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Holy Rule for Jan. 10, 2nd try

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Sorry my first post didn t work. JL Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physcial health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who
    Message 1 of 149 , Jan 9, 2010
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      +PAX
      Sorry my first post didn't work. JL

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

      Tom, recovering from shoulder surgery, in a sling for 6 weeks.

      Kasey, continued recovery from knee surgery.

      Dot, for whom we have prayed, has been discharged, but there were masses found on her lungs which will require further scrutiny and tests. Deo gratias, her estranged son, Jimmy, phoned her to let her kniow he's all right, but the family still doesn't know exactly where he is, so continued prayers.

      Linda, gum surgery this week and a special intention.

      Brittany, flying back to her university, for safe travel and for God to guide her studies and protect her.


      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


      January 10, May 11, September 10
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

      Let the Abbess always bear in mind
      that at the dread Judgment of God
      there will be an examination of these two matters:
      her teaching and the obedience of her disciples.
      And let the Abbess be sure
      that any lack of profit
      the master of the house may find in the sheep
      will be laid to the blame of the shepherd.

      On the other hand,
      if the shepherd has bestowed all her pastoral diligence
      on a restless, unruly flock
      and tried every remedy for their unhealthy behavior,
      then she will be acquitted at the Lord's Judgment
      and may say to the Lord with the Prophet:
      "I have not concealed Your justice within my heart;
      Your truth and Your salvation I have declared" (Ps. 39:11).
      "But they have despised and rejected me" (Is. 1:2; Ezech. 20:27).
      And then finally let death itself, irresistible,
      punish those disobedient sheep under her charge.

      REFLECTION

      Be of good cheer, all abbots and parents! St. Benedict wrote this
      over a thousand years before the dawn of psychiatry. He was very holy
      and very wise, but he was a creation of his own times. I think it is
      safe to say that, in St. Benedict's time and for many centuries
      afterward, there was a tendency to look at most behavior as choice,
      not compulsion. Things were somewhat more black and white. Under a
      system such as that given in the first half of this reading, many, if
      not most parents of today would fry without a doubt.

      I needed exactly the parents I got, so did my Dad, so did my Mom, so
      did their parents. That's just another way of saying that we are all
      victims of victims,a concept of which St. Benedict probably would
      never have dreamed. But in some way each of us is a victim of
      something, as are our parents and so on.

      Consider the marvel of God's tailoring one abbess to 50 nuns; quite a
      deal, isn't it? Now consider this. For each of us to get our perfect
      victims of victims, here's a PARTIAL picture of God's fine tuning.
      Obviously, the whole chain has to fit or it comes out wrong. We each
      have 8,388,608 21st great-grandparents, with a total of parents and
      grandparents in those 24 generations of 16,777,214.

      That total is comfortably more than the combined populations of the
      cities of New York, Boston, Chicago, Tampa, Washington, DC, and the
      entire State of Missouri. And, for a person alive today, that would
      probably only get you back to about the year 1000 AD. Begin to get
      the picture of how God has thought of us (and them!) from all
      eternity? There's a lot more than 50 nuns going on here, in fact,
      there was a different and equal set of forbears for each of those 50
      nuns AND their abbess.

      By the way, St. Benedict had a lot of help from the Holy Spirit.
      Hence, although he wrote the second part of today's reading, about
      the acquittal of the abbess who's done her best, without the benefit
      of modern psychology, it nevertheless fits right in to our current
      awareness. No one can give what they don't have (or, if they do, it's
      only the working of grace that makes that possible.) I can't teach
      you Hebrew, I don't know it. But, if I was suddenly presented with
      the fact that I'd HAVE to teach Hebrew, I'd buy a beginning text and
      we'd stumble through somehow together. How very like parenting,
      except that, for most of our partial crowd of sixteen million, there
      were no textbooks!

      Parents and abbatial types, take heart. God not only CAN use
      anything, He HAS to use anything. The human standards throughout
      history after Eden have made that more than certain. God knows and
      loves each of us. He is more parent than we are and He is, unlike
      ourselves, perfect.

      If a six year old child had been forced to plan the Coronation of the
      Queen, it probably would have been MUCH different. For one thing,
      there'd probably have been a lot more elephants and clowns in the
      parade! Most of us with any kind of hearts would have smiled at the
      child's efforts, been surprised that they actually did so well. That,
      m'dears, is exactly the attitude of God toward us, except that He
      isn't surprised: He knew all along that we could do well!

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


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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Don, for whom we prayed, has died without seeing the Priest. Ardent prayers for the repose of his soul and for his brother, Jim, his wife and family and
      Message 149 of 149 , Jun 6, 2010
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        +PAX

        Don, for whom we prayed, has died without seeing the Priest. Ardent prayers for the repose of his soul and for his brother, Jim, his wife and family and all who mourn him.

        Kaitlin, whose test we prayed for has also been able to get out of the bad real estate deal she was enmeshed in. Deo gratias, and thanksgiving prayers!

        Lola, whose back surgery we prayed for, has now developed pain/numbness in her other leg. Unsure of the cause, possibly a bone chip or spur, they are taking her back to surgery this afternoon. Continued prayers, please, and for her brother, Richard and all their family.

        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 6, June 7, October 7
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The ninth degree of humility
        is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence,
        not speaking until he is questioned.
        For the Scripture shows
        that "in much speaking there is no escape from sin" (Prov. 10:19)
        and that "the talkative man is not stable on the earth" (Ps. 139:12).

        REFLECTION

        OK, if you are a parent, you cannot speak to your children only when
        they question you. The therapy bills in later years would be
        astronomical. There are many situations in a Benedictine life lived
        in the world, among non-monastics, where this has to be altered, but
        its kernel of truth must be discovered and maintained.

        WHY do we talk needlessly? Quite often it is nothing more than a
        trick to change the reality around us. We are bored, or we feel we
        are not getting enough attention or we think the mood too heavy, so
        we speak to change whatever annoys us at the moment. I should know.
        I am infamous for creating my own entertainment when things seem
        dull to me. That's not always a great idea...

        Some tough moments, some difficult stuff are meant to be endured.
        They are part of our necessary learning and growth. Ever notice how
        we assess a child's maturity by its ability to be quiet and non-
        fidgety in surroundings (like Church!) that do not spoon feed its
        attention span? Well, the same is true of us at every stage. We do
        ourselves harm if we defuse every single tense moment with a word or
        two. We cheat ourselves.

        All too often we speak only to remind the universe around us, which
        has carelessly forgotten for a second that we are its center, of a
        whole bevy of falsehoods: I am the cutest, smartest, or wittiest, I
        have the solution to all of this. What folly on the part of the
        entire cosmos to forget our importance! Better speak to clear the
        matter up...

        Those who know me are thinking: "HE wrote THIS?!?" Yes, alas, I am
        guilty of all I wrote. Three times a year the Holy Rule reminds me of
        that and each time I am aware that I need to work on it. Thanks be to
        God, the Rule IS read three times a year: usually by the time the
        next reading comes up, my interest has flagged and I have to start
        over. As for the part about the talkative not being "stable on the
        earth," well, there have been times in the last 18 years
        when God had to nail my feet to the floor to keep me faithful and I am
        not dead yet... I have not always been His most willing pupil, but
        oh, is He ever patient! And infinitely merciful!

        But, as one Desert Father said, that's what we do all day in
        monasteries: "We fall down and we get up."

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



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