- even thankful!- for whatever is received. That gratitude
      and joy is essential because everything that is received is a gift
      from God. Everything. Realizing that is a tremendously important
      piece of the puzzle in our monastic searching and striving.

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