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Holy Rule for May 12

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please for the eternal rest of Ron, who took his own life after a 12 hour standoff, prayers, too, for his Mother, who lost another son to suicide
    Message 1 of 355 , May 11, 2011
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please for the eternal rest of Ron, who took his own life after a 12 hour standoff, prayers, too, for his Mother, who lost another son to suicide a few years ago, and for his wife, Dami, and for all who mourn him.

      Prayers for the success of the 'Tree of Hope' project of the De La Salle University Medical Center. It is the first major endowment fund raising project of the hospital for our less fortunate brothers.

      Prayers for a successful Oblates in Diaspora meeting in Raritan, NJ, Thursday evening, Oblates of any house are invited to attend. If interested, contact Fr. Guy at http://www.shrinechapel.com/ for further details.

      Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for ll their loved ones and all who take are of them:

      Deo gratias, Noel has a clean bill of health from his cardiac test.

      Dave, on his birthday, blessings and graces galore. Ad multos annos, many more !!!

      Jack, who has been having problems with his heart. Test results from last week have resulted in more tests being scheduled on Thursday. Depending on what is found, he could be facing an angioplasty or surgery to have stents put in or to repair a valve.

      Donna and Rita, each facing serious surgery, and for Carol who makes the request.

      K and S, brother and sister. K has developed a severe infection resulting in dead tissue and is still in hospital getting surgery and intravenous antibiotics, although the prognosis looks good now, the doctors admit that much could still go wrong. As a result of these long-term medical problems, they are also requesting prayers for financial relief, due to loss of employment.

      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 11, May 12, September 11
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

      Therefore, when anyone receives the name of Abbess,
      she ought to govern her disciples with a twofold teaching.
      That is to say,
      she should show them all that is good and holy
      by her deeds even more than by her words,
      expounding the Lord's commandments in words
      to the intelligent among her disciples,
      but demonstrating the divine precepts by her actions
      for those of harder hearts and ruder minds.
      And whatever she has taught her disciples
      to be contrary to God's law,
      let her indicate by her example that it is not to be done,
      lest, while preaching to others, she herself be found reprobate (1
      Cor. 9:27),
      and lest God one day say to her in her sin,
      "Why do you declare My statutes
      and profess My covenant with your lips,
      whereas you hate discipline
      and have cast My words behind you" (Ps. 49:16-17)?
      And again,
      "You were looking at the speck in your brother's eye,
      and did not see the beam in your own" (Matt. 7:3).

      REFLECTION

      This isn't just for abbots and parents, this is for all of us.
      Example is put forward as the primary means of teaching, even before
      words. All of us must "walk the talk" and practice what we preach.
      Everyone of us is obliged to somehow uncover the splendor of the City
      of God in our lives, to show it to others. Mere verbal description
      will be of little help in comparison to actually living out the vision.

      All of us put forward an image of who we are in words, one way or
      another. As years go by, we usually get a more or less complete
      picture of who we are and of the self we wish to present to the
      world. This is where family, community and marriage can be so
      important.

      The people who live with us, see right through the flaws
      in our verbal picture. It is less easy for us to believe in our grand
      images of ourselves when we are rubbing shoulders with one or more
      reality checks all the time! These reality checks can point out
      genuine greatness in areas we might not have expected, but they can
      also underscore the pathetic comedy of our pretensions.
      Both are useful for humility, both lead to truth. Those pointing out
      our flaws are no more infallible than we are, but they can often be a
      lot more objective.

      Ever watch a foreign film with the audio badly dubbed into another
      language? It is jarring and annoying. What St. Benedict is saying to
      all of us here is to get the picture and the sound into synchronized
      form. For all Christians, all Benedictines, there should be no
      disparity between video and audio! Lofty ideal that!

      St. Benedict knew that loftiness would be hard for us to reach, too.
      He knew there would be beams in our eyes, specks in others'. Hence, a
      lot of this boils down to approach and attitude. Come on to others
      from a position of "I'm OK and you are not," and see where it gets
      you. You might make a temporary dent. You might even change a few of
      the really less than bright.

      Most wise people, however, will give you a lot of room. They see the
      mask, the falsity there, and it inhibits much else from getting through to
      them. It's like really competent actors being cast in a role that does
      not fit them at all. One sits through the whole movie thinking: "No way
      can I believe that she is so-and-so!" "Great play, nice plot, but I didn't find
      the male lead credible..."

      Hopefully, at that final Awards night, there will be Tony's, Emmies
      and Oscars for all of us, with maybe a Golden Globe or two thrown
      into our totals!

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




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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX A blessed Easter to all! Christ is risen, truly He is risen!! Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temproal welfare of the following, for all their
      Message 355 of 355 , Apr 7 6:26 AM
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        +PAX

        A blessed Easter to all! Christ is risen, truly He is risen!!

        Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temproal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

        Luke, house sale - his house has been on the market for over a year and he really needs to sell it and downsize after the end of a long-term relationship.

        Deo Gratias, V. has been offered and very limited place next year on the post-graduate course of his dreams...now he needs the money to pay for it.

        Funding for D. to further his studies, or inspiration for something even better.

        Continued prayers for baby Grace and her family. She is stable but still on oxygen in the house 24/7, and is waiting to see a specialist.

        Jual, young mother of three battling breast cancer. Nodules found in her lung. Having surgery Sunday.

        Prayers for safe journey, and back, for an extended family going on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land for almost 2 weeks, and prayers for a wonderful time.

        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 8, August 8, December 8
        Chapter 55: On the Clothes and Shoes of the Brethren


        For bedding let this suffice:
        a mattress, a blanket, a coverlet and a pillow.

        The beds, moreover, are to be examined frequently by the Abbot,
        to see if any private property be found in them.
        If anyone should be found to have something
        that he did not receive from the Abbot,
        let him undergo the most severe discipline.

        And in order that this vice of private ownership
        may be cut out by the roots,
        the Abbot should provide all the necessary articles:
        cowl, tunic, stockings, shoes, belt,
        knife, stylus, needle, handkerchief, writing tablets;
        that all pretext of need may be taken away.
        Yet the Abbot should always keep in mind
        the sentence from the Acts of the Apostles
        that "distribution was made to each according as anyone had need"
        (Acts 4:35).
        In this manner, therefore,
        let the Abbot consider weaknesses of the needy
        and not the ill-will of the envious.
        But in all his decisions
        let him think about the retribution of God.

        REFLECTION

        There is a tendency, both within the cloister and without, to hunt
        for dramatic ascetic practices, while ignoring the truly more
        difficult matters that lack the fanfare. Lights! Camera! Action! We
        must always be wary of the Nora Desmonds of our hearts, who are
        always willing to say, a la Sunset Boulevard: "I'm ready for my close-
        up now, Mr. DeMille." How we do love to star, even at self-
        abnegation... Sigh...

        Well, there's two bad pieces of new for Ms. Desmond et al. First the
        penances we choose are usually not the most effective ones. The
        best ones are imposed by God or our situation of daily duty and they
        become tremendous means of grace when we patiently embrace them.
        Second, the ones we do choose can be terrible risks for pride, which
        undoes our efforts so insidiously.

        What on earth does this have to do with the current chapter? Easy-
        and very, very hard, too! The great ascesis here is to aim at
        limiting ourselves to "all the necessary articles." There is a
        challenge here for everyone from Abbot Primate to newest Oblate
        novice. It is a challenge we shall likely never meet fully in life,
        so it is something we can always be profitably picking at!

        Do you know anyone at all, in any vocation, who has absolutely
        nothing beyond what they need? I have known a few; alas I cannot
        say it of myself. I think this is an area where we can all look at a challenging
        and
        grace-filled ascetic struggle that is placed on us by the Holy Rule.

        Down-sizing actually feels great, once one gets over the consumerist
        terror of doing so! One will quickly find that, in this area, less
        really *IS* more, (unlike poetry and art, architecture and liturgy,
        alas...! Minimalism there gets old fast...) We become freer when we
        let go of things which hold us more than we realize.

        We can get buried in things we are saving to complete unfinalized
        plans that will never come to fruition, and while we save them, we
        are disheartened by our own failure to use them. Jettison, m'dears,
        jettison. As the one Desert Father used to say to the brethren,"Flee,
        brothers, flee!" so do I say: "Jettison!"

        This has the further charm of fitting well into a depressive's sofa
        paralysis, too. Recall how I told you about that resolution to make
        three things, no matter how tiny, better each day? Works here, too!
        And you will often find to your delight that the trip to dumpster or thrift
        shop donation includes 7, 8, or more things!

        Keep chipping away and the mountain of our false hearts' desires,
        beloveds. And one day may all those chips be ground to sand and may
        we stand together on level, smooth quartz
        sand, confronted by nothing but the dazzling ocean of God's
        unfathomable mercy and love!

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




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