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Holy Rule for Feb. 15

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers please for Mary Ellen, who is about to take her comprehensive examinations for her Masters Degree in Systematic Theology. The written exam will be
    Message 1 of 149 , Feb 14, 2010
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      +PAX

      Prayers please for Mary Ellen, who is about to take her comprehensive examinations for her Masters Degree in Systematic Theology. The written exam will be next Saturday, February 20th and the oral exam will be Wednesday, February 24th.

      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 15, June 16, October 16
      Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays

      On weekdays
      the Morning Office shall be celebrated as follows.
      Let Psalm 66 be said without an antiphon
      and somewhat slowly,
      as on Sunday,
      in order that all may be in time for Psalm 50,
      which is to be said with an antiphon.
      After that let two other Psalms be said according to custom,
      namely:
      on Monday Psalms 5 and 35,
      on Tuesday Psalms 42 and 56,
      on Wednesday Psalms 63 and 64,
      on Thursday Psalms 87 and 89,
      on Friday Psalms 75 and 91,
      and on Saturday Psalm 142 and the canticle from Deuteronomy,
      which is to be divided into two sections
      each terminated by a "Glory be to the Father."
      But on the other days let there be a canticle from the Prophets,
      each on its own day as chanted by the Roman Church.
      Next follow the Psalms of praise,
      then a lesson of the Apostle to be recited from memory,
      the responsory, the hymn, the verse,
      the canticle from the Gospel book,
      the litany, and so the end.

      REFLECTION

      Again, we have the gentleness of St. Benedict, insisting on the slow
      recitation of Psalm 66, to give all the stragglers and strugglers
      time to arrive! But we have it here in other respects, too. Check out
      the length of the Canticle from Deuteronomy. Pack a lunch!! St.
      Benedict divides it, drops one Psalm and lets one half of the very
      long canticle take its place.

      Even though St. Benedict went out of his way to shorten the Roman
      Office of his day, here he says that the canticles chosen by the
      Roman Church for most of the week should be used. When he sees a good
      idea, he embraces it. When he sees a need for change, he does that,
      too. It is very evident that he did not care for lengthy services,
      that he did not want his monastics to become liturgical gymnasts,
      spending ALL their time working out! As always, he wanted balance.

      We must always be careful NOT to read St. Benedict with purely 21st
      century eyes. Liturgy and uniformity were very, very different in his
      time. If anything, uniformity was little known. The greatest
      ascendancy of the Roman usage before Trent in Europe- and even that
      was far from complete- would come hundreds of years later, under the
      aegis of Charlemagne. The enforced uniformity of Trent was over a
      thousand years away.

      (Trivia: We forget that the Roman rite of Trent was not used
      everywhere before the 16th century, or even used everywhere afterwards.
      One of the minor complaints to arise about the priests
      of the post-Reformation English mission was that some used the new
      Roman Mass of Trent, while others clung to the more ancient and
      properly English rite of Sarum. Dominicans, Carmelites, Cistercians and
      Carthusians retained their own rites, with Gallican peculiarities,
      right up until the late 1960's. Carthusians still use their own rite
      for Mass and Office, currently the most ancient and rare rite in the
      West.)

      Hence, when we see St. Benedict setting up his own complete Psalter,
      that is not unusual: every monastery would have to do that for
      itself, some better than others. It was that "some better than
      others" part that St. Benedict wished to avoid: he set a standard for
      his monasteries that would protect them from the surrounding extremes
      of too much or too little.

      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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