Holy Rule for Apr. 16
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Roger and Rosemary, who celebrate 40 years of marriage. Ad Multos Annos!
Katie, who has lymphoma. She has been undergoing chemo. She has one more treatment left to do but her Doctors have discovered some lumps in her breast. They think it is cancer in the lymph nodes in her breast.
Lydia's fifteen year-old sister, for whom we have prayed before, she has not responded to the last option of treatment. The doctors believe that she will not live past December, and may not make it even that long. Prayers, please, for Lydia, her sister's happy death, her family, friends and coworkers.
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 16, August 16, December 16
Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received
But if as a guest she was found exacting or prone to vice,
not only should she be denied membership in the community,
but she should even be politely requested to leave,
lest others be corrupted by her evil life.
If, however, she has not proved to be the kind
who deserves to be put out,
she should not only on her own application be received
as a member of the community,
but she should even be persuaded to stay,
that the others may be instructed by her example,
and because in every place it is the same Lord who is served,
the same King for whom the battle is fought.
Moreover, if the Abbess perceives that she is worthy,
she may put her in a somewhat higher rank.
[And not only with regard to a nun
but also with regard to those in priestly or clerical orders
the Abbess may establish them in a higher rank
than would be theirs by date of entrance
if she perceives that their life is deserving.
Let the Abbess take care, however,
never to receive a nun from another known monastery
as a member of her community
without the consent of her Abbess or a letter of recommendation;
for it is written,
"Do not to another what you would not want done to yourself" (Tob.
*(The gender switch is built in at the Collegeville OSB site.) [Applicable
women of some contemporary monastic communities
in Protestant Communions.]
Not all criticism is good. Every person at the door of your
workplace, home or monastery is a challenge for virtue from God. They
may even be doing His will unwittingly by their pickiness or
crankiness, but they are not therefore necessarily right.
That means that every single criticism should be carefully weighed.
Sometimes the message God sends is positive, sometimes
negative, sometimes merely an exercise in endurance! Trust me, I
worked in the guest house for over twelve years... The person who
annoys you could be right, but not always!
Some of us are so complacent that we badly need to be taken down a
bit. Others, however, have such wounded self-esteem that they will
need protection, need to be careful and yes, MINDFUL enough to
balance what is said to them by critical types. Hear what people say,
but sift it very carefully. They might be wrong.
Some people, I have no doubt, are sent to us for no
reason other than to teach us to recognize such fools as those of
whom St. Paul speaks and suffer them [hopefully!] gladly, or at least
start working at suffering them civilly. Gladly is a pretty tall order!
Some of us, too, need to listen to this while putting ourselves in
the role of the guest or the listeners. I remember a priest in the mid
1970's, after Vatican II, who thought every single homily should "shake 'em up a bit." Well,
yes and no and neither, at times. Not every "pearl" of wisdom is
For one thing, he missed the fact that, by that time, most of the
flock had been "shaken up" quite regularly for 7 years or so, and
not always for the best nor always by the brightest. People quite
rightly get weary of that. They tune out.
He got his chance at first, but it wasn't long before our only response
was annoyance, followed soon thereafter by relative deafness. ("Oh no,
look who's celebrant today...") He missed the balance and when one
misses balance, one largely fails.
Even "Father Disturbus" had the occasional good idea, but that got
buried in the avalanche of not so hot stuff. Learn, if you don't
already know, how to filter people like that. Even a stopped clock is
right twice a day and there might be something worthwhile buried in all
Strive to never be a person like that. Don't make a life calling out of
shaking people up, they'll get over you fast. You don't want that to happen,
you want to keep their attention until they can hear Christ in your speech
and see Him in your life. Jostling nerves is not the best way to attract others
to the Gospel.
But neither should a timidly, uncharitable politeness make you afraid to
speak when it is really necessary and might actually help. The monastic
tendency to avoid conflict, often at virtually any cost, is not always kind.
It is often nothing more than cowardice. As usual m'dears, balance, ALWAYS
balance! And ALWAYS kindness. When you have to say something difficult,
the loving tone will most likely be heard, the strident one will usually
serve only to make matters worse and hurts deeper.
It is a sad fact that many of the "Disturbi" of the world
have no clue, none at all, how annoying they are. Try very hard to
ascertain whether or not you're one of them, and if you are, please
stop! For everyone's sake.
Love and prayers,
Jerome, OSB (who can be a bit of a Disturbus at times himself!)
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Matt and Bettie are celebrating 22 years of marriage, not 201 as they awful typo reads. I thought it was 21 years, but Matt kindly corrected my mistake.