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Holy Rule for May 24

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers of great thanks and Deo grtias for Carol and John, on their 35th wedding anniversary. Ad multos annos, many more! Also, Caorl asks prayers for
    Message 1 of 149 , May 23, 2010
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      Prayers of great thanks and Deo grtias for Carol and John, on their 35th wedding anniversary. Ad multos annos, many more! Also, Caorl asks prayers for some special intentions.

      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

      January 23, May 24, September 23
      Chapter 5: On Obedience

      But this very obedience
      will be acceptable to God and pleasing to all
      only if what is commanded is done
      without hesitation, delay, lukewarmness, grumbling, or objection.
      For the obedience given to Superiors is given to God,
      since He Himself has said,
      "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).
      And the disciples should offer their obedience with a good will,
      for "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7).
      For if the disciple obeys with an ill will
      and murmurs,
      not necessarily with his lips but simply in his heart,
      then even though he fulfill the command
      yet his work will not be acceptable to God,
      who sees that his heart is murmuring.
      And, far from gaining a reward for such work as this,
      he will incur the punishment due to murmurers,
      unless he amend and make satisfaction.

      REFLECTION

      It is our hearts that convict us in obedience. Not because of
      feelings or emotions, those can be mistaken, but because of the
      relationship between love and will. Many of us have loved someone and
      hated having to do something that the love required, but we did it
      anyway. Our feelings or repugnance were over-ruled by the will in our
      hearts to love. Face it, love does not ALWAYS feel too good, which is
      a principal way it differs from mere feelings.

      Jean Ronan, one of my favorite teachers used to tell me to always make all
      decisions "in the light of the death candle", that is, as if one were about to
      die. How hearing that annoyed me at 30, but how true it is, and the closer one
      gets to the possibility of that death candle, the truer it is. There's a handy
      rule of thumb here. Does our choice put God and our faith first, no matter what?
      If it does not, something is terribly wrong.

      There is also the trust of faith involved here. God is God and we must firmly
      believe He will do the best for us, no matter how unclear that may sometimes be.
      Jesus often told St. Faustina to ask her superiors for permissions, hard
      permissions, to do this or that extra prayer or mortification, that He KNEW they
      would refuse. Then, after the refusal, He would tell Faustina that
      her obedience meant more to Him than the thing denied.

      He also said to her that all creatures do His will, whether they want
      to not or, whether they know it or not. Now there's a hefty order!
      Still when we look at St. Paul's remark that, "for those who love
      God, all things work together for good," this is not at all far-fetched.
      St. Paul did not say "all wise things", or "well-intentioned things", or
      "cooperative things". He said "all" and he was inspired to say that by
      the Holy Spirit.

      "All things".....hmmmm. There is a mystical point where the will of God
      cannot be thwarted. This is evident in the lives of many saints. When Jesus
      told them nothing could harm them, He wasn't just kidding around! In spite
      of seemingly insuperable odds, His will for them would triumph again and
      again. But this is NOT just for saints: it is true for all of us! Obedience
      throws us into the vortex of that, but it gets easier as our faith
      (and experience of God's goodness!) deepens.

      We have been too ready to think that obedience depends only on
      humans, who are flawed. It doesn't. All obedience is given to God.
      Our love and trust and His love and mercy are the deciding factors,
      not the universally flawed human weakness that plagues every human
      means of God's will in this world.

      Want a little theological aside here? Look at what this concept of
      all doing His will does to the concept of sin. It makes it the ULTIMATE rip-off.
      If, even when we try to thwart God, we further His plans (and face it, He
      *IS* clever enough to pull that off,) then we are left with absolutely nothing
      but the bitter ashes of our own useless self- defeat. With Him or against Him,
      His kingdom will nevertheless come. What a tragedy to have been nothing
      more than a futile obstacle to that!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@...
      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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        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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