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Holy Rule for Oct. 25

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following and for all who mourn them: Nikki Kloss, sister of our Mother Mary Mary Elizabeth, OSB and Sr. Mary
    Message 1 of 57 , Oct 24, 2010
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      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following and for all who mourn them:

      Nikki Kloss, sister of our Mother Mary Mary Elizabeth, OSB and Sr. Mary Angela, OSB, also of Fr. Anthony Kloss, OSB, of Still River. She died suddenly and unexpectedly. Quite a shock for her Mom and many siblings. Prayers for them all.

      Jim, father of Fr. Mark, who died shortly after Fr. Mark was able to visit him and had returned to Rome, thinking he was stable.

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

      A priest we asked for prayers for is still unwell with stress and related issues - Lord strengthen him, St. Therese pray for him.

      Prayers for Star on the anniversary of her death, may she rest in peace, and may those who mourn her find solace in happy memories.

      Maggie, nearly totally blind through glaucoma, partially deaf, suffering from pneumonia and emphysema - she seems to have given up the fight and is looking for peace. She is being cared for by two of her children. Praayers for them all.

      Rose, still suffering from a block (infected) cheek duct which isn't due to be cleared out for a few weeks.

      Chris as he bravely continues to strive to work full-time, though still not fully recovered from his breakdown - he's a lot better, though, thanks be to God!

      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 25, June 26, October 26
      Chapter 19: On the Manner of Saying the Divine Office

      We believe that the divine presence is everywhere and that "the
      eyes of the Lord are looking on the good and the evil in every
      place" (Prov. 15:3). But we should believe this especially without
      any doubt when we are assisting at the Work of God. To that end let
      us be mindful always of the Prophet's words, "Serve the Lord in
      fear" (Ps. 2:11) and again "Sing praises wisely" (Ps. 46:8) and "In
      the sight of the Angels I will sing praise to You" (Ps. 137:1).
      Let us therefore consider how we ought to conduct ourselves in
      sight of the Godhead and of His Angels, and let us take part in the
      psalmody in such a way that our mind may be in harmony with our


      If there were any phrase I could carve on the walls of every choir
      in the Order, it would be: "In the sight of the Angels I will sing
      praise to You." It stresses not only the lofty character (and
      cast!) of our sacrifices of praise, but also the demeanor we should
      have in offering them.

      This applies to parishes as well as to monasteries. In either
      milieu there can arise a certain foolish and unfortunate terrorism
      in "ministers" of rubric or music. The foregoing italics were not
      unintentional: when one terrorizes the flock over trivia, ministry
      has stopped. We are in the presence of the Angels, yet we sometimes
      easily forget that our brothers and sisters are each worth
      infinitely more than aesthetics, than music, than rubric. We must
      love people more than those!

      Dump on your sister or brother in the name of such things and you
      have missed the Bridegroom and married the Wedding March. Don't be
      too surprised if you find the Wedding March to be a less than
      thrilling spouse, a source of frustration rather than peace and joy!
      Whenever we use the constructs of rubric or music to hurt or demean
      one another, those Angels whose presence we ignore at our peril
      weep, and I think God does as well.

      The Presence of God that we miss so often should change our
      demeanour. Students act differently (usually worse, alas...) for a substitute
      teacher. Employees are different when the boss is off for the day.
      These assortments of different behavior are pretty much shot
      through the human condition, though not necessarily always a good

      The message here is no masks. Know Him in Whose presence and House
      you are. But really KNOW Him. That can take a lifetime of trying on
      and shedding as false different modes of conduct.

      God is Parent and Creator and we are always creatures, but we are
      not always children. We have to grow to the adult relationship with
      God that fortunate children eventually share with their parents.
      (If we never got to do this with our parents, and many haven't, establishing
      honesty with God is going to perhaps be a bit of a chore... Keep trying!)

      As we grow in our knowledge of God, our behavior around Him (and we
      are ALWAYS "around Him", that's another clear message of the Holy
      Rule!) changes. It becomes more real and more natural. It changes
      with a very clear eye to Whom God is and who we are. It changes
      from knowledge born of love and security.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX ******Somehow I skipped Nov. 28 and ran the 30th yesterday, so here s the reading for the 28th to catch up. March 29, July 29, November 28 Chapter 48: On
      Message 57 of 57 , Nov 28 2:11 PM
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        ******Somehow I skipped Nov. 28 and ran the 30th yesterday, so here's the
        reading for the 28th to catch up.

        March 29, July 29, November 28
        Chapter 48: On the Daily Manual Labor

        From the Calends of October until the beginning of Lent,
        let them apply themselves to reading
        up to the end of the second hour.

        At the second hour let Terce be said,
        and then let all labor at the work assigned them until None.
        At the first signal for the Hour of None
        let everyone break off from her work,
        and hold herself ready for the sounding of the second signal.
        After the meal
        let them apply themselves to their reading or to the Psalms.

        On the days of Lent,
        from morning until the end of the third hour
        let them apply themselves to their reading,
        and from then until the end of the tenth hour
        let them do the work assigned them.
        And in these days of Lent
        they shall each receive a book from the library,
        which they shall read straight through from the beginning.
        These books are to be given out at the beginning of Lent.

        But certainly one or two of the seniors should be deputed
        to go about the monastery
        at the hours when the sisters are occupied in reading
        and see that there be no lazy sister
        who spends her time in idleness or gossip
        and does not apply herself to the reading,
        so that she is not only unprofitable to herself
        but also distracts others.
        If such a one be found (which God forbid),
        let her be corrected once and a second time;
        if she does not amend,
        let her undergo the punishment of the Rule
        in such a way that the rest may take warning.

        Moreover, one sister shall not associate with another
        at inappropriate times.


        Lectio divina, sacred reading, is the Benedictine form of
        contemplation, more ancient than many later forms, both Carmelite and
        Athonite. Being so ancient, it comes with very few directions. Much
        of its "method" has been developed and handed down by monastics over
        the centuries since St. Benedict.

        Even in that embellished form, it remains a very, very simple and
        efficient means to contemplative prayer. One simply reads Scripture
        or the Fathers (or Mothers!) slowly, reflectively, ruminating (like a
        cow chewing its cud!) on each word and verse. As St. Romuald later
        observed, one waits like a chick for whatever its mother gives it.

        One does not read to get through the book. One reads to see if and
        when the Holy Spirit calls us to higher prayer with a word or phrase
        that strikes the heart. At that point, one should follow one's heart
        and not worry about finishing the page! Cleared for takeoff!

        It is interesting that St. Benedict weaves all these schedules of
        contemplative reading and prayer together with his manual labor
        concerns, without any ado. There's another example of the dignity and
        holiness of work in a Benedictine theology. Our work, too, is prayer.
        It must be.

        We must, somehow, learn to be all prayer. That same
        ruminative mindfulness that colors our lectio must color our labor as
        well. It is a different form of attention, a different form of
        prayer, but it is prayer nonetheless! Just ask any gardener or cook
        with a mystical heart or, for that matter, any toilet cleaner or
        diaper changer of the same ilk!

        The Carmelites prescribe mental prayer, which should, with
        recollection, spread throughout one's day. The hesychasts of Mount
        Athos, Romania and Russia stress the Jesus Prayer, said vocally until
        it becomes automatic in the heart at all times. Both of these are
        more explicit methodologies, but the Benedictine aim is the same:
        prayer without ceasing, prayer in choir and garden and cell, prayer
        at reading and prayer at work. Mindfulness of God at all times is the
        contemplative goal of all these systems.

        This is just my own opinion, but I am inclined to think that the
        Dominican concept of contemplation comes closest to our own, largely
        because of their love of study. Study, for the Dominican, is often
        very similar to lectio in the Benedictine scheme of things. Why?
        Because the Dominican seeks Truth, and Jesus said: "I am the Truth."
        A Dominican could be reading virtually anything and still know that
        every bit
        of real, objective truth garnered from that reading would be yet
        another shard, no matter how small, in the infinite mosaic of the
        face of Christ. That is a mosaic none of us shall ever complete in
        this life, but oh, how much more familiar He shall seem to us when we
        meet Him because of it!

        Maybe I'm just prejudiced, but I think that a Dominican education,
        such as I had, is a wonderful preparation for Benedictine life.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        Petersham, MA

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