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Holy Rule for Feb. 16

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Pryers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and for all who take care of them: Kari, her
    Message 1 of 149 , Feb 15, 2010
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      +PAX

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

      Kari, her husband Pat, and their 2-year old son. Kari's just been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, as it has metastasized to her spine and other bones. She's got a hard road ahead, and she's the family breadwinner. Her husband is unemployed with a serious alcohol problem.

      Martha, who was in a terrible car accident and is in critical condition in the ICU with a broken back.

      Tony, upper endoscopy pending.

      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 16, June 17, October 17

      Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays


      The Morning and Evening Offices
      should never be allowed to pass
      without the Superior saying the Lord's Prayer
      in its place at the end
      so that all may hear it,
      on account of the thorns of scandal which are apt to spring up.
      Thus those who hear it,
      being warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer
      when they say, "Forgive us as we forgive,"
      may cleanse themselves of faults against that covenant.


      But at the other Offices
      let the last part only of that prayer be said aloud,
      so that all may answer, "But deliver us from evil."


      REFLECTION

      If one just counts the times we say the Our Father aloud, at Mass,
      Lauds and Vespers, it's three times a day. Actually, given the silent
      repetitions at minor Hours, Compline and grace at table, the number
      jumps considerably. Added up, that can be pretty damning evidence at
      the Judgement seat if we don't mean what we are saying!

      Do we forgive? Do we really want His Kingdom to come? Or His Will to
      be done? Probably, in many cases, yes and no... The work of our
      monastic lives is to make that equation all "yes"! We argue with God
      over His Will, we seek to change His mind, as if we really could! As
      for forgiveness and His Kingdom, well, you can't have one without the
      other! The very equality of all in God's love that will obtain in the
      Kingdom already chafes us when we stop to think of someone we
      mightily WISH He did not love quite that much!

      As Dorothy Day's friend, Fr. Hugo, used to say: "You love God as
      much as the one you love the least." That remark shames me every
      single time I think of it. It is a great barometer of just how far
      one has to go, of how much God really matters to one. So far, I have
      never had a shortage of people I loved little enough to be quite
      embarrassed. But I am working on it, and that is all any of us can do.

      This perfection called for in the Lord's Prayer is a task we will
      never complete. There will always be more to do, our ducks will never
      be in a row, we will never and can never be utterly perfect. That's
      why we need a Savior, that's what He did. That's how ALL the "i's"
      got dotted and "t's" got crossed (literally!)

      Jesus does call us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, but He
      also knows that job will never be finished. He wants us to keep trying, but
      He certainly knows that no one could do that exactly without becoming God.
      Let us be frank in holding out no hope of anyone ever doing that!
      Still, we must aim for that goal and strive for it. Jesus Himself asked us
      to do that.

      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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