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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 237 , Aug 5 5:22 AM
      +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






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      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.
      Message 237 of 237 , Jun 10, 2016

        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.

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