Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Holy Rule for Jan. 26

Expand Messages
  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Deo gratias and continued prayers, Gabby s convulsions have stopped and she has been discharged, blood work to follow. Please pray for the eternal rest of
    Message 1 of 355 , Jan 25, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      +PAX

      Deo gratias and continued prayers, Gabby's convulsions have stopped and she has been discharged, blood work to follow.

      Please pray for the eternal rest of Joseph, 99, and for all his loved ones and all who mourn him.

      Prayers for Jim, diagnosed with kidney disease due to high blood pressure, doctors are deciding on a course of treatment.

      Prayers for Marty, 30, diagnosed with testicular cancer and for his Mom, Christine and all his family.

      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

      January 26, May 27, September 26
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The first degree of humility, then,
      is that a person keep the fear of God before his eyes
      and beware of ever forgetting it.
      Let him be ever mindful of all that God has commanded;
      let his thoughts constantly recur
      to the hell-fire which will burn for their sins
      those who despise God,
      and to the life everlasting which is prepared
      for those who fear Him.
      Let him keep himself at every moment from sins and vices,
      whether of the mind, the tongue, the hands, the feet,
      or the self-will,
      and check also the desires of the flesh.

      REFLECTION

      Wow! Fearing God and hell-fire! It's a safe bet that this chapter was
      not the darling of the 1970's! But, if we look at it properly,
      there's nothing to get upset about here.

      God is perfect Unity, He is totally of a whole. He is all He is at
      once and utterly. Human beings, on the other hand, have minds that
      are finite and cannot wrap their intellects around such a perfectly
      holistic God without problems. One of those problems is what seem to
      us to be contradictions in God: His total, absolute Justice and His
      unfathomable, infinite Divine Mercy. Since we have a hard time
      figuring out both at once, we have a tendency to let one cancel out
      the other. God, to many, is either ALL hell-fire and dread or ALL
      pushover and cuddly. NOT!!

      Sorry, folks, but the nature of heresy is to take a real part of the
      truth and make it ALL of the truth, the only truth. Foul up the
      delicate balance here and you are in deep trouble. Face it, God's
      perfections don't seem to trouble Him any- perfection shouldn't,
      after all- so why should they get us hung up? Deep breath, lots of
      faith and let's go on...

      God is all at once, God is perfect, God does not change. OK, fine.
      But we change, time in which we are immersed changes, has to change.
      It is the nature of things. Hence, our convergences with God occur at
      different times, points and conditions. The whole equation changes,
      not because God changes, but because we do and must. Stop and think,
      the encounter between God and one lost in sin is different from the
      same person encountering God after years of conversion. The encounter
      between a living soul and one after death is different, not because
      God is, but because we are.

      We see different Persons of the Trinity predominant in different ages
      of salvation history. Might we not just as safely assume that
      different attributes of God predominate at different times in His
      dealings with us? Anyone who has lived any length of time at all with
      God can tell you that aridity and tenderness, loving kindness and
      seeming absence, joy and seriosity play off each other singly or in
      groups, like light dancing through the kaleidoscopes of our soul's
      broken glass and shattered gems. The pattern is always changing. All
      the elements are always there, but they are constantly regrouping,
      forming new and dare one say hardly boring designs!

      So, always try to remember that WE are the kaleidoscopes and that the
      Light shining through them does not change, even though our scattered
      bits may reflect it differently, to ourselves and to others. Check
      out the revelations of St. Catherine of Genoa and other mystics: the
      SAME Love that delights the soul is also the fire purifies it. She
      said that paradise had no gates: any who want may enter. Ah, but by
      choice, to enter there would be hell, indeed, for some. A priest
      once wrote that if the gates of hell were open, no one would leave.
      Same God, same Love, different us! His changeless Love will be hell
      for some, bliss for others. Choose bliss!!

      The justice is always there, but so is the mercy. Jesus told St.
      Faustina that now, in this life, is the time for mercy, which will
      never, ever be denied a soul. Dump that chance in this life and
      justice will be what you deal with in the next.

      It seems simplistically harsh, but it isn't. We are swimming, all but
      drowning in a sea of infinite mercy right now. When we leave that
      sea, we will wind up on the shore of justice, unless we have
      guaranteed that mercy is already ours. By asking, just by asking and
      trusting Him!

      God is not itching to nail us, eager to condemn. But we can tie His
      hands- we are the only creatures who can do so! We can insist on
      justice by rejecting His mercy. Not a smart move... His mercy and justice are
      part of a whole, they both perfectly reflect and employ His love.
      What changes is not God, but us. What changes is our willingness to
      accept or reject His overtures at any given moment.

      So, yeah, God is watching us all the time. But also, yeah, God
      forgives us the second we turn to him and trust in His mercy. God
      knows we aren't perfect, so He isn't surprised that we fall.

      We, on the other hand, can be distressingly wrong about how perfect
      we are! Our falls shock us badly, because we have so little humility.
      Think there might be a connection there about God doing or using all
      things to further His will? Our very falls teach us humility that we
      sorely lack!

      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, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        +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




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.