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Holy Rule for Oct. 28

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX 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 27, June
    Message 1 of 59 , Oct 27, 2010
      +PAX

      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 27, June 28, October 28
      Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery

      If the community is a large one, let there be chosen out of it
      brethren of good repute and holy life, and let them be appointed
      deans. These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
      observing the commandments of God and the instructions of their
      Abbot.

      Let men of such character be chosen deans that the Abbot may with
      confidence
      share his burdens among them. Let them be chosen not by rank but
      according to their worthiness of life and the wisdom of their
      doctrine.

      If any of these deans should become inflated with pride and found
      deserving of censure,
      let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time. If he will
      not amend, then let him be deposed and another be put in his place
      who is worthy of it.

      And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.


      REFLECTION

      St. Benedict reverences seniority- a traditional monastic value- in
      many places, but he also moderates that tradition, keeping it from
      turning into ageism. When considering the appointment of these
      deans, their worthy lives and teachings are the criteria, not their
      age. Unspoken here, but nevertheless evident, is the demand that seniors
      obey such young officials.

      There is no room for griping about young "whipper-snappers" here!
      Obedience is not about the age or wisdom or human perfection of the
      superior. It is about faith that God leads us through such flawed
      human beings of every sort. When "X" crosses you or breaks your
      heart or stokes your anger, it is imperative to recall that this
      often has precious little to do with "X" and his or her
      personality. It's is God's gift to your self-study. He wants you to
      learn something about yourself and tests you. "X" might not even be
      faintly aware of being used as an instrument of His will!
      (Recalling this all the time is a LOT harder than it sounds, for some a
      lifelong struggle.)

      A further check here is given by the insistence on personal
      holiness. Granted, even in monasteries, the clever and
      manipulatively ambitious sort can get around this and sometimes do,
      but what if all our offices, in monastery AND Church went to really
      holy people? The first objection (usually put forward by the
      ambitious who would be overlooked under this system!) is that they
      would be TERRIBLE administrators. So? The point there was what?

      Next time you want a fun day-dream, try to picture a Church and
      Order run entirely by the holy and wise. Wow! Now usually, day-
      dreaming is an utter waste of time, but this one is not. After you
      have spent some time envisioning all those things, go out and BE
      what you
      dreamed. Truly live as if the dream had come to pass. Be prepared
      to be a little lonely: none of us are likely soon to see a Church
      run entirely by saints. But we can all make that dream one person
      closer to coming true, by changing ourselves, by incarnating that
      ideal as best we can. The only ones we can surely change are
      ourselves!

      Of course, there will be loud complaints about saints in charge,
      too. For one thing, as Dorothy Day observed, saints can be terribly
      hard to live with. For another, the problem is our lack of faith,
      a problem even good governance will not remove. Only we can remove
      that
      problem. It starts with us!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • russophile2002
      +PAX Prayers for the healing of Layla, 5, who broke two bones in her arm while skating, and for her family, who are wooried about her. Prayers that E. will
      Message 59 of 59 , Oct 9

        +PAX

        Prayers for the healing of Layla, 5, who broke two bones in her arm while skating, and for her family, who are wooried about her.

         

        Prayers that E. will return to Confession after many years.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Catherine, and for her family, especially her daughter, Eliza, and all who mourn her.

         

        Birthday prayers for Kathy and Fr. Patrick, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Ernest and his sons Ernest and, Sean, they died at different times a while ago. Prayers for all their family, esp. Maria and Rosemary, and for all who mourn them.

         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 10, June 11, October 11
        Chapter 8: On the Divine Office During the Night

        In the winter time,
        that is from the Calends of November until Easter,
        the sisters shall rise
        at what is calculated to be the eighth hour of the night,
        so that they may sleep somewhat longer than half the night
        and rise with their rest completed.
        And the time that remains after the Night Office
        should be spent in study
        by those sisters who need a better knowledge of the Psalter
        or the lessons.

        From Easter to the aforesaid Calends of November,
        the hour of rising should be so arranged that the Morning Office,
        which is to be said at daybreak,
        will follow the Night Office after a very short interval,
        during which they may go out for the necessities of nature.

        REFLECTION

        In St. Benedict's time, and for centuries afterwards, life on a self-sustaining
        farm, which monasteries were supposed to be, was far more difficult and
        time consuming than it would be today. The simplest things that we now do
        with the flick of a switch were big deals, involving lots of human workers and
        every available daylight hour.

        Hence, the monks got up early, very early, to get in much of their monastic day
        before the sun (and the critters!) rose for the day. There was, of course, a
        penitential aspect to this early rising, too, and the ancient Christian practice
        of the night vigil.

        There's at least a possible hint for Oblates of today in all this. Get up a bit
        earlier if you can, and devote those silent and dark morning hours or minutes to
        your monastic endeavors. Knock off a late TV favorite and go to bed a tad
        earlier. We always find time for what we love most. If, however, one is married
        and has a spouse that doesn't want one to blissfully retire at 7:30 or so, this
        will not work. Marriage is a primary, sacramental vocation and demands
        precedence.

        Two very human glimpses into the personality of St. Benedict here. He
        is thoughtful and kind, making sure the monastics have time for a
        bathroom run and he is not prudish about mentioning it. Its part of
        the human and part of family life. As casually as a Mother asks young
        children if anybody "has to go" before a trip, he throws out mention
        of the fact that not everyone could make it through two long services
        without great discomfort!

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

         


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