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Brother Jerome's Reflection: Oct 5

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  • michael_oblate (aka carmelitanum)
    +PAX Please pray for a young Italian woman named Antonella who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery will be on Wed, 5 Oct. Please pray for Bob who
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 4, 2011
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      Please pray for a young Italian woman named Antonella who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery will be on Wed, 5 Oct.

      Please pray for Bob who has been advised that he will have to undergo amputation of his leg to
      treat cancer, and for all of his very worried family.

      Please pray for the happy death and eternal repos of Mary C, aged 83 who died in hospital following a series of mini strokes. Prayers for Ashley her grandson, and all her family who mourn her passing. Pray God that he will help this family resolve their internal problems and be at peace with one another.

      Please pray for Yoshi--for the reunifcation of his family and their housing and financial needs.

      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 4, June 5, October 5
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The seventh degree of humility
      is that he consider himself lower and of less account
      than anyone else,
      and this not only in verbal protestation
      but also with the most heartfelt inner conviction,
      humbling himself and saying with the Prophet,
      "But I am a worm and no man,
      the scorn of men and the outcast of the people" (Ps. 21:7).
      "After being exalted, I have been humbled
      and covered with confusion" (Ps. 87:16).
      And again,
      "It is good for me that You have humbled me,
      that I may learn Your commandments" (Ps. 118:71).

      REFLECTION

      So many people get blown away arguing against the line: "I am a worm
      and no man..." that they completely miss a crucially important fact.
      Very ancient interpretation of this Psalm has the Suffering Servant,
      Jesus, as its focus. Jesus Himself quoted its opening line from the
      Cross: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" There are numerous
      allusions to the crucifixion in this Psalm, casting lots for
      garments, piercing hands and feet and the derision of the crowd, to
      name a few.

      OK, so if we dare to put these wormy terms in the mouth of Christ,
      how come we get upset about saying the same of ourselves? Good
      question! If HE can say it, even metaphorically, we surely should
      have no problem!

      But many seem to have a big problem there, so let's look at the
      matter from a different angle. We absolutely cannot know that others
      are worse than us. It's not possible, because we cannot see into
      their hearts, we cannot know every factor in their guilt or lack
      thereof. We cannot know that they are not better than us.
      God alone can know all those things.

      OK, one argues, so if we can't know anyone is worse, we sure can't
      know if they're better, either. Quite right! Our God-given natural
      assessment abilities allow us to be sure of no one's wickedness or
      goodness, not even our own state of grace. But we have more facility
      in self-judgement than we have in regard to others. We have more
      parts of the puzzle there, even though we still don't have them all,
      we have windows into our own hearts and minds that we have in no
      other case.

      So, with all this ironclad uncertainty, why would Scripture and the
      Holy Rule ask us to think ourselves less than anyone else? For two
      very important reasons. First, it is the safest position to take.
      Even without full knowledge of ourselves, we have more information
      there than we have anywhere else. Secondly, it is the most profitable
      position for learning and spiritual growth.

      If we think someone is less than ourselves, there is little chance we
      will learn anything from her: we're so busy with patronizing
      condescension that only now and then will the woman's REAL words come
      through to us. On the other hand, if we think everyone has something
      to teach us, knowledge and growth start popping up all over the
      place, in some very unlikely locations! This attitude is part of
      listening, really listening.

      And after all, "Listen" is where our Rule begins!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA
    • carmelitanum
      +PAX Please continue prayers for the recovery of our good Brother Jerome. Please pray for healing for Andrew - TBI survivor who s having occasional seizures
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 4, 2014
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        +PAX


        Please continue prayers for the recovery of our good Brother Jerome.

        Please pray for healing for Andrew - TBI survivor who's having occasional seizures and might be self-medicating with alcohol.

        Please pray for the happy death and eternal repose of Dorothy Zelenak, mother of Oblate Diane Zelenak (ST. Vincent Archabbey), whose body died Wednesday, October 1st, 2014. Prayers also for her daughter Diane and all who mourn her.


        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 4, June 5, October 5
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The seventh degree of humility
        is that he consider himself lower and of less account
        than anyone else,
        and this not only in verbal protestation
        but also with the most heartfelt inner conviction,
        humbling himself and saying with the Prophet,
        "But I am a worm and no man,
        the scorn of men and the outcast of the people" (Ps. 21:7).
        "After being exalted, I have been humbled
        and covered with confusion" (Ps. 87:16).
        And again,
        "It is good for me that You have humbled me,
        that I may learn Your commandments" (Ps. 118:71).

        REFLECTION

        So many people get blown away arguing against the line: "I am a worm
        and no man..." that they completely miss a crucially important fact.
        This Psalm has the Suffering Servant,
        Jesus, as its focus. Jesus Himself quoted its opening line from the
        Cross: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" There are numerous
        allusions to the crucifixion in this Psalm, casting lots for
        garments, piercing hands and feet and the derision of the crowd, to
        name a few.

        OK, so if we dare to put these wormy terms in the mouth of Christ,
        how come we get upset about saying the same of ourselves? Good
        question! If HE can say it, even metaphorically, we surely should
        have no problem!

        But many seem to have a big problem there, so let's look at the
        matter from a different angle. We absolutely cannot know that others
        are worse than us. It's not possible, because we cannot see into
        their hearts, we cannot know every factor in their guilt or lack
        thereof. We cannot know that they are not better than us.
        God alone can know all those things.

        So, with all this ironclad uncertainty, why would Scripture and the
        Holy Rule ask us to think ourselves less than anyone else? For two
        very important reasons. First, it is the safest position to take.
        Even without full knowledge of ourselves, we have more information
        there than we have anywhere else. Secondly, it is the most profitable
        position for learning and spiritual growth.

        If we think someone is less than ourselves, there is little chance we
        will learn anything from her: we're so busy with patronizing
        condescension that only now and then will the woman's REAL words come
        through to us. On the other hand, if we think everyone has something
        to teach us, knowledge and growth start popping up all over the
        place, in some very unlikely locations! This attitude is part of
        listening, really listening.

        And after all, "Listen" is where our Rule begins!

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        St. Mary's Monastery - the Benedictine monks of Petersham, MA USA.
        Petersham, MA


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