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Holy Rule for June 7

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for a young diocesan Priest, Fr. B., burned out from running two parishes, now on 3 months sabbatical and perhaps questioning his vocation.
    Message 1 of 355 , Jun 6, 2011
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      +PAX

      Prayers for a young diocesan Priest, Fr. B., burned out from running two parishes, now on 3 months sabbatical and perhaps questioning his vocation.

      Prayers for Crystal, facing her pregnancy alone as a single Mom and having a lot of medical and emotional problems to deal with.

      Prayers for Rick, suffering from recurring urinary tract infections, that his doctor find a medicine or treatment that will be effective.
      Prayers please for the repose of the soul of Lyn who died on 22 May.
      Prayers too for Maureen, who fell again and now is in the clinic of her nursing home.

      Prayers for the safe journey home from Italy of Denise and Hans who are flying tonight.

      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 6, June 7, October 7
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The ninth degree of humility
      is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence,
      not speaking until he is questioned.
      For the Scripture shows
      that "in much speaking there is no escape from sin" (Prov. 10:19)
      and that "the talkative man is not stable on the earth" (Ps. 139:12).

      REFLECTION

      OK, if you are a parent, you cannot speak to your children only when
      they question you. The therapy bills in later years would be
      astronomical. There are many situations in a Benedictine life lived
      in the world, among non-monastics, where this has to be altered, but
      its kernel of truth must be discovered and maintained.

      WHY do we talk needlessly? Quite often it is nothing more than a
      trick to change the reality around us. We are bored, or we feel we
      are not getting enough attention or we think the mood too heavy, so
      we speak to change whatever annoys us at the moment. I should know.
      I am infamous for creating my own entertainment when things seem
      dull to me. That's not always a great idea...

      Some tough moments, some difficult stuff are meant to be endured.
      They are part of our necessary learning and growth. Ever notice how
      we assess a child's maturity by its ability to be quiet and non-
      fidgety in surroundings (like Church!) that do not spoon feed its
      attention span? Well, the same is true of us at every stage. We do
      ourselves harm if we defuse every single tense moment with a word or
      two. We cheat ourselves.

      All too often we speak only to remind the universe around us, which
      has carelessly forgotten for a second that we are its center, of a
      whole bevy of falsehoods: I am the cutest, smartest, or wittiest, I
      have the solution to all of this. What folly on the part of the
      entire cosmos to forget our importance! Better speak to clear the
      matter up...

      Those who know me are thinking: "HE wrote THIS?!?" Yes, alas, I am
      guilty of all I wrote. Three times a year the Holy Rule reminds me of
      that and each time I am aware that I need to work on it. Thanks be to
      God, the Rule IS read three times a year: usually by the time the
      next reading comes up, my interest has flagged and I have to start
      over. As for the part about the talkative not being "stable on the
      earth," well, there have been times in the last 18 years
      when God had to nail my feet to the floor to keep me faithful and I am
      not dead yet... I have not always been His most willing pupil, but
      oh, is He ever patient! And infinitely merciful!

      But, as one Desert Father said, that's what we do all day in
      monasteries: "We fall down and we get up."

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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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