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Nov 19

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX March 20, July 20, November 19 Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken From holy Easter until Pentecost let the brothers take dinner at the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 19, 2002
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      March 20, July 20, November 19
      Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken
      From holy Easter until Pentecost
      let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
      and supper in the evening.


      From Pentecost throughout the summer,
      unless the monks have work in the fields
      let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
      on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
      This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
      if they have work in the fields
      or the heat of summer is extreme;
      the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.


      Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
      in such a way that souls may be saved
      and that the brethren may do their work
      without just cause for murmuring.


      From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
      let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.


      In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
      But this evening hour shall be so determined
      that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
      Indeed at all seasons
      let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
      that everything will be done by daylight.

      REFLECTION

      Don't get caught up on times here. That's not the hook and it's not
      the point. It can also lead you down a primrose path to
      ineffectiveness and that's what (forgive me my recurrent inclusion!)
      the Mother of Lies wants to happen. Just yesterday I read on
      Oblateforum a story of a woman's very successful Lenten fast leading
      to a 28 pound weight loss and a desire she felt was out of line for
      new clothes and hairstyle! Just about anything can be turned around
      to evil by the Evil One, but EVERYTHING can be turned to good by God.
      Be sure to choose the right One in that equation!

      Here's the central point of this chapter: "...[the Abbot] should
      adapt and arrange everything in such a way that souls may be saved."
      That is a tremendous responsibility and it is also tremendously
      subjective. Each Abbot, each parent, each boss and teacher, any
      Benedictine in charge or anything must order things so "that souls
      may be saved."

      That means all things (well, after all, the Holy Rule DOES
      say "everything",) in our control must be ordered towards the end
      that Peter Maurin, co-founder of Catholic Worker, ascribed to society
      itself, the task of "making it easier for people to be good." That
      means no chop-busting for the sake of chop-busting, no power trips or
      ego trips or control issues that have nothing to do with helping
      people become holy. Not only must we remove obstacles to holiness for
      those around us and in our care, we must actually provide aids to
      sanctity in their environment. Now that is a very tall order!

      Within that tall order, however, lies one more secret and key to
      Benedictine peace. Peace is no accident, nor is it a void or vacuum
      from which conflict is merely absent. Peace is the active presence of
      justice and holiness and truth and love to an unusual degree.
      Promote those values and peace is the unavoidable result.

      Like so much in our Rule, peace is a lot of hard work and a very
      delicate balance. Ah, but is it ever worth the effort! Our work must
      be to let heaven begin at least partially in THIS life for all.



      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB

      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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