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Holy Rule for Feb. 18

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayerss, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Dot, in her
    Message 1 of 149 , Feb 17, 2010
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      +PAX

      Prayerss, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Dot, in her 80's, fell and broke her elbow, now great weakness in her legs, and special prayers for her daughter, Joyce, who is taking care of her.

      Herb, battling ill health for a few years and has been called in by the doctor to get test results tomorrow. His wife Pat is very worried. And for Pat who has been feeling very sick herself and the doctors cannot find the cause. She has been very stressed out and tired.

      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 18, June 19, October 19
      Chapter 15: At What Times "Alleluia" Is to Be Said

      From holy Easter until Pentecost without interruption
      let "Alleluia" be said
      both in the Psalms and in the responsories.
      From Pentecost to the beginning of Lent
      let it be said every night
      with the last six Psalms of the Night Office only.
      On every Sunday, however, outside of Lent,
      the canticles, the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext and None
      shall be said with "Alleluia,"
      but Vespers with antiphons.

      The responsories are never to be said with "Alleluia"
      except from Easter to Pentecost.

      REFLECTION

      When I lived in the Byzantine rite for a very happy while, one of the
      things that surprised me was the fact that they still used Alleluia
      in Lent. That sounded strange to my Western ears, but not for long.
      In the West, Alleluia has become virtually nothing but a synonym
      for "Hooray!" In the East, not so. Our Western connection of Alleluia
      as primarily a word of rejoicing reserved for happy times is not
      quite on the mark, with all due apologies to St. Benedict and the
      rest of Western tradition.

      When was the last time you stopped to think that "Amen" really
      meant "So be it"? I do now and then, but usually just parrot the word
      out without a thought. So it is with most people saying
      Alleluia. "Oh, yeah, uh...alleluia...." Alleluia means "Praise the
      Lord." Focus on this and one can readily see why the East still says
      it during Lent.

      Of course, St. Benedict's prescriptions here are a perfect blend of
      change and variety for the Office. They "dress up" the most festive
      times of the years and provide a break from the ordinary. Probably
      what St. Benedict had in mind at the time was that our hearts should
      be so full at Paschaltide that no other words would do: only the
      ineffable stuttering out of "Alleluia!!" would convey our joy. He
      wasn't wrong about that, but saying Alleluia mindlessly misses the
      point.

      So, forgive me, does saying Alleluia only at joyous times. The
      charismatic movement in the 1970's made popular the English
      equivalent of Alleluia: "Praise the Lord!" It was an expression of
      joy and gratitude for whatever God had done for one. Ah, but then
      the "whatever" part of that phrase soon came to be evident! A very
      clever catch phrase evolved for those times when things WEREN'T so
      great, when one had difficulty appreciating what sometimes seems like
      God's decidedly strange sense of humor. On such occasions, they
      said: "Praise the Lord Anyhow!" Now that one is probably closer to
      the real sense of "Alleluia!"

      Our Office and Mass may change in Lent in the Western tradition, but
      our hearts must always and everywhere, in every circumstance,
      say "Alleluia!" and really mean it, really know it.

      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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