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Holy Rule for Aug. 6

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the Camaldolese nuns of Transfiguration Monastery, Windsor, NY, on their patronal feast. Prayers for the eternal rest of the
    Message 1 of 236 , Aug 5 5:22 AM
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the Camaldolese nuns of Transfiguration Monastery, Windsor, NY, on their patronal feast.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of the following, for all their loved ones and all who mourn them:

      Troy, 45, heart attack while jogging, and esp. for his Mom, Judy, aand all their family.

      Peg's nephew, killed in a motorcycle acccident.

      Victoria's friend, who died suddenly choking on food, and for Victoria, who must give the difficult eulogy at her funeral.

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

      Dale, prostate cancer, not curable, but prayers the life extending treatemnts work at their best.

      Kenni Faye, surgery for kidney cancer.

      Maryann, colon and liver problems.

      Ren, treatment for bladder cancer.

      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 6, August 6, December 6
      Chapter 54: Whether a Monastic Should Receive Letters or Anything
      Else

      On no account shall a monastic be allowed to receive letters,
      blessed tokens or any little gift whatsoever from parents or anyone
      else, or from her sisters, or to give the same,
      without the Abbess's permission. But if anything is sent her even by
      her parents, let her not presume to take it before it has been shown
      to the Abbess. And it shall be in the Abbess's power to decide to
      whom it shall be given, if she allows it to be received; and the
      sister to whom it was sent should not be grieved, lest occasion be
      given to the devil.

      Should anyone presume to act otherwise, let her undergo the
      discipline of the Rule.


      REFLECTION

      Community, even in its Latin roots ( "com" meaning with and "unitas"
      meaning unity,) is fully dependent upon unity. Do anything to
      threaten or destroy that unity and you have threatened or destroyed
      the community itself. For this reason, St. Benedict goes out of his
      way to explain why some exceptions must be made on account of
      infirmity or weakness and also expressly forbids other forms of
      favoritism. This chapter is a prime example of the Holy Rule
      giving firm and adamant instructions about inequality.

      St. Benedict has already made it clear that monastics are to be
      given everything they need, truly need. He has even made some
      provision for those whose weakness makes further consideration
      necessary. Remember, our Benedictine poverty is based on lack of
      excess, not extreme want. If, through violating the principles in
      this chapter, excess is allowed to creep in for a few, it will
      result in hard feelings, jealousies and other unlovely traits that
      will strike at the heart of common unity.

      Such excess also damages the individual monastic receiving it. The
      monastic struggle is stymied if one enters rich and, thanks to his
      family, remains so, or if one enters poor and latches onto a
      benefactor whose gifts make one rich by comparison. Just as oxygen is
      necessary for fire, so is a certain equality necessary for
      community. We need that community, because, as Benedictines, it is
      our way to God. We dare not threaten it with "Animal Farm"
      adaptations that find us saying that "some monastics are more equal
      than others."

      What can Oblates glean here? Well, what about our attitudes towards
      classism and the world at large? How smugly indifferent dare we be
      about anyone in abject poverty, about any system or government that
      keeps people in such dire straits? How do we assess our own economic
      position in regards to sharing? How much above others do we allow
      ourselves to be economically, socially? There are a wealth of deep questions
      here, and a wealth of troubling answers in the unjust inequalities
      that abound in human society when it is unaided by grace.

      One aside to close. We ask permission before giving things to one
      another. Shortly after I arrived here,
      the cellaress of the Sisters' community gave me a postcard of Canada
      geese, because she knew I liked them. This woman, who could by
      assigned charge do almost anything with the goods of the monastery, approached
      me with the card and said: "I have permission
      to give you this." I was impressed. It may seem silly to some, but I
      was truly edified.

      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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        +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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