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Holy Rule for Aug. 23

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for Jual. She has been battling breast cancer for over five years. She is a young mother with three children. Her youngest is five, the cancer is
    Message 1 of 236 , Aug 22, 2012
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      Prayers for Jual. She has been battling breast cancer for over five years. She is a young mother with three children. Her youngest is five, the cancer is now in her brain.

      Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mery and
      grace. God is never absent, praise HIm! Thanks so much. JL

      April 23, August 23, December 23
      Chapter 65: On the Prior of the Monastery

      To us, therefore, it seems expedient for the preservation of peace
      and charity that the Abbot have in his hands the full administration
      of his monastery. And if possible let all the affairs of the
      monastery, as we have already arranged, be administered by deans
      according to the Abbot's directions. Thus, with the duties being
      shared by several, no one person will become proud.

      But if the circumstances of the place require it, or if the
      community asks for it with reason and with humility, and the Abbot
      judges it to be expedient, let the Abbot himself constitute as his
      Prior whomsoever he shall choose with the counsel of God-fearing

      That Prior, however, shall perform respectfully the duties enjoined
      on him by his Abbot
      and do nothing against the Abbot's will or direction; for the more
      he is raised above the rest,
      the more carefully should be observe the precepts of the Rule.

      If it should be found that the Prior has serious faults, or that he
      is deceived by his exaltation and yields to pride, or if he should
      be proved to be a despiser of the Holy Rule, let him be admonished
      verbally up to four times. If he fails to amend, let the correction
      of regular discipline be applied to him. But if even then he does
      not reform, let him be deposed from the office of Prior and another
      be appointed in his place who is worthy of it. And if afterwards he
      is not quiet and obedient in the community, let him even be expelled
      from the monastery.
      But the Abbot, for his part, should bear in mind that he will have
      to render an account to God
      for all his judgments, lest the flame of envy or jealousy be kindled
      in his soul.


      St. Benedict gives a loftiness of respect to the Abbess that is
      almost scary at times. Because of that loftiness, it is refreshing
      to see how firmly he has his feet planted in reality checks, too.
      The Abbot is human, so are those he appoints. They are called to
      things higher, but they can fail them woefully and St. Benedict provides
      for those occasions.

      But the big reality check here is his caution that the Abbess must
      be careful to avoid jealousy. Wow! Right on the mark, but not the
      first idea that would have popped into someone's head unless they
      had lived in community.

      Jealousy, like any vice, isn't good for much, but let's mine the few
      bits of information it or any vice offers. Our jealousies (and other vices,)
      tell us a lot about ourselves, a lot about how far we have to go, a lot
      about how terribly short we fall of having made it! Skip the Abbess
      and Prioress for a minute here and do some self-inventory. Of whom
      or of what are you jealous?

      Check out the valuable leads of your own envy. What's going on here?
      Is she better looking, thinner, richer? Does he have a better
      education? Is the car in the next drive or the house on the next
      block or the apartment on the floor above so much nicer that you
      pine for it? All of these, wherever you find them, are clues. Follow
      them carefully to their source. You may be surprised at what you
      learn about yourself by doing so.

      Be a bit relentless here. WHY are you jealous of a given thing or
      person? Really! The things we desire or
      envy are not always as valid as we think they are. Your own average
      status may have spared you from a LOT of
      superficiality in dating or friendship. Ever think of that? Keep
      digging on every count and you will find some startling self-truths.

      Try (and I know this is hard from personal experience,) examining
      the things you think are woeful deprivations as tender mercies. They
      often are, perhaps even usually so! Our wishes are not necessarily
      infallible heralds of the good or the best.

      God often has to protect us from ourselves. When we force ourselves
      to finally see that, we can get down to the more important business
      of thanking Him for His infinite and unfathomable Divine Mercy! All
      truly is mercy and grace. It must be, somehow. The clincher is to
      learn to see that!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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 9:19 AM
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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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