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Holy Rule for Aug. 24

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for the happy death of Karen, sent home to die, and for all her family and all who will mourn her, esp. Scott and Mary Ann. Deo gratias, Elaine
    Message 1 of 236 , Aug 23, 2012
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      Prayers for the happy death of Karen, sent home to die, and for all her family and all who will mourn her, esp. Scott and Mary Ann.

      Deo gratias, Elaine got a good report from her CT scan.

      Continued prayers for the 4 Belgian nuns with mushroom poisoning, still in the hospital but doing better.

      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.

      April 24, August 24, December 24
      Chapter 66: On the Porters of the Monastery

      At the gate of the monastery let there be placed a wise old woman,
      who knows how to receive and to give a message, and whose maturity
      will prevent her from straying about.
      This porter should have a room near the gate, so that those who come
      may always find someone at hand to attend to their business. And as
      soon as anyone knocks or a poor person hails her, let her
      answer "Thanks be to God" or "A blessing!" Then let her attend to
      them promptly, with all the meekness inspired by the fear of God and
      with the warmth of charity.

      Should the porter need help, let her have one of the younger sisters.

      If it can be done, the monastery should be so established that all
      the necessary things,
      such as water, mill, garden and various workshops, may be within the
      enclosure, so that there is no necessity for the sisters to go about
      outside of it, since that is not at all profitable for their souls.

      We desire that this Rule be read often in the community, so that
      none of the sisters may excuse herself on the ground of ignorance.


      This idea of self-sufficiency, of everything one needs within the
      enclosure, is a great boon. Even if you are as haphazard in habits
      as I am, try to carve a day or two or three when you DON'T have to
      go out for anything once you get home, or a day off when there is no
      reason at all to leave your home. If you don't already know it, you
      will soon find that these days are treasures. Doesn't matter if the
      kids are home and noisy as ever, there is a certain solitude and
      security that being self-contained, even for a day, engenders and it
      is wonderful.

      Remember all that talk about stability? Benedictines are, at the
      root, homebodies of sorts. We thrive and blossom in the solitude and
      security of homes, wherever they may be. That's why these days of
      not going out become so precious. They are times of freedom and
      for us and that's exactly what monastic struggle is about: offering
      us the freedom to grow and bloom!

      You cannot gag the kids and tie them up for the day, tempting as
      that may sometimes seem! But you can leave the phone unplugged or
      the answering machine turned down and the radio or TV off now and
      then. One or all three will heighten the sense of secure enclosure
      in the warmth of your own space.

      After all, the Desert Fathers used to say: "Stay in your cell and
      your cell will teach you everything." That won't usually happen at
      first, we have to learn to listen to our homes. Once we do, we will
      find that they will, indeed, teach us subtly and almost non-stop!

      Our various enclosures, even those urban apartments, offer us a
      reprieve from the rush and bustle of the world around us and we
      gradually learn to love that respite dearly. Please, for your own
      sake, for your family's sake, for your spouse's sake, find a way to
      spend a day entirely at home. Then, as you grow into it, find ways
      to increase the number of those days! I am certain you will want to
      do so!

      By the way, if your home ever gets to teaching you so much that it's
      making you crazy, remember that is probably because a nerve has been
      touched. It might be wise to check which one! And one more thing:
      learn to treasure those whose needs interrupt or trash your day of
      cloister. They are gifts, too.

      Christ often comes in very distressing disguises. Rejoice! (I know,
      I know....) Monastics reveal a LOT about themselves by the way they
      handle those who disturb their prayer, silence, or solitude. Much of
      it is often not pretty. Don't go there! Kindness, always kindness
      and mercy. A smile will draw more people to Christ than a scornful

      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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