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Holy Rule for June 3

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX It s the First Friday of the month of the Sacred Heart, June. Why not make a good Confession and Communion today and start making the nine First Fridays?
    Message 1 of 355 , Jun 2, 2011
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      +PAX

      It's the First Friday of the month of the Sacred Heart, June. Why not make a good Confession and Communion today and start making the nine First Fridays? Jesus promised the grace of final penitence, a happy death with all the graces needed, to all who would. Just a thought...

      Prayers for the sisters at St Benedict Monastery Bristow, VA celebrating their jubilees this Saturday: Sisters Anita Sherwood, Henry Marie Zimmermann, Anne Marie Lange, Mary Patricia Herrity and Miki Planter-Bromell.

      Prayers for a peaceful and happy death of Fr. John
      Farrelly, OSB of Saint Anselm's Abbey, Washington, DC

      Prayers for a special intention for someone.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Mark, who took his own life, and for his wife and all his family and all who mourn him.

      Prayers for Steven, MS and in a wheelchair, serious respiratorydifficulties and for his Mom and principal caregiver, Julia,who hasjust found out she has breast cancer and will not be aable to do all she has been. The family will have to pith in, so prayers for them all.

      And go ahead and say a prayer for me, if you would. I am 62 today, June 3. I KNOW beyond a doubt that it was only the prayers of so many of you that have kept me going and healthy. I never expected to see this age! Thanks and prayers for all of you, too!

      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 2, June 3, October 3
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The fifth degree of humility
      is that he hide from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts
      that enter his heart
      or the sins committed in secret,
      but that he humbly confess them.
      The Scripture urges us to this when it says,
      "Reveal your way to the Lord and hope in Him" (Ps. 36:5)
      and again,
      "Confess to the Lord, for He is good,
      for His mercy endures forever" (Ps. 105:1).
      And the Prophet likewise says,
      "My offense I have made known to You,
      and my iniquities I have not covered up.
      I said: 'I will declare against myself my iniquities to the Lord;'
      and 'You forgave the wickedness of my heart'" (Ps. 31:5).

      REFLECTION

      A caution here: the Holy Rule uses the Septuagint version's numbering
      of the Psalms, not the Hebrew. Since most Bibles today use the latter
      system, even many Catholic editions, you might find that the Psalm
      referred to in this passage, which I strongly recommend you read
      through, is 32, not 31.

      Psalm 31 (32) is a wonderful exposition of sin and forgiveness. It
      begins by recounting the joy of one whose sin has been forgiven, then
      proceeds to unfold how concealing sin affects one and confessing sin
      heals one. In v. 3-4, immediately prior to the 5th verse which St.
      Benedict quotes, we find the following: "I kept it secret and my
      frame was wasted. I groaned all the day long for night and day Your
      hand was heavy upon me. Indeed, my strength was dried up as by the
      summer's heat."

      Guilty secrets control us, they rob us of our freedom, they destroy
      our peace. Long before one's frame is wasted (though that, too will
      eventually happen,) one's mind and spirit are trashed, laid low by
      the relentless fear of discovery. It's very true that one can run,
      but not hide. It is also true that, without the peace such shameful
      hiding steals from us, we shall have a MUCH harder time with our spiritual
      life.

      What the guilty one is fleeing is within herself, and
      travels right along with her. Ever see a news clip about a fugitive
      who successfully hid for decades and then was caught? I wonder what
      kind of life they had in the meantime, a life never free, a life that
      always had to fear. This is not what Jesus called us to.

      One may not belong to a tradition which practices sacramental
      confession, but all of us need the abscesses of our secret guilt
      lanced and drained somehow. AA, a spiritual program which can fit
      itself to any religion or no religion, insists that without confession to at
      least one other trustworthy person, our faults are likely to rule us forever.
      Don't spill your beans to just anyone, but don't hold them festering
      within, either! [A heavy PS, too: if you do belong to a Church that
      has sacramental Confession, GO!! Too many put that off at great
      risk and harm to themselves.]

      What keeps us chained to our dirty secrets is lack of faith, lack of
      trust: no one will love me if they know this, not God, not anyone.
      Well, the ending verses of Psalm 31(32) deal quite neatly with this
      falsehood:

      "Many sorrows have the wicked, but those who trust in the Lord,
      loving mercy surrounds them. Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, exult, you
      just! O come, ring out your joy, all you upright of heart!" (Ps.
      31:10-11)

      Not only does God forgive, but the guilty one now freed is accounted
      as among the just and the upright of heart, without any further ado.
      Now THAT is Divine Mercy! No heart is more full of such infinite
      mercy than the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Trust Him!

      Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You. Jesus, meek and
      humble of Heart, make our hearts like unto Yours.

      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, 2012
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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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