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Oct. 1

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX A blessed feast of St. Therese the Little Flower to all! Prayers, please for Gray, 9 mos. old with a stage IV malignant tumor on his liver. Chemo has
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2003

      A blessed feast of St. Therese the Little Flower to all!

      Prayers, please for Gray, 9 mos. old with a stage IV malignant tumor
      on his liver. Chemo has already permanently impaired his hearing and
      he is to undergo surgery today for the removal of the tumor. Prayers
      for him and especially his parents and grandparents whose hearts are
      so anxious for him. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace.
      Thanks so much. JL

      January 31, June 1, October 1
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The third degree of humility is that a person
      for love of God
      submit himself to his Superior in all obedience,
      imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle says,
      "He became obedient even unto death."


      Looks a little repetitious here, doesn't it? Almost like St. Benedict
      was scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something to use for a
      third step, so he'd still wind up with twelve. Not so.

      This short passage tempts one to a short reading and that casual
      perusal will miss the terribly important things here. These are the
      important elements that frame and sustain our obedience: it is done
      for love of God, it is submission to another and it is lifelong.
      Remove any one of those mainstays and you no longer have a

      Like the Little Way of St. Therese, this looks deceptively simple.
      Humility and hiddeness can be readily mistaken for easily discounted
      wastes of time. In the world's eyes, they surely are, but in God's
      eyes, no way! It is the LOVE with which tiny, seemingly
      inconsequential things are done with great faith and faithfulness
      that makes such minutuae of infinite value when linked to Christ.

      St. Therese died at 24, quite firmly hidden in a strictly cloistered
      monastery of Carmelites that was hardly the crossroads of France.
      Today, however, the love with which she pursued little things and
      humility, has seen her elevated to sainthood and even more recently
      named a Doctor of the Church, only the third woman so honored. It is
      love and love alone which makes the most hidden of lives a bountiful
      harvest for the whole Church, for the whole Mystical Body of Christ.
      As the Gospel reminds us: "Nothing is hidden that will not be made

      It is nothing to persevere to the end without love. Nothing. It is
      nothing to obey without love, Eichmann did that quite admirably. Nor
      does it avail us anything at al to be obedient to ourselves: big
      challenge there! We'd wind up Sarabaites for sure, worshipping
      nothing but the idol of our own wills.

      This third degree gives the reason for Benedictine obedience: "for
      the love of God." We enact that love of God by trusting in those He
      has placed over us, by seeing Him in them, even when that is
      difficult. We do not obey for so little as orderly community,
      our obedience is not mere sociology, it is love. More even than just
      love, it is love of the One Who is Love at its highest perfection.

      Like Christ, for love, we become "obedient even unto death." During
      the Spanish Civil War, in the 30's, Communist forces raided the
      Benedictine monastery of El Pueyo, taking its 18 monks prisoner. One
      of the very significant things about this group is that many were
      just average monks, nothing special. All of them were martyred and
      one witness said that they went to their death "joyfully, as if going
      to a fiesta."

      Benedictine obedience of love, even unto death is decidedly not the
      kind that would please earthly tyrants. In fact, they'd gladly kill
      us for it. There is quite a likeness to our crucified Lord if we
      embrace that peril fully. And recovering our lost likeness to Him is
      what the whole of monastic struggle is about.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA
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