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Brother Jerome's Reflection: March 3

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  • michael_oblate (aka carmelitanum)
    +PAX Sr Hildegard Ryan, Oblate Mistress at the Abbey of the Presentation Jamberoo, NSW, Australia, is suffering from serious problems following her brain
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2010
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      +PAX

      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
      Excommunicated

      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.

      REFLECTION

      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
      necessary
      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
      pray!

      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
      this.

      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,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysm onastery. org
      Petersham, MA
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