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Holy Rule for May 31

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Please pray to St. Anthony for the protection of the wildlife of the Gulf of Mexico and SS. Peter and Andrew, patron saints of all whom make their
    Message 1 of 149 , May 30 3:33 PM
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      +PAX

      Please pray to St. Anthony for the protection of the wildlife of the Gulf of Mexico and SS. Peter and Andrew, patron saints of all whom make their livelihood from fishing. And, prayers for the success and safety of all whom are trying to stem the horrible oil flow.
      Prayers, please, for the spirituaal, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Elaine, terrible pain and back spasms have her barely able to walk, and she needs to go to her Dad's funeral tomorrow and interment on Tuesday.

      Amp, who has surgery on Tuesday, a hernia of his abdominal wall. Also, prayers for Amp, 8-year-old Mark, on their birthday, the 31st.

      Chris, who returns to work tomorrow after his annual unpaid month off. He is still not completely recovered from his breakdown, so prayers he will manage well.

      Forty-three years ago today, I graduated from Tampa Catholic High School. Prayers,
      please for all the teachers and students there who changed my life forever for
      the better. Much of what I give you I received from them. I urge all of you to
      pray daily for those who taught you and, if this applies, for those you've
      taught. It is a practice I love very much. 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 29, May 30, September 29
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      We must be on our guard, therefore, against evil desires,
      for death lies close by the gate of pleasure.
      Hence the Scripture gives this command:
      "Go not after your concupiscences" (Eccles. 18:30).


      So therefore,
      since the eyes of the Lord observe the good and the evil (Prov. 15:3)
      and the Lord is always looking down from heaven
      on the children of earth
      "to see if there be anyone who understands and seeks God" (Ps. 13:2),
      and since our deeds are daily,
      day and night,
      reported to the Lord by the Angels assigned to us,
      we must constantly beware, brethren,
      as the Prophet says in the Psalm,
      lest at any time God see us falling into evil ways
      and becoming unprofitable (Ps. 13:3);
      and lest, having spared us for the present
      because in His kindness He awaits our reformation,
      He say to us in the future,
      "These things you did, and I held My peace" (Ps. 49:21).

      REFLECTION

      The theme of God seeking His laborers first expressed in the Prologue
      comes back here, like background hints of melody woven through an
      overture. God SEES us, yes, but He also SEEKS us, seeks those who
      seek Him. If we forget that, God's loving, watchful care over us (He
      assigns angels to us!) is reduced to the lackluster charm of a security camera,
      an "Eye in the sky."

      Ever lose somebody in airport? It's a funny sort of panic, because
      both of you know that ultimately, somehow you will connect. Until
      that happens, however, a lot of anxious hunting takes place. Do you
      know the joy when two such people finally find each other? It ain't
      slight! While one says "Thank heavens I found you!" the other is
      saying, "But I was looking for you, too, EVERYWHERE!" There is a
      great common blessing in such moments, one which far transcends the
      anxiety of the search which preceded it.

      That's how it is with God. While we are seeking Him, even BEFORE we
      are seeking Him, He is seeking us. There is so much love in that searching,
      on both parts. The novice is to be examined to see if she truly seeks God.
      But the question is not just for novices. "Quaeremus inventum," said St.
      Augustine: "Let us seek Him Whom we have found." And so it goes. A monastic
      life done right has seeking and finding writ large on every page, from
      beginning to end.

      Angels got a bad press in the Roman Catholic world in the late 60's
      and beyond. It became fashionable to be rather scornful of such
      belief and some skeptics viewed guardian angels as only a slight step
      beyond the fairy godmothers of children's tales. Well, folks, it was
      one time they weren't on the crest of a wave. The signs of the times
      told them that emphatically when a ground swell of popularity arose
      with angels as its focus.

      The angels are
      more than human, but less than divine. They share our status of being
      creatures, but they have powers beyond our ken. No wonder popular
      culture embraced them: they are a very good entry level awareness of
      something beyond, something spiritual. Whatever else they may be,
      they are real. Why waste 'em? Let them help us all they can and let
      us ask for more besides! There may be reservations among some of our
      readers about praying to saints, but Scripture abounds with examples of
      conversations with angels, a comforting assurance for our Protestant readers.
      Go for it!

      A couple of years ago, a confessor recommended that I pray to
      my Guardian Angel about a problem. No one had said that to me in years! I
      took his advice, however, and loved the results.

      By the way, the Guardian Angels are the patrons of the American
      Cassinese Congregation. I know some guys who probably would have
      loved to change that during the "bad press" years. Thankfully, no one
      did! Holy Guardian Angels, pray for us!

      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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