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Sept. 12

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Linda, for whom we prayed. Her biopsy came back positive for cancer and she has to see a surgeon on Monday. This is a tough time, as
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 12, 2003

      Prayers, please, for Linda, for whom we prayed. Her biopsy came back
      positive for cancer and she has to see a surgeon on Monday. This is a
      tough time, as any who have been there know. Continued prayers for
      Fran, in an out of ICU and facing surgery to remove a clot in her
      leg, also for Hazel C., hospitalized with severe abdominal pain of
      unknown origin. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. Thanks so
      much! JL

      January 12, May 13, September 12
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

      Let her make no distinction of persons in the monastery.
      Let her not love one more than another,
      unless it be one whom she finds better
      in good works or in obedience.
      Let her not advance one of noble birth
      ahead of one who was formerly a slave,
      unless there be some other reasonable ground for it.
      But if the Abbess for just reason think fit to do so,
      let her advance one of any rank whatever.
      Otherwise let them keep their due places;
      because, whether slaves or free, we are all one in Christ (Gal. 3:28)
      and bear in equal burden of service
      in the army of the same Lord.
      For with God there is no respect of persons (Rom. 2:11).
      Only for one reason are we preferred in His sight:
      if we be found better than others in good works and humility.
      Therefore let the Abbess show equal love to all
      and impose the same discipline on all
      according to their deserts.


      A word of comfort here for parents, especially for parents of
      children who loudly proclaim that "Mom always liked you best!" or
      something of the sort. Switching his point of reference from the
      Abbot, who holds the place of Christ, to God Himself, St. Benedict
      points out that even with God, one is found better because of good
      works AND humility.

      As wide as the indubitable panoply of guilt trips that parents can
      throw and sometimes do, there is an equal or perhaps even greater
      repertoire of guilt trips that the recalcitrant child (of any age!)
      can throw right back. They hurt so badly that it is terribly hard for
      the parent, as a feeling person, not to pay attention to them. It is
      so important, however, for the parent to be balanced and adult and
      realize that guilt trips in anyone's hands, parent or child, are
      false. They are nothing more than a deflection of light from one's
      own faults. And we all need that light, even more so if we catch
      ourselves trying to shine it elsewhere.

      Children can be right, but children can easily be wrong, too. The
      same is true of parents, hopefully, though not always, to a lesser
      degree. When one can see a child is wrong and be fairly certain of
      it, it is terribly important not to cave in to the child's demands.
      Doing so will leave the kid with a conviction that this sort of
      nonsense works, that it is useful. This conviction may follow the
      child throughout life. Because its foundations are so imbedded in
      formative years, later attempts at confrontation in adulthood may
      never root it out. Be awfully careful about agreeing to games your
      children set up for you in this regard. It could do you and them a
      great, great deal of harm.

      Guilt has a place and has a validity, but guilt trips, a distortion
      of reality, do not. They are games, risky and false. They are painful
      games, so it is hard for us to recall, in the midst of our pain, that
      what is basically going on has as much bearing on reality and truth
      as an evening of Monopoly or Scrabble or chess, and is quite probably
      even less real!

      Humility is truth. Jesus said "I am the Truth." See the connection?
      Even though terribly hard and hurtful at times, humility denies us
      the luxury of taking guilt trips seriously. Humility means we will
      neither throw them nor catch them with any degree of credibility. We
      cannot, if humble, buy into falsehood. That's hard to do sometimes,
      but it is our call.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA
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