Brother Jerome's Reflection: March 3
Sr Hildegard Ryan, Oblate Mistress at the Abbey of the Presentation Jamberoo, NSW, Australia, is suffering from serious problems following her brain sugery in 2006. Sr Hildie recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of her profession as a Benedictine Nun and is incredibly loved by all the Oblates of Jamberoo.
Please pray for healing of Bob's eyes, test today leads to possible blindness in the good eye. Prayers for entire world.
Please pray for one who has discovered through counseling that their abuse of alcohol and drugs, and a serious anger problem stem from being abused by a teacher.
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
March 3, July 3, November 2
Chapter 26: On Those Who Without an Order Associate with the
If any sister presumes without an order from the Abbess to
associate in any way with an excommunicated sister, or to speak
with her, or to send her a message, let her incur a similar
punishment of excommunication.
When punishment is necessary, the community should support it, at
least passively. This united front should be far different from the
human tendency we often see to abandon those in trouble. Quite the
reverse, like everything in the Holy Rule, this must be fueled by
the concern born of love.Times of crisis like this should awaken us to the
depth of love for all.
Hard though it may sometimes be, we may not rejoice at the downfall
of another. We must participate in common punishments because they
are for the good of all, but also because they are primarily for
the good of the offender, whom we must love. Admittedly, sometimes
the only way one can express that concern is prayer, but we must
Sometimes, both superiors and communities can have an inordinate
fear of giving punishment. What if she leaves? Yeah, what if....?
Maybe she is supposed to leave, maybe this is God's way of telling
her something about herself that she cannot see. Some people who
really, truly do NOT belong in monastic life cannot be convinced of
Some people who are terrible at a given job will not wake up to
that fact in any other way. In some cases toxic folks must be told
gently, but explicitly, that if they insist on continuing to harm
themselves and others, they'll have to do it elsewhere, without
destroying the rest of the family any longer.
Some find the Rule harsh in this respect, but there is a great love
and mercy here. The Holy Rule forbids what many people in groups
will do: passive aggression. We cannot just wordlessly force the
person out without a clue as to why.
Punishment must be named and specific, the offender must know and
those around her must care. It may in fact force a monk out, but he
will know why when he leaves. This is vastly different from the
ordinary human means of exclusion and expulsion. It includes grace.
It includes love. Lots of love! And its justice is always somehow
wrapped in mercy.
Love and prayers,
http://www.stmarysm onastery. org