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Holy Rule for Oct. 15

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of my Mom, Louise, on the anniversary of her death (+1973) Prayers please, especially Divine Mercy Chaplets, for the
    Message 1 of 58 , Oct 14, 2010

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of my Mom, Louise, on the anniversary of her death (+1973)

      Prayers please, especially Divine Mercy Chaplets, for the eternal rest of Linda, 59, who died of ovarian cancer.

      Prrayers for Mary Beth, surgery for uterine cancer. She is only 30 and her mom died of uterine cancer, and for Mary, her aunt, who has had a relapse of uterine cancer.

      Please pray that Amy have a safe trip in a van with other employees to Seattle and back and a rewarding work experience while there.

      Safe travel prayers for Fr. Bede and for Fr. Anselm.

      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 14, June 15, October 15
      Chapter 12: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said

      The Morning Office on Sunday shall begin with Psalm 66
      recited straight through without an antiphon.
      After that let Psalm 50 be said with "Alleluia,"
      then Psalms 117 and 62,
      the Canticle of Blessing (Benedicite) and the Psalms of praise (Ps.
      then a lesson from the Apocalypse to be recited by heart,
      the responsory, the verse,
      the canticle from the Gospel book,
      the litany and so the end.


      Ever notice how a loving parent makes allowances so the kids WON'T
      slip up or be discouraged? Good teachers do the same thing. Some
      things are made so deliberately easy that all of the students can
      generally make it through the hoop!

      St. Benedict does this with both morning Offices, beginning Vigils
      and Lauds with 2 psalms that are said every day. He even stresses
      that, at Lauds, the 66th Psalm is to be said slowly, so that the
      monastics may have time to gather.

      Those two Offices are the time people are most likely to be running
      late, either because they had to bound out of bed at the last minute,
      or because the "necessities of nature" break between Vigils and Lauds
      delayed them unexpectedly. It is worth noting that only with these
      two Offices, when tardiness can so easily occur, does the Holy Rule
      make such allowance. For a further bit of trivia, these four Psalms
      are repeated every day: one could miss them several times in a week
      and still have said all 150 Psalms in that week.

      Sometimes people (including, alas, ourselves!) can make unrealistic
      conditions and demand that others meet them. The concept of failure
      is built into those demands. We fence people about with our own
      standards that they could not possibly meet, then condemn them for
      failing to meet them! What a sad and tragic game.

      Take a self-inventory and check to see if there is anyone you dislike so
      intensely that they cannot be right, no matter what they do. If there are any
      such folks, it's time for you to change, not them! I recall, alas, one pastor
      who annoyed me so much that even when he used incense (something I ordinarily
      love,) I carped to myself that he didn't do it right. With me, he just could NOT
      win. Sigh... When things get that bad, it's ourselves who need the overhaul,
      not the presumed "offender."

      St. Benedict, by his example, teaches us to be the exact opposite. He
      shows us that we should be gentle and loving, that we should not be
      about setting burdens on others that are guaranteed to make them fail
      or quit or be discouraged. If we have received such kindness, we
      should pass it on!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for all Canadians celebrating Thanksgiving, and special prayers for Mary and her sisters, on the first Thanksgiving after their Mom s death.
      Message 58 of 58 , Oct 9, 2016



        Prayers for all Canadians celebrating Thanksgiving, and special prayers for Mary and her sisters, on the first Thanksgiving after their Mom’s death. Prayers, too, for the eternal rest of Margaret, their Mom.


        Prayers for our monks and nuns of Petersham, we are having our annual retreat this week. Prayers, too, for Abbot Matthew, former abbot of St. Anselm’s in Manchester, New Hampshire, who is our retreatmaster. May the Holy Spirit fill us all.


        Deo gratias and prayers of thanks,  Johnny, for whom we prayed before his quadruple bypass surgery, has gone home from the hospital and all is well.


        Prayers for Anneclaire, for healing of damage done by violent abuse in her past which is hurting her relationships today. May God heal all the wounds of her past.


        Prayers for Jenny R., just diagnosed with malignant nodular melanoma, a very aggressive form of skin cancer. She will find out what stage it is and if its spread to other parts of her body soon. Prayers that it hasn’t spread and that it can be treated successfully.


        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

        [This portion seems to beg for division into two parts, so I have done
        that in the reflection.]

        February 9, June 10, October 10
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The twelfth degree of humility
        is that a monk not only have humility in his heart
        but also by his very appearance make it always manifest
        to those who see him.
        That is to say that whether he is at the Work of God,
        in the oratory, in the monastery, in the garden, on the road,
        in the fields or anywhere else,
        and whether sitting, walking or standing,
        he should always have his head bowed
        and his eyes toward the ground.
        Feeling the guilt of his sins at every moment,
        he should consider himself already present at the dread Judgment
        and constantly say in his heart
        what the publican in the Gospel said
        with his eyes fixed on the earth:
        "Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up my eyes to heaven"
        (Luke 18:13; Matt. 8:8);
        and again with the Prophet:
        "I am bowed down and humbled everywhere" (Ps. 37:7,9; 118:107).


        Alcoholics Anonymous jokes about what they call "Two-steppers," that
        is, people who decide to jump right from Step 1, acknowledging their
        problem, to Step 12, carrying the message to others, with nothing in
        between! Wrong! Doesn't work that way...

        We sometimes see a similar mistake in folks and humility.
        Bingo, they go right to the twelfth degree with nothing to build
        their external humility on but the images of Hollywood. Such
        individuals are usually well-intentioned enough, but one look at
        their demeanor will tell one that there is probably a very badly worn
        tape of "The Nun's Story"!
        I'm not knocking the film, I loved it, too! But it WAS Hollywood and it
        is not real life! Monastic life will do a lot of things but sorry, it will
        never make
        you Audrey Hepburn!

        People who learn that have a chance to stay, people who don't often
        leave because no monastery fits the Hollywood model, though they
        often keep looking for one that does!

        Second Section of the Reading:

        Having climbed all these steps of humility, therefore,
        the monk will presently come to that perfect love of God
        which casts out fear.
        And all those precepts
        which formerly he had not observed without fear,
        he will now begin to keep by reason of that love,
        without any effort,
        as though naturally and by habit.
        No longer will his motive be the fear of hell,
        but rather the love of Christ,
        good habit
        and delight in the virtues
        which the Lord will deign to show forth by the Holy Spirit
        in His servant now cleansed from vice and sin.

        This crucially important second part is why none of those Hollywood
        roles quite make it AND why the first section is spared from
        Jansenism. (Jansenism, you may recall, was a heresy which held that
        we could NEVER be worthy, NEVER do enough penance and so forth. In
        its sad extremes, it harked to a sort of Pelagian attitude, implying
        that we might be able to do something if we did enough harsh stuff!
        But, of course, even that would never be enough. It was a rather mean
        idea of God.)

        Humility is NOT affected, not presupposing, hence efforts to LOOK
        humble when one is not so will fall woefully short of the mark. No
        Academy Awards for this one! When they call for the envelope, it will
        be empty!

        Genuine humility is the most unself-conscious thing in the
        world. It produces the external demeanor without any further ado,
        because the person actually (and usually unwittingly!) BECOMES the
        truth they are striving to live. Humility shows up in the face, in
        everything, just as years of bitterness or years of love often do.

        You couldn't hide humility if you wanted to, but you don't need to,
        because the true humility is rarely even noticed and those who are
        less humble tend to discount the really humble as nobodies. In one
        sense, they are quite right! Both would agree on that!

        If one never gets to the joy and love of the end of this passage,
        there will be no reason not to look artificially rather glum over
        sins that one probably doesn't believe at heart are that great anyhow.
        This is where some folks miss the mark. They can stop at the
        perpetual gloom and dread point, without realizing the contemplative
        joy and love beyond that.

        Monasticism is true, but the Gospel is more so. Neither Jansenism nor
        perpetual gloom would play very well with Matthew, Mark, Luke or
        John. That means they wouldn't play well with St. Benedict, either,
        as his second portion surely guarantees. Love and joy and humility
        are an inseparable trio! When fear is cast out, gloom goes right
        along with it!

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        Petersham, MA


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