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Holy Rule for Jan. 30

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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: a man whose name
    Message 1 of 139 , Jan 29, 2011
      +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:

      a man whose name I don't have (God knows for whom we pray,) who is having prostate cancer surgery.

      Little Gabriel, for whom we prayed, and for his parents, Joe and Margaret. Some matches, possible but not perfect, have been found. He is on immunosuppressive therapy now. His parents are expecting another child in April, and hope that that sibling will be a perfect match, so they can use the cord blood for a transplant.

      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 30, May 31, September 30

      Chapter 7: On Humility
      The second degree of humility
      is that a person love not his own will
      nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires,
      but model his actions on the saying of the Lord,
      "I have come not to do My own will,
      but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).
      It is written also,
      "Self-will has its punishment,
      but constraint wins a crown."

      REFLECTION

      OK, who doesn't love their own will, or take pleasure in satisfying
      their desires? Who doesn't love the dearest things they own and
      treasure? For a healthy person, all of these are very normal loves.
      For some of us, one or another of these loves can be very much part of
      our vocation. The key is to keep them ordered, in line and yes, balanced!

      The means to this step is neither to go overboard hunting for things
      we hate to afflict ourselves with nor to insist on our own way at all
      costs. The real meaning here is found in the statement that Christ
      came not to do His own will, but the will of His Father, even in Gethsemane,
      even on the Cross.

      Alas, in us, that human will often DOES win: why else would we be
      struggling along the monastic way all our lives? Unlike Jesus, we are
      not sinless, we are able to sin and often do so all too gladly! We
      must daily- even minute to minute- turn from the bad in our own
      wills. It is an ongoing fight, but that is what conversatio morum means,
      the commitment to live monastically, to reform our lives monastically.
      As Benedictines we will- indeed, must- always be straining
      against the negative goad, always be seeking the place of greater
      light and good.

      The will of God is frequently very hard to see. For some of us, at
      some times, it seems downright impossible to see. There will always be
      times when we must trundle along blindly, without our senses to
      reassure us. That is why trust is such an integral part of our
      monastic struggle. At those times, the only way haltingly forward is
      to embrace the blinding darkness before us and firmly, trustingly
      clutch the merciful hand of Christ. Jesus, I trust in You!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      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. On this last day
      Message 139 of 139 , Nov 29 3:21 PM

        +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.

         

        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 the safety all the people, property, buildings and animals threatened by extreme fires in Tennessee. Many fires are being fought, prayers for those fighting them and trying to help.

         

        Prayers for the people of Mosul and Aleppo, and for all in danger and crisis from fighting and war in these areas.

         

        Prayers for Ann, who has a possible detached retina, that it can be treated successfully. She is also praying to accept God’s will, whatever that may be. The troubled retina is in the better of her eyes, so retaining vision there is very important.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Andrew and for all his family and all who mourn him.

         

        Prayers for the recovery of the 11 injured in the Ohio State University attack, one of whom is critical. Prayers, too, for the repentance and conversion of the attacker, who was killed, and prayers for his eternal rest and for the families of all.

         

        Prayers for Val, who fell and broke her hip.  She is recovering from surgery but is not doing well with uncontrolled blood pressure and is in ICU.  Also prayers for her family.

         

        Prayers for Ron, for whom we've prayed, who had open heart surgery postponed.  His condition is not great and this surgery needs to happen as soon as possible.

         

        Prayers for Chiara's return to the Church.  She is doing so much helping others that she doesn't need to look far to discover Christ's presence in those she helps.

         

        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.  Also that Bev finds full time work soon.

         

        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.

        REFLECTION

        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
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

         

         

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