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Holy Rule for Aug. 29

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Sharon, who died of leukemia, and for all her family and all who mourn her. Prayers for Peter, renounced his Catholic
    Message 1 of 237 , Aug 28 5:11 AM
      +PAX

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Sharon, who died of leukemia, and for all her family and all who mourn her.

      Prayers for Peter, renounced his Catholic faith and converted to Judaism.

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

      April 29, August 29, December 29
      Chapter 71: That the Brethren Be Obedient to One Another

      Not only is the boon of obedience
      to be shown by all to the Abbot,
      but the brethren are also to obey one another,
      knowing that by this road of obedience they are going to God.
      Giving priority, therefore, to the commands of the Abbot
      and of the Superior appointed by him
      (to which we allow no private orders to be preferred),
      for the rest
      let all the juniors obey their seniors
      with all charity and solicitude.
      But if anyone is found contentious,
      let him be corrected.

      And if any brother,
      for however small a cause,
      is corrected in any way by the Abbot or by any of his Superiors,
      or if he faintly perceives
      that the mind of any Superior is angered or moved against him,
      however little,
      let him at once, without delay,
      prostrate himself on the ground at his feet
      and lie there making satisfaction
      until that emotion is quieted with a blessing.
      But if anyone should disdain to do this,
      let him undergo corporal punishment
      or, if he is stubborn, let him be expelled from the monastery.



      REFLECTION

      OK, now we're getting into radical. Any human group, from the
      military to a kindergarten at recess expects one to obey the
      leader. But each other? Give me a break! How many jobs would you
      have quit if you had to obey all of your co-workers?

      Well, giving a break is exactly what is intended here. The Kingdom
      of God, which the Holy Rule seeks to guide us to, is ruled by love.
      It includes a hierarchy, yes, but that, too,
      is founded on love. The Kingdom of God strives for peace and
      serenity.The quickest way to soften an environment and let peace flourish is
      to keep people more or less happy, and the quickest way to do that
      is to give in to their wishes whenever possible, to put self second
      and others first.

      Now we're getting to the heroic stuff. There are ulterior benefits
      to obeying the boss, but another peer? What's the big deal there?
      The big deal is love, the big deal is forgetfulness of self, the
      big deal is the abdication of control issues.

      Monastic struggle will not free one who is attached to control.
      That ambition will thwart the good of the struggle. Don't beat
      yourself up too badly on this one if you live in the world, because
      many, many monastics in cloisters fail it as well. It is one of
      Satan's sneakiest tricks and he enjoys its effectiveness immensely.
      What could be better than something the poor victims hardly notice
      at all that eats up their hard work like a ravenous cancer? Very, very handy.

      Rather than worry about the pathetic individuals so addicted, who
      can make life so unpleasant for those they live with, why not just
      pray for them and focus on changing ourselves? We can be part of
      the solution. We can go out of our way to make life easier for each
      other. We can pray for those who don't.

      A horrible truth of monastic life is that if one waits for everyone
      to get perfect (according, of course, to one's own standards!) the
      result will be futile and frustrated stagnation. Community we may
      be, but all on the same page we shall never be till heaven, and
      maybe not even there!

      It's a snap to be a skunk at a garden party. Anybody can pull that
      off with no effort at all. Lots of people do, all the time! The
      harvest, however, is isolation and loneliness, which result in
      bitterness that only fuels the vicious cycle.

      In contrast, it is a bit difficult at first to be easy on others, but it is
      ALSO addictive when done right! One will soon be hunting for ways
      to be easy to live with, because every drop of water makes the ocean a tiny bit
      less salty, as Bl. Teresa of Calcutta used to say. The harvest, too,
      is far more precious: a growing warmth that makes one ever more
      gentle, more open, more loving and glad to be so. The harvest is joy
      and love, not the lie of possession and bitterness. It attracts, rather
      than repels others.


      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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