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Holy Rule for July 26

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX A blessed feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin, to all and especially prayers for all our Anns and Joachim s on their nameday.
    Message 1 of 236 , Jul 25, 2012
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      A blessed feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin, to all
      and especially prayers for all our Anns and Joachim's on their nameday.

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

      Anthony and his doctors and family. He will being undergoing critical heart surgery at Children's Hospital.

      Sara and her sister. Sara is having a hard time coping with her sister's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, usually fatal within a year and wants to be suppoortive. Prayers for them both.

      Callum, 4, seriously ill in the hospital with pnemonia and the fluid is not draining off. And for his parents and brother.

      Brian, still in a lot of pain after surgery and awaiting heart valve surgery.

      Lucille, who is now scheduled for surgery next Monday to find the source of her liver blockage. She is encouraged by the fact that her lab work does not seem to indicate Cancer, but she is still terribly uncomfortable with severe itching all over and jaundice.

      C., off of work with stress/anxiety/depression. He had a breakdown in 2009, despite a happy marriage/home life. His problems are at work, and none of the issues raised at the time of his going off initially were ever addressed. In fact, there is a history of long-term stress-induced absence there (several years, several workers) - it is not a nice place to work.

      G, same work place, too much work loaded onto him, too little help, and not a great deal of self-confidence. His wife left him a few months ago and he has had to move in with his parents until he finds somewhere suitable to go.

      Greg, financial insecurity - no work, no regular income, and not quite at retirement age.

      Deo Gratias, Sandy, 90, has been moved from hospital into the same care home where his late wife, Esther, spent her last 3 years. Sandy knows the place well, and the staff know him and are fond of him.

      Deo gratias, Helen is doing well after hernia surgery and thanks all for prayers.

      Caroline's mother who is awaiting blood results in order that she may have some needed oral surgery.

      for the safety and protection for a man who recently began work in a branch of law enforcement.

      Belated prayers for our Br. Bernard on the anniversary of his solemn profession
      yesterday.

      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 26, July 26, November 25
      Chapter 46: On Those Who Fail in Any Other Matters

      When anyone is engaged in any sort of work, whether in the kitchen, in
      the cellar, in a shop, in the bakery, in the garden, while working at
      some craft, or in any other place, and she commits some fault, or breaks
      something, or loses something, or transgresses in any other way
      whatsoever, if she does not come immediately
      before the Abbess and the community of her own accord
      to make satisfaction and confess her fault, then when it becomes known
      through another, let her be subjected to a more severe correction.

      But if the sin-sickness of the soul is a hidden one, let her reveal it
      only to the Abbess or to a spiritual mother, who knows how to cure her
      own and others' wounds without exposing them and making them public.


      REFLECTION

      The Chapter of Faults, wherein monastics confessed public, external
      faults, had become rather routine the way it was practiced before Vatican
      II. I remember, years ago, seeing a glossary list of Latin phrases used
      to describe different faults. As practiced, I'm not sure it was the most
      useful thing in the world at all.

      However, look at the kernel here, important for both monasteries and
      families: communication. What St. Benedict wrote about was not the
      formalized and largely empty ritual that the late 20th century had come
      to know, it was an airing session of sorts. These can be very useful.
      People in any life are often reluctant to open up about what bothers
      them, monastics are often even more so! To provide a structured way and
      time to do so might have given some just the extra distance and
      protection they needed.

      Slights and wrongs and hurts that lie hidden and unexpressed can
      fester into a spreading, malignant growth. Note that the Holy Rule
      bids us never let the sun set on our anger. We have to get the things
      that REALLY bother us out. This hardly means a free for all, that would
      be very contrary to the whole spirit of the Rule, but it does mean that
      genuine differences must be solved in an open and
      respectful and humble way.

      The way for today's community or family may not be to do this all
      together- but then again that might not be all bad, occasionally. At
      any rate and however we do it, St. Benedict asks us to own up to our
      failures and those of others because he knows it is terribly damaging
      not to do so. A important item here is that the all the members must
      feel safe to express themselves. How many kids who were afraid to open
      their mouths to a parent about really serious troubles in their
      relationship are still in therapy years later?

      Whether alone or in a group, when we confess our fault to others, we
      lighten our load. When we honestly and gently tell others that they have
      hurt us or wronged us, we are often surprised to find that they were
      unaware of having done so- no wonder they "kept right on doing it!" We
      can also be wonderfully surprised at the depth of feeling with which
      apologies may be made. Very often the gentle and loving exposure of a
      problem between people gives us remarkable opportunities to show our
      nobler side and to see that side of our brothers and sisters.

      The goal of this is peace, so it must never be done for any other
      motive, for anything less than loving. There is the danger that we
      lose track of the important "difference between the virtue of honesty
      and the vice of brutal frankness" as my friend, Fr. Roger used to say.
      This must never become an accepted arena for getting back at one
      another. The whole purpose here is to end strife, not perpetuate it.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://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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        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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