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Holy Rule for Sept. 2

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Please keep the 30 or so New York Oblates of St Meinrad Archabbey who are making their annual retreat in Mariandale Retreat House. The chapter has been in
    Message 1 of 236 , Sep 1, 2012
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      +PAX

      Please keep the 30 or so New York Oblates of St Meinrad Archabbey who are making their annual retreat in Mariandale Retreat House. The chapter has been in existence for 70+ years.

      Prayers, please, for P., terrible marriage problems and his devotional life has been severely impacted.

      Deo gratias, Seamus is thriving in his new school and a wonderful change in him is evident, contiued prayers for him and his parents, Tim and Lorraine.

      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


      January 2, May 3, September 2
      Prologue

      Let us arise, then, at last,
      for the Scripture stirs us up, saying,
      "Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep" (Rom. 18:11).
      Let us open our eyes to the deifying light,
      let us hear with attentive ears
      the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us,
      "Today if you hear His voice,
      harden not your hearts" (Ps. 94:8).
      And again,
      "Whoever has ears to hear,
      hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Matt. 11-15; Apoc. 2:7).
      And what does He say?
      "Come, My children, listen to Me;
      I will teach you the fear of the Lord" (Ps. 33:12).
      "Run while you have the light of life,
      lest the darkness of death overtake you" (John 12:35).


      REFLECTION

      St. Benedict, just by virtue of the period in which he lived, would
      have been rather more attuned to the Eastern Church Fathers than
      many in the West are today. Not for nothing does he also recommend
      St. Basil's Rule to his monastics! Given all this, the
      phrase "deifying light", which probably strikes most Westerners as
      just a lovely bit of poetry, would ring altogether different bells
      in Eastern minds, and may well have rung those bells in the mind of
      St. Benedict himself.

      Deification, the process of humanity becoming more God-like, is a
      central theme of Eastern Christian spirituality, a favorite theme of the
      Fathers and a big central issue in Eastern monasticism. The whole
      idea of the Incarnation is viewed as God becoming Man so that man
      could be deified. (Don't take that term "deified" literally. The
      idea was that people became God-like, participated in His wondrous
      Being, not that they literally became gods!)

      But there was a profound awareness of grace allowing us to share
      in God's life and to become ever more
      like Him, of being ever more intimately united with the Triune
      Life. Put another way, the East would say that we were created in
      the image and likeness of God, but we have lost the likeness.
      Deification, monastic struggle, the spiritual life, all of these
      strive to regain that likeness.

      We so often speak of balance, but what does that balance entail?
      It is this very deification, it is the closest attempt we can make to restore
      the rightness of Eden. It is our halt and lame effort to become what
      God intended us to be, as closely as we can in a fallen world.

      So, as we continue our loving Father's pep talk at the beginning of
      his Holy Rule, let us resolve to never again let that
      phrase "deifying light" slip past our eyes as just another literary
      device. No way! Deification and Light are what we are all about.
      Shine on, dear brothers and sisters, shine on!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      www.stmarysmonastery.org




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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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        +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 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
        assassination.

        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.

        REFLECTION

        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
        annoyed!

        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
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA




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