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Holy Rule for Dec. 6

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Deo gratias, Frank may have to just lose some toes, not his foot. A procedure the doc tried worked better than expeted. Deo gratias, Theresa is less
    Message 1 of 140 , Dec 5 1:16 PM

      Deo gratias, Frank may have to just lose some toes, not his foot. A procedure the doc tried worked better than expeted.

      Deo gratias, Theresa is less medicated than before and doing better.

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Fr. Jude on the anniversary of his

      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

      April 6, August 6, December 6
      Chapter 54: Whether a Monastic Should Receive Letters or Anything

      On no account shall a monastic be allowed
      to receive letters, blessed tokens or any little gift whatsoever
      from parents or anyone else,
      or from her sisters,
      or to give the same,
      without the Abbess's permission.
      But if anything is sent her even by her parents,
      let her not presume to take it
      before it has been shown to the Abbess.
      And it shall be in the Abbess's power to decide
      to whom it shall be given,
      if she allows it to be received;
      and the sister to whom it was sent should not be grieved,
      lest occasion be given to the devil.

      Should anyone presume to act otherwise,
      let her undergo the discipline of the Rule.


      Part of this is about equality, part of it is about depending on
      one's community for everything. But there is another part that is
      more readily available to monastics and Oblates in the world, a
      certain cloister of the heart, a partial flight from the secular.

      Outside news, to which we all can become so easily addicted, is not
      always useful, let alone nourishing. When I was a pastoral associate
      in Boston, I was the slave of the weather channel: knew the five day
      forecast ALL the time. Then I moved here- no cable anywhere- and
      pretty much let God surprise me each morning with whatever was
      available. Granted, traveling on foot and by subway to do a lot of
      ministry in Boston, I did have a greater need to know, but not THAT

      We get a Sunday paper (the NY Times,) once a week and that is it. If
      something really big happens between Sundays, the regulars who come
      to Mass will tell us. That's how we found out about Princess Diana.
      Our contractor told us about 9/11. We were in Mass, praying for the
      world anyway, with no clue that the towers were literally falling as
      we prayed, that the Pentagon was on fire and thousands were dead.

      It really didn't matter, in one sense, whether we knew or not: we
      were already praying. Our prayers did not need details to be
      effective. The heart of God was already breaking, already knew, HAD
      already known from all time and beyond. We were just begging Him to
      look at His people while not knowing which ones needed it most. That
      made no difference. We ALWAYS know less than Him. It is the usual
      human condition!

      You may be sure we all watched Diana's funeral, and you may be sure
      we all watched the 9/11 news. We're not dinosaurs and we cared
      deeply. However, having lived on both sides now (what a song cue for
      Judy Collins!) of the media divide, I can assure you that a whole lot
      of extraneous stuff got mixed in with a very little bit of worthwhile

      There is much that is false, truly false and illusory in the
      world. We all know that quite well. What we can miss is that media's
      job is to make a lot of things much, much more real and pressing than
      they are or will ever be. That sort of illusion we can easily do

      This is in no way obscurantist or anti-intellectual, but a part of
      the monastic heart actually LIKES to be out of touch in some areas
      and profits from same. No one has to live in a cave, but I, as I
      imagine most of us without any dream of large stock holdings, would
      have managed quite well without knowing about every corporate scandal
      in excruciating detail.There's a lot of stuff we DON'T need to
      know, and in not knowing some of it there lies a great peace!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for Pluscarden Abbey, on the feast of St. Andrew, one of its patrons, and for all of Scotland, whose patron is also St. Andrew. Prayers for the
      Message 140 of 140 , Nov 29



        Prayers for Pluscarden Abbey, on the feast of St. Andrew, one of its patrons, and for all of Scotland, whose patron is also St. Andrew. Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Andrew, OSB, on his feastday.

         On this last day of November, please remember the Holy Souls, the whole month is dedicated to prayer for them, and remember to pray for them throughout the year! Ask them to intercede for you, too, they are great friends to have and they are so very grateful to us for our prayers and help for them.

        Prayers for Jamie D., that she will pass all the exams in relation to her application to UK.

        Prayers for the happy death of Susan H.,  she has cancer, an inoperable tumor and is too weak for treatment.  She may not make it until Christmas, but is in denial.  She is not in a good relationship with God or her family.  Prayers of healing and peace, please! Divine Mercy Chaplets, especially, for a happy death.


        Prayers for the eternal rest of James C., a young man who died after years in a coma after a motorcycle accident, and for all his family and all who mourn him, especially his uncle, Fr. Paul.


        Prayers for the health of Patti F., diagnosed with myelofibrosis which is a very rare bone marrow illness related to leukemia.  She asks for prayers (not for a cure - there isn't one in her case,) but for energy and stamina to do the things this year she and her husband, Ernie,  have already planned.  Prayers for her happy death when God chooses to call her. Prayers for Ernie and all who will mourn her.


        Prayers for Brittany. She found a painful lump in her right breast. It might be a blocked milk duct, as she is breastfeeding and that is quite common.


        Prayers for Martin, rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. A CAT scan revealed a large mass near the pancreas.

        Prayers for Bev and Erika.  They are Jehovah's Witnesses.  Prayers that they discover the fullness of the faith and truth in the Catholic Church. 


        Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and
        grace. God is never absent. Alleluia!
        Thanks so much. JL

        March 31, July 31, November 30

        Chapter 49: On the Observance of Lent

        Although the life of a monk
        ought to have about it at all times
        the character of a Lenten observance,
        yet since few have the virtue for that,
        we therefore urge that during the actual days of Lent
        the brethren keep their lives most pure
        and at the same time wash away during these holy days
        all the negligences of other times.
        And this will be worthily done
        if we restrain ourselves from all vices
        and give ourselves up to prayer with tears,
        to reading, to compunction of heart and to abstinence.

        During these days, therefore,
        let us increase somewhat the usual burden of our service,
        as by private prayers and by abstinence in food and drink.
        Thus everyone of his own will may offer God
        "with joy of the Holy Spirit" (1 Thess. 1:6)
        something above the measure required of him.
        From his body, that is
        he may withhold some food, drink, sleep, talking and jesting;
        and with the joy of spiritual desire
        he may look forward to holy Easter.

        Let each one, however, suggest to his Abbot
        what it is that he wants to offer,
        and let it be done with his blessing and approval.
        For anything done without the permission of the spiritual father
        will be imputed to presumption and vainglory
        and will merit no reward.
        Therefore let everything be done with the Abbot's approval.


        Because we read St. Benedict's 1500 year old Holy Rule with modern
        eyes, it often seems harsh. To balance our perspective, we need to
        see the radical nature of the Rule when written. Face it, folks, this
        was most definitely a gentler Rule for European wannabes who could
        never hack it in the Egyptian desert in their wildest dreams. His
        introductory paragraph points out his plan of adaptation: "...since
        few have the virtue for that..." Our founder was most certainly writing
        for the struggling plodders of monasticism and he knew it. Keeping
        that uppermost in our minds can be informatively humbling.

        St. Benedict's fatherly heart was
        with the underdogs, the also rans, the strays and those that others
        could not be bothered with. He must have felt at some point that
        there HAD to be a way for the spiritually challenged to become
        monastics. A millennium and a half later, we are still benefiting
        from his attempts.

        Hence, for us Benedictines, when the Evil One tempts us with his lies
        like: "You could never do that! You could never be THAT holy!"
        our reaction must be to ignore him totally. We have no clue
        of how holy we can be. God alone knows that and God alone will lead
        us and show us in ways we are quite unlikely to ever understand.
        Whenever the demon of discouragement tells us we are far beneath this
        Rule for beginners, we must shrug indifferently and move on, briefly
        impressed for once with the Father of Lies' firm grasp on the obvious.

        Of *COURSE* we are beneath this Rule, beneath any of the earlier
        ones. Duh?!? We're Benedictines. Our Order was founded for people
        like us. That should never, ever be a cause to stop trying, to give
        up or quit. On the contrary, that fact should be a heartening
        confirmation that we are EXACTLY where we belong, in the best
        possible remedial education program for slow learners like us, right
        where God wants us.

        Like a mother to a crying child, devoid of hope, who moans "But I
        CAN'T, I just can't!" St. Benedict is softly saying, "Well,
        just do what you can and that will be OK." Get the picture? OK! Then
        go out, play nice and do what you can today... Don't be surprised if
        you find that God is increasing, sometimes imperceptibly, that "what
        you can" little by little to heights of great holiness, which we will
        achieve all but unawares and only with His help. Someday, we really
        SHALL "run in the way...with hearts enlarged."

        Love and prayers,

        Jerome, OSB
        Petersham, MA








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