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Holy Rule for Aug. 16

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for good health for Jim C. after a procedure to remove filters blocking blood clots. He is very anxious. Prayers for Michele, facing challenges
    Message 1 of 236 , Aug 15, 2012
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      Prayers for good health for Jim C. after a procedure to remove filters blocking blood clots. He is very anxious.

      Prayers for Michele, facing challenges at home and at work.

      Deo gratias, Kathy, for whom we prayed, has made a full recovery from her knee replacement.

      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 16, August 16, December 16
      Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received

      But if as a guest he was found exacting or prone to vice, not only
      should he be denied membership in the community, but he should even
      be politely requested to leave, lest others be corrupted by his evil

      If, however, he has not proved to be the kind who deserves to be put
      out, he should not only on his own application be received as a
      member of the community, but he should even be persuaded to stay,
      that the others may be instructed by his example, and because in
      every place it is the same Lord who is served, the same King for
      whom the battle is fought.

      Moreover, if the Abbot perceives that he is worthy, he may put him
      in a somewhat higher rank. And not only with regard to a monk, but
      also with regard to those in priestly or clerical orders previously
      mentioned, the Abbot may establish them in a higher rank than would
      be theirs by date of entrance if he perceives that their life is

      Let the Abbot take care, however, never to receive a monk from
      another known monastery
      as a member of his community without the consent of his Abbot or a
      letter of recommendation; for it is written, "Do not to another what
      you would not want done to yourself" (Tob. 4:16).


      Not all criticism is good. Every person at the door of your
      workplace, home or monastery has been sent or allowed there by God.
      They may even be doing His will unwittingly by their pickiness or
      crankiness. That doesn't mean that every single criticism should be
      taken to heart. Sometimes the message God sends is positive,
      sometimes negative, sometimes merely an exercise in endurance! Trust
      me, I worked in the guest house for over 12 years...

      Some of us are so complacent that we badly need to be taken down a
      bit. Others, however, have such wounded self-esteem that they will
      need protection, need to be careful and yes, MINDFUL enough to
      balance what is said to them by critical types. Hear what people say,
      but sift it very carefully.

      Critics might be right, but they might be wrong, too. Some people, I
      have no doubt, are sent to us for no reason other than to teach us
      to recognize such fools as those of whom St. Paul speaks and suffer
      them [hopefully!] gladly.

      Watch out for terribly angry or unhappy people who work hard-
      whether consciously or not- at making everyone else as miserable as
      themselves, finding fault with absolutely everything. These
      types set themselves up. After a while, others do not listen to
      them, even on the occasions when they are right.

      Learn, if you don't already know, how to discount the anger of people like that.
      Don't let them destroy your inner peace, you need that too badly!
      Strive to never be a person like that. Don't make a life calling out
      of shaking people up, they'll get over you fast. But neither should a
      timid, uncharitable politeness make you afraid to speak when it is
      really necessary and might actually help. Balance, ALWAYS balance!

      All of us, guests and hosts, critics and sufferers, need to be
      guided by charity and gentleness. I know people with whom talking is
      as dangerous as skipping through a field of land-mines. One never
      knows what will set them off. The most innocent and sincere
      exchange can trigger an explosion.

      Monastics must never, never be like that. We must work at
      eradicating every possible trace of that in ourselves. Such
      pettiness is all too full of self, beyond which, it actually hurts
      and harms people. What on earth shall we say to God if He ever asks
      us about that?

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB

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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

        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.


        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

        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
        Petersham, MA

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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