Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Holy Rule for Apr. 21

Expand Messages
  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for our superior, Father Anselm, on his patronal feastday, Ad multos annos!! Lord, help us all as You know and will. God s will is best.
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 20, 2011
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for our superior, Father Anselm, on his patronal feastday, Ad multos annos!!

      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 21, August 21, December 21
      Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

      Once she has been constituted,
      let the Abbess always bear in mind
      what a burden she has undertaken
      and to whom she will have to give an account of her stewardship,
      and let her know that her duty is rather to profit her sisters
      than to preside over them.
      She must therefore be learned in the divine law,
      that she may have a treasure of knowledge
      from which to bring forth new things and old.
      She must be chaste, sober and merciful.
      Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
      that she herself may obtain mercy.
      She should hate vices;
      she should love the sisterhood.


      In administering correction
      she should act prudently and not go to excess,
      lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust
      she break the vessel.
      Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes
      and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken.
      By this we do not mean that she should allow vices to grow;
      on the contrary, as we have already said,
      she should eradicate them prudently and with charity,
      in the way which may seem best in each case.
      Let her study rather to be loved than to be feared.


      Let her not be excitable and worried,
      nor exacting and headstrong,
      nor jealous and over-suspicious;
      for then she is never at rest.


      In her commands let her be prudent and considerate;
      and whether the work which she enjoins
      concerns God or the world,
      let her be discreet and moderate,
      bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said,
      "If I cause my flocks to be overdriven,
      they will all die in one day."
      Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
      the mother of virtues,
      let her so temper all things
      that the strong may have something to strive after,
      and the weak may not fall back in dismay.


      And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details,
      so that after a good ministry
      she may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard
      who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due season:
      "Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his goods" (Matt.
      24:27).

      REFLECTION

      The priest who taught me moral theology was a brilliantly educated,
      theologically progressive man. As such, it was rather alarming to
      hear him say: "To fail the law in one respect is to fail it in all."
      Those are harsh and terrifying terms, but if one examines the Letter
      of St. James, from which the principle comes, he was very right. The
      Holy Spirit has left no doubt about this one...

      One cannot keep all the law faithfully while grievously sinning
      against one portion of it. The law, any law is a whole. It does not
      admit of fragmentation. Granted, the people following any law are
      flawed subjectively and then a whole set of other considerations must
      come into play. But the law is a whole.

      View even just this chapter through that lens of wholeness, let alone
      the entire Holy Rule, and you will quickly come to the conclusion
      that its fulfillment is beyond human capability. And you will be
      quite right. It is. You cannot do this stuff without grace. Lots of
      it. Impossible otherwise.

      Hence, ardent prayers for all in authority of any kind, religious or secular,
      ought to be a lifelong, daily habit. Their task is not easy. They need our
      prayers very much, and it is the least service of thanks we can render them
      for their ministry to us, a ministry St. Paul tells us was given them by God.

      Check out the Abbess. No human person can administer that kind of
      authority without a great deal of prayer and a great deal of help
      from God. No one at all can be this wise or balanced or loving or
      moderate on their own lights. That's far too high an order for
      natural virtue alone. A lot of that prayer must come from others, too,
      so always, always pray for your Abbot, for all abbots, for all in authority.

      Hence, it should come as no great shock that people in authority fail
      this standard right and left, all the time. I know in murmuring
      circles it is always treated as if it were news that an Abbot could
      be that limited, but it really isn't at all. To even half-way clever
      students, this should be a real no-brainer. It is the usual human
      condition of people in power to be imperfect: bosses, abbots,
      parents, spouses, the whole lot. In fact, that is the usual condition
      of all humanity and especially the murmurers!

      Was the person in charge mean to many for the sake of one? There
      might be a reckoning for that. One can also cause the flock to be
      overdriven simply by doing nothing in a given instance, or not doing
      enough. There might be a reckoning for that, in fact, St. Benedict
      promises us there will be and not a light one, either.

      Dare we HOPE that such retribution will be forthcoming, that exacting
      justice will be done, to Abbots, to anyone in authority, to anyone who
      ticks us off? No way, not unless we want it for ourselves, too! Jesus
      gave us that standard in the Our Father: we ask God to use our own
      standards of forgiveness for others in forgiving us. Mercy, folks, always
      mercy and to all!

      We must deal with God's mercy in this life or we shall deal with His justice in
      the next.
      May God spare us ALL from exact justice. Not a single one of us could stand
      it. None of us could endure getting what we truly deserve. That is why mercy
      is God's greatest attribute and why it is paramount. I know with all my heart
      the Christ's Divine Mercy is my only hope- and it is a very sure hope!! His
      loving kindness to us all is absolutely reliable in the infinite extreme.

      The awful thing about authority is that sometimes, even when one gets
      it right, one can get clobbered. There are also people who have left
      because the Abbot was right. Try to remember that. If you're in
      authority, be prepared to weather that, if you're not, try to help
      those who must endure it for good reasons which they cannot reveal.

      The key to this perplexing puzzle is the radically flawed human
      weakness of both those in authority and those under it. We all
      stumble together, half-blind, halt and lame, in an largely unlighted
      tunnel to God. God alone at the end of that tunnel is the Light.
      Prayer and grace offer us flashes on the way and we need them badly,
      but any level of honest surprise at the limitations of such humanity
      is really not the mark of a terribly observant mind.

      Now for the clincher: this is not just a model for Abbots, but for
      all of us with any authority, in fact, for all of us period. This is
      the way Benedictines should treat others, seniors, juniors, all
      people. This Christ-like attitude ought to pervade every parent,
      teacher, boss, nurse and grocery clerk, all of us.

      Now THAT, is a REALLY tall order! Sure is! You can only do it
      with grace, with prayer and God's all-merciful help.

      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 our Sr. Gemma, on her feastday, graces galore and many more! Ad multos annos! Continued healing prayers for Ginger, who needed twenty stitches
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 10, 2016

        +PAX

        Prayers for our Sr. Gemma, on her feastday, graces galore and many more! Ad multos annos!

        Continued healing prayers for Ginger, who needed twenty stitches after her fall. Please keep her in prayer while she heals.

        Prayers for Sr. Mary Joseph, special intention.

        Prayers for Julia F., facing a long recovery after a serious, life-threatening surgery, prayers for her healing and for all her family.

        Deo gratias and prayers of thanksgiving, baby Mollie is doing fine after her skull surgery, wearing her helmet and even liking it. Continued prayers for her and her family as she heals.

        Prayers for Kimberley, who is in the hospital for treatment and has to be there for several months.  Prayers that God heals her.

        Prayers for Lida, who is travelling to Toronto today until the end of the month that God blesses her with a safe and relaxing trip.  

        Prayers for Claude, in his 50's and had a heart attack.  He is in a medically induced coma.  Prayer that God heals him to full recovery and for all of his family who are devastated.  Prayers that God resolves all of the issues that are causing the stress that could have contributed to the heart attack.

        Prayers for Elaine, that she has the favor of her bosses and coworkers and they acknowledge she is doing a great job and want to offer her a full-time regular position with them.  Prayers that she get full-time regular employment where God wants her to work.

        Prayers for Fr. Nadeem, on the 5th anniversary of his Ordination, for many graces and many, many years in the Lord's service.

         

        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!

         

        April 11, August 11, December 11
        Chapter 58: On the Manner of Receiving Sisters

        When anyone is newly come for the reformation of her life,
        let her not be granted an easy entrance;
        but, as the Apostle says,
        "Test the spirits to see whether they are from God."
        If the newcomer, therefore, perseveres in her knocking,
        and if it is seen after four or five days
        that she bears patiently the harsh treatment offered her
        and the difficulty of admission,
        and that she persists in her petition,
        then let entrance be granted her,
        and let her stay in the guest house for a few days.

        After that let her live in the novitiate,
        where the novices study, eat and sleep.
        A senior shall be assigned to them who is skilled in winning souls,
        to watch over them with the utmost care.
        Let her examine whether the novice is truly seeking God,
        and whether she is zealous
        for the Work of God, for obedience and for trials.
        Let the novice be told all the hard and rugged ways
        by which the journey to God is made.

        If she promises stability and perseverance,
        then at the end of two months
        let this rule be read through to her,
        and let her be addressed thus:
        "Here is the law under which you wish to fight.
        If you can observe it, enter;
        if you cannot, you are free to depart."
        If she still stands firm,
        let her be taken to the above-mentioned novitiate
        and again tested in all patience.
        And after the lapse of six months let the Rule be read to her,
        that she may know on what she is entering.
        And if she still remains firm,
        after four months let the same Rule be read to her again.

        Then, having deliberated with herself,
        if she promises to keep it in its entirety
        and to observe everything that is commanded,
        let her be received into the community.
        But let her understand that,
        according to the law of the Rule,
        from that day forward she may not leave the monastery
        nor withdraw her neck from under the yoke of the Rule
        which she was free to refuse or to accept
        during that prolonged deliberation.

        REFLECTION

        The most important thing that St. Benedict asks of all of us on
        entrance into the monastic way is whether we truly seek God. Whether
        Abbot Primate or newest Oblate novice, that is what we are asked by
        the Holy Rule. It is a question we shall be asked for the rest of our
        lives, and one to which we must strive (and often struggle!) to say yes,
        again and again, day after day.

        "Quaeremus inventum," said St. Augustine: "Let us seek Him Whom we
        have found." In truth a certain "finding" of God is necessary to whet
        our appetite, to lead us to seek Him more deeply. Once that happens,
        however, we can go on seeking God for the rest of time and eternity
        and never get to the end of His infinite love and mercy. Even in
        heaven the journey will go on, with us always being creature and Him
        always loving Creator. We will never end our quest, but we will love
        it, we will never reach the essence of God, but that will never
        frustrate us in heaven. It's an adventure we shall love.

        After novitiate, our commitment to conversion of manners obliges us to
        ever seek, to ever try to improve, to never give up the quest
        entirely. A Benedictine who has stopped trying to be better and
        stopped seeking God is in deep, maybe even fatal trouble. We always
        seek and strive. It is the very stuff of our lives as monastics.

        This chapter, by the way, led to the traditional division we now have
        of the Holy Rule into dates that will result in it all being read
        three times a year. The novices had to hear it three times anyway and
        elsewhere St. Benedict had asked that all in community hear
        it "frequently." Hence, this system covers both fronts!

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

         

         

      • russophile2002
        +PAX Prayers for Sr. Gemma, on her feastday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! Prayers for the eternal rest of all those killed in the terror
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 10

          +PAX

          Prayers for Sr. Gemma, on her feastday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

           

          Prayers for the eternal rest of all those killed in the terror attacks in Cairo, Alexandria and Stockholm, prayers for the recovery of all those injured and for the families of all. Prayers for the repentance and conversion of those responsible for the attacks.

           

          Prayers for Joshua, who suffered burns to his right hand and arm. He is hoping he will not have to have surgery.

          Prayers for Fr. Nadeem, on the 6th anniversary of his Ordination, for many graces and many, many years in the Lord's service.

          Prayers for eight prisoners scheduled to be executed over ten days beginning Apr. 17, in Arkansas. Prayers they may be spared, or that they may embrace God and His Divine Mercy at their deaths with contrite hearts. Prayers, too, for all their victims and the families of all.

          Prayers for Billy and Pastor Charles and those they serve.

          Prayers for the eternal rest of HJ, and for all his family and all who mourn him.

          Prayers for Chris, discerning his vocation on retreat with the Carthusians in Vermont, for the will of God for him.

          Prayers for Joann on her birthday, graces galore and many more. Ad multos annos!

           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!

           April 11, August 11, December 11
          Chapter 58: On the Manner of Receiving Sisters

          When anyone is newly come for the reformation of her life,
          let her not be granted an easy entrance;
          but, as the Apostle says,
          "Test the spirits to see whether they are from God."
          If the newcomer, therefore, perseveres in her knocking,
          and if it is seen after four or five days
          that she bears patiently the harsh treatment offered her
          and the difficulty of admission,
          and that she persists in her petition,
          then let entrance be granted her,
          and let her stay in the guest house for a few days.

          After that let her live in the novitiate,
          where the novices study, eat and sleep.
          A senior shall be assigned to them who is skilled in winning souls,
          to watch over them with the utmost care.
          Let her examine whether the novice is truly seeking God,
          and whether she is zealous
          for the Work of God, for obedience and for trials.
          Let the novice be told all the hard and rugged ways
          by which the journey to God is made.

          If she promises stability and perseverance,
          then at the end of two months
          let this rule be read through to her,
          and let her be addressed thus:
          "Here is the law under which you wish to fight.
          If you can observe it, enter;
          if you cannot, you are free to depart."
          If she still stands firm,
          let her be taken to the above-mentioned novitiate
          and again tested in all patience.
          And after the lapse of six months let the Rule be read to her,
          that she may know on what she is entering.
          And if she still remains firm,
          after four months let the same Rule be read to her again.

          Then, having deliberated with herself,
          if she promises to keep it in its entirety
          and to observe everything that is commanded,
          let her be received into the community.
          But let her understand that,
          according to the law of the Rule,
          from that day forward she may not leave the monastery
          nor withdraw her neck from under the yoke of the Rule
          which she was free to refuse or to accept
          during that prolonged deliberation.

          REFLECTION

          The most important thing that St. Benedict asks of all of us on
          entrance into the monastic way is whether we truly seek God. Whether
          Abbot Primate or newest Oblate novice, that is what we are asked by
          the Holy Rule. It is a question we shall be asked for the rest of our
          lives, and one to which we must strive (and often struggle!) to say yes,
          again and again, day after day.

          "Quaeremus inventum," said St. Augustine: "Let us seek Him Whom we
          have found." In truth a certain "finding" of God is necessary to whet
          our appetite, to lead us to seek Him more deeply. Once that happens,
          however, we can go on seeking God for the rest of time and eternity
          and never get to the end of His infinite love and mercy. Even in
          heaven the journey will go on, with us always being creature and Him
          always our Creator. We will travel ever more deeply into God, and we will love
          it. It's an adventure we shall love forever.

          After novitiate, our commitment to conversion of manners obliges us to
          ever seek, to ever try to improve, to never give up the quest
          entirely. A Benedictine who has stopped trying to be better and
          stopped seeking God is in deep, maybe even fatal trouble. We always
          seek and strive. It is the very stuff of our lives as monastics.

          This chapter, by the way, led to the traditional division we now have
          of the Holy Rule into dates that will result in it all being read
          three times a year. The novices had to hear it three times anyway and
          elsewhere St. Benedict had asked that all in community hear
          it "frequently." Hence, this system covers both fronts!

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


        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.