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Holy Rule for June 1

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: B. special
    Message 1 of 149 , May 31, 2010
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      B. special intention.

      Continued prayers, please, for Arjahn, Tonja, Chris, Ben, and Seamus. Thanks so much for all your prayers; they really do help.

      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 31, June 1, October 1
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The third degree of humility is that a person
      for love of God
      submit himself to his Superior in all obedience,
      imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle says,
      "He became obedient even unto death."

      REFLECTION

      Looks a little repetitious here, doesn't it? Almost like St. Benedict
      was scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something to use for a
      third step, so he'd still wind up with twelve. Not so.

      This short passage tempts one to a short reading and that casual
      perusal will miss the terribly important things here. These are the
      important elements that frame and sustain our obedience: it is done
      for love of God, it is submission to another and it is lifelong.
      Remove any one of those mainstays and you no longer have a
      Benedictine.

      It is nothing to persevere to the end without love. Nothing. It is
      nothing to obey without love, war criminals did that quite admirably. Nor
      does it avail us anything at all to be obedient to ourselves: big
      challenge there! We'd wind up Sarabaites for sure, worshipping
      nothing but the idol of our own wills.

      This third degree gives the reason for Benedictine obedience: "for
      the love of God." We do not obey for so little as an orderly community,
      our obedience is not mere sociology, it is love. More even than just
      love, it is love of the One Who is Love at its highest perfection.

      We obey Love's delegates, our superiors, unto death. There are two
      meanings hidden in that phrase. It can mean martyrdom, obeying even
      to the point of being killed, but it also means obeying all of our lives,
      till the moment of our deaths. Frankly, few of us will be martyrs, because
      few of us are worthy of that grace. ALL of us, however, are called to the
      lifelong white martyrdom of obedience, which can often remind us that
      St. Teresa of Avila said that the martyrs "bought heaven cheaply", that
      they gained in one instant what the rest of us must plod on for many
      decades in a lifelong struggle to gain.

      Like Christ, for love, we become "obedient even unto death." During
      the Spanish Civil War, in the 30's, Communist forces raided the
      Benedictine monastery of El Pueyo, taking its 18 monks prisoner. One
      of the very significant things about this group is that many were
      just average monks, nothing special. All of them were martyred and
      one witness said that they went to their death "joyfully, as if going
      to a fiesta." These martyrs were members of our Subiaco Congregation
      and we are justifiably proud to have them as our brothers.

      Benedictine obedience of love, even unto death is decidedly not the
      kind that would please earthly tyrants. In fact, they'd gladly kill
      us for it. There is quite a likeness to our crucified Lord if we
      embrace that peril fully.

      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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