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Holy Rule for June 27

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Deo gratias, all 5 lung nodules on Stuart s biopsy came out benign, he has histoplasmosis and addiction issues, so continued prayers, please. Prayer
    Message 1 of 355 , Jun 26, 2011
      +PAX

      Deo gratias, all 5 lung nodules on Stuart's biopsy came out benign, he has histoplasmosis and addiction issues, so continued prayers, please.

      Prayer please for Julie,age 32, mother of a one year old. Julie was recently diagnosed with cancer of the spine and liver. She needs a miracle.

      Prayers, please, for Father Zuhlsdorf, blogger at What Does the Prayer Really Say, (which I enjoy and recommend,) two very special intentions.

      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 26, June 27, October 27
      Chapter 20: On Reverence in Prayer

      When we wish to suggest our wants to persons of high station,
      we do not presume to do so
      except with humility and reverence.
      How much the more, then,
      are complete humility and pure devotion necessary
      in supplication of the Lord who is God of the universe!
      And let us be assured
      that it is not in saying a great deal that we shall be heard (Matt
      6:7),
      but in purity of heart and in tears of compunction.
      Our prayer, therefore, ought to be short and pure,
      unless it happens to be prolonged
      by an inspiration of divine grace.
      In community, however, let prayer be very short,
      and when the Superior gives the signal let all rise together.

      REFLECTION

      There is a necessary tension in Benedictine prayer, both public and
      private, between the awesome majesty and otherness of God and His
      infinite closeness and approachability. God is among us. He is not
      the guy next door, but neither is He some untouchable, easily
      offended emperor or sultan. Both these truths must be addressed in
      order to maintain a correct balance.

      God doesn't need ceremony, He doesn't need anything. All the high
      church in the world might (or might not...) tickle His fancy, but it
      does not one whit for Him personally. The rub here is that WE need
      what we offer to God, and that has been all too often forgotten in
      the last 40 years or so. In a very real and subtle sense, we BECOME
      what we offer to God, often quite unnoticed by ourselves.

      The upshot of all this is clear: offer God the lowest possible common
      denominator and that is what those offering will become; offer Him
      empty and presumptuous high church and be not surprised when those
      offering such things become rather pathetically silly themselves. In
      fact, sad fact, either extreme will make people pathetically silly
      and spiritually impoverished besides.

      Balance, always balance! The Holy Rule says "our prayer should short
      and pure." Fine, but the last part of that phrase has often gotten
      lost in the struggles of reform. Just plain short doesn't get it. God
      doesn't care about short, except insofar as it cheats us, those He
      loves. The balance of short AND pure will feed a normal soul well.
      Hence, if you find liturgy in any given place leaves you at least
      hungry and maybe starving, it's a safe guess that something might be
      wrong. God is still served, but His people often are not. That should
      upset both God and us.


      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      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
        +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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