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Holy Rule for June 11

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical helath of the following, for all their loved ones: our Oblate, Bill White, and for his wife,
    Message 1 of 355 , Jun 10, 2011
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      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical helath of the following, for all their loved ones:

      our Oblate, Bill White, and for his wife, Terry, and all their family. He is being ordained to the permanent Diaconate today.

      Dave, on retreat for Rite of Candidacy in permanent Diaconate program, and for Marian, his wife and all their family.

      Brittany, 20, for safe travel home on heavily trafficked roads this weekend.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Sr. Janice, OSB, of Jamberoo Abbey in Australia, and for her Community and family and all who mourn her.

      Prayers for Dorothy, 95, failing badly and for all her family.

      Prayers of Deo gratias and thanksgiving for Richard and Mary Lou, celebrating
      their 38th year of marriage yesterday, and for Matt and Bette, celebrating 17
      years today.

      Prayers for Jean Sheridan, on her birthday. I think she may be 39-
      again!

      Prayers for C., celebrating 25 years in AA.

      Prayers for Cas Ilenda on his birthday. Deo gratias for all!

      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 10, June 11, October 11
      Chapter 8: On the Divine Office During the Night

      In the winter time,
      that is from the Calends of November until Easter,
      the sisters shall rise
      at what is calculated to be the eighth hour of the night,
      so that they may sleep somewhat longer than half the night
      and rise with their rest completed.
      And the time that remains after the Night Office
      should be spent in study
      by those sisters who need a better knowledge of the Psalter
      or the lessons.

      From Easter to the aforesaid Calends of November,
      the hour of rising should be so arranged that the Morning Office,
      which is to be said at daybreak,
      will follow the Night Office after a very short interval,
      during which they may go out for the necessities of nature.

      REFLECTION

      In St. Benedict's time, and for centuries afterwards, life on a self-sustaining
      farm, which monasteries were supposed to be, was far more difficult and
      time consuming than it would be today. The simplest things that we now do
      with the flick of a switch were big deals, involving lots of human workers and
      every available daylight hour.

      Hence, the monks got up early, very early, to get in much of their monastic day
      before the sun (and the critters!) rose for the day. There was, of course, a
      penitential aspect to this early rising, too, and the ancient Christian practice
      of the night vigil.

      There's at least a possible hint for Oblates of today in all this. Get up a bit
      earlier if you can, and devote those silent and dark morning hours or minutes to
      your monastic endeavors. Knock off a late TV favorite and go to bed a tad
      earlier. We always find time for what we love most. If, however, one is married
      and has a spouse that doesn't want one to blissfully retire at 7:30 or so, this
      will not work. Marriage is a primary, sacramental vocation and demands
      precedence.

      Two very human glimpses into the personality of St. Benedict here. He
      is thoughtful and kind, making sure the monastics have time for a
      bathroom run and he is not prudish about mentioning it. Its part of
      the human and part of family life. As casually as a Mother asks young
      children if anybody "has to go" before a trip, he throws out mention
      of the fact that not everyone could make it through two long services
      without great discomfort!

      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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        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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