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Holy Rule for June 28

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Sophie, 3, who died from cancer, and for her parents and family and all who mourn her. Prayers for the spiritual
    Message 1 of 236 , Jun 27, 2012
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Sophie, 3, who died from cancer, and for her parents and family and all who mourn her.

      Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Deo gratias, Bentley's surgery went well, continued prayers for his recovery.

      Robbie, his car was hit while parked and totaled, he needs now to find a replacement he can afford, not an easy task.

      Jan, cancer in remission, but blind from it, awaiting a new assistance dog, as her old one died.

      Jody, major abdominal reconstruction surgery and in ICU, a long and tedious recovery is expected.

      Cas, having a cardiac stress test.

      John, unable to drive till October due to fainting spells. Problem must be diagnosed and treated before he can drive again.

      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 27, June 28, October 28
      Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery

      If the community is a large one,
      let there be chosen out of it
      brethren of good repute and holy life,
      and let them be appointed deans.
      These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
      observing the commandments of God
      and the instructions of their Abbot.


      Let men of such character be chosen deans
      that the Abbot may with confidence
      share his burdens among them.
      Let them be chosen not by rank
      but according to their worthiness of life
      and the wisdom of their doctrine.


      If any of these deans should become inflated with pride
      and found deserving of censure,
      let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time.
      If he will not amend,
      then let him be deposed
      and another be put in his place who is worthy of it.


      And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.

      REFLECTION

      Did anyone read this as I did at first, many years ago, and
      wonder: "Why did St. Benedict give them an academic name
      like "deans"? Well, it was probably the other way around! Since the
      first schools were monastic ones, it is quite likely that the
      term "dean" entered academia via the Holy Rule!

      Surely the academic gown of today is a modified form of our Benedictine
      choir robe, the cowl or cuculla. In fact, Benedictines used to wear their
      cucullas with the appropriate academic hoods as their formal dress at
      graduations and the like. With all due respect to the johnny-come-
      latelies like the Dominicans, Franciscans and Jesuits, when they don
      full academic regalia, they're wearing a derived form of our choir
      habit!

      But, enough of trivia...This chapter repeats another important
      consideration in St. Benedict's plan: people are not to be
      overburdened. This theme is less noticeable than the more important
      ones of moderation and the like, but it is there. Again and again,
      the Holy Rule says that people should have help with their charges,
      certain officials should even be exempted from serving in the
      refectory.

      Two things are going on here, both very important. Surely the first
      is kindness, gentle consideration for human frailty. The second,
      however, is every bit as defining and important: we are not our work,
      we are not our jobs, our vocation and worth is only connected to such
      things tangentially at best. Our motto is Work AND Prayer. The
      message is that neither of these should make the other impossible.

      This message is equally important for both choir monastics and
      Oblates. If your work is so much that your prayer suffers, something
      is wrong. However, especially true for those of us in the secular
      world, if your prayer is so much that your job or children or
      marriage suffers, something is REALLY wrong. If your work deprives
      your family or spouse, it might be time to look at changing it, time
      to rearrange goals and priorities a bit.

      One of the occasional problems of modern life everywhere is not just
      that we are too busy, but that we FOCUS too much attachment and will
      on stuff that really doesn't matter. Examine and change that focus.

      Picture your job today if you had died yesterday. The important stuff would
      still get done by someone else. The rest, your own agenda, would go merrily
      down the tubes. Well, learn from that!

      A LOT of our own agendas are worth little more than that: going down the
      tubes. So why waste so much time and spiritual and emotional energy on
      them? As it does so frequently, the Holy Rule and Benedictine life tell us:
      "Get real!"

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA








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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for al their loved ones and all who take care of them: Pat, terminal brain
      Message 236 of 236 , Nov 21, 2012
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for al their loved ones and all who take care of them:

        Pat, terminal brain cancer, for her happy death.

        Deo gratias, David got his contract, prayers for him in his new job.

        Debbie , a mother of two young children, just diagnosed with lymphoma leukemia;
        Shannon, that she know God's great love for her and be open to his guidance and will;

        for financial stability for two persons who are in debt

        Andrew, brain cancer, on his 31st birthday.

        Lorene, experiencing pains and illness symptoms and worried about results of what this could be. Please pray that she is fine and no disease/illness. Very frightened.

        for those still suffering from Hurricane Sandy. May they come out of this tragedy with optimism and find love, peace, health and happiness again.

        Paul C. and his family, for God's will to be done.

        Prayers for the eternal rest of John F. Kennedy, on the anniversary of his
        assassination.

        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


        March 23, July 23, November 22
        Chapter 43: On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table

        Anyone who does not come to table before the verse,
        so that all together may say the verse and the oration
        and all sit down to table at the same time --
        anyone who
        through his own carelessness or bad habit
        does not come on time
        shall be corrected for this up to the second time.
        If then he does not amend,
        he shall not be allowed to share in the common table,
        but shall be separated from the company of all
        and made to eat alone,
        and his portion of wine shall be taken away from him,
        until he has made satisfaction and has amended.
        And let him suffer a like penalty who is not present
        at the verse said after the meal.

        REFLECTION

        OK, before we all get hopelessly mired in the belief that St.
        Benedict is REALLY mired in punctuality issues, let's try a parable
        reality check. What if every bus (or train or plane or subway,)
        waited for the latecomer to arrive? For starters, the schedule of
        everyone sitting helpless on that mode of transportation would be
        disrupted. Everyone would be late, every single one. Some would miss
        work, others a wedding, others still a connection with friends to
        leave on vacation. If all public transport followed such a program,
        our whole world would be a chaotic mess of very unhappy campers in
        nothing flat.

        Benedictine communities do things together. Usually, that means that
        a late arrival at a meal keeps everyone sitting there when already
        finished, waiting for the tardy one to eat. (Occasionally a superior
        will intervene and end the meal more or less on time, but often that
        is not the case. Everybody waits.) This lengthening of the meal then
        throws the whole schedule off. The Office cannot suffer, it's times
        are inexorable, so what usually gets clipped is free time, recreation
        or work. Rob people of these on a regular basis and they can get very
        annoyed!

        Lateness which is unavoidable is just that, unavoidable. That's a
        time when the meal ought to be prolonged, when the others ought to
        witness that we "bear one another's burdens" and so fulfill the law
        of Christ. Brother X is my brother. I am responsible for a large chunk
        of his communal life. If I say that doesn't matter and stroll into
        dinner whenever I feel like it, something is terribly wrong with me.
        I need to have my skewed vision and values corrected. That's what
        this is all about: loving one another rightly.

        Much of the Holy Rule which deals with communal life (and is VERY
        easy to apply to family life or workplace,) has to do with what should
        really be common courtesy and decency. Granted, sometimes those values get
        wrapped in ancient language and gesture, making it less easy to see
        how simple and modern they are, but those exhortations to polite,
        considerate, gentle living are things anyone can follow in any milieu, to great
        benefit! Many of those courtesies are threatened or altogether lacking today.
        Helping keep them alive may start a conversion in another we will never know
        until heaven.

        Love and prayers,

        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA




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