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Holy Rule for Sept. 25

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welafre of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Br. Finbar of
    Message 1 of 236 , Sep 24, 2012
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welafre of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Br. Finbar of Pluscarden, on his feastday, graces galore and many more.

      Jual, for whom we prayed, is now in hospice care, for her happy death and all her family and all who will mourn her.

      Jill: For the Holy Spirit to overcome her oppositional defiance to the will of His Divine Majesty for her.

      Jacque: That she will receive proper meds that do not cause her loss of needed rest and comfort.

      Glenna: in hospice care.

      Gwen: Spiritual and physical strength to care for her husband who is now totally dependent upon her for his daily care.

      Jackie: Suffering Grief Loss for her mother whom she cared for over 37 years in her home and for her Mom's eternal rest and all who mourn her.

      Fr. Ralph: God's will be done with regards a church seeding in Cabot AR.

      Sally Byrnes , has cancer of the bone. Now on meds.

      John & family,son is 10years old and legally blind.

      January 25, May 26, September 25
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      Holy Scripture, brethren, cries out to us, saying,
      "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,
      and he who humbles himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
      In saying this it shows us
      that all exaltation is a kind of pride,
      against which the Prophet proves himself to be on guard
      when he says,
      "Lord, my heart is not exalted,
      nor are mine eyes lifted up;
      neither have I walked in great matters,
      nor in wonders above me."
      But how has he acted?
      "Rather have I been of humble mind
      than exalting myself;
      as a weaned child on its mother's breast,
      so You solace my soul" (Ps. 130:1-2).


      Hence, brethren,
      if we wish to reach the very highest point of humility
      and to arrive speedily at that heavenly exaltation
      to which ascent is made through the humility of this present life,
      we must
      by our ascending actions
      erect the ladder Jacob saw in his dream,
      on which Angels appeared to him descending and ascending.
      By that descent and ascent
      we must surely understand nothing else than this,
      that we descend by self-exaltation and ascend by humility.
      And the ladder thus set up is our life in the would,
      which the Lord raises up to heaven if our heart is humbled.
      For we call our body and soul the sides of the ladder,
      and into these sides our divine vocation has inserted
      the different steps of humility and discipline we must climb.

      REFLECTION

      Today we begin St. Benedict's extensive treatment of humility.
      Humility and obedience are so closely linked that it is virtually
      impossible to speak of one without adding the other. Since both are
      essential Benedictine virtues, it is easy to say that there is no
      such thing as a holy Benedictine who has not climbed or is not
      climbing this ladder. I have never known a holy monk who was not
      humble, in fact, it was usually their most outstanding trait.

      A lot of this chapter will grate on modern ears. I will be the first
      to admit that some people need assertiveness training. However, in my
      experience, most of us do not. Most of us manage to be assertive on a
      daily- even hourly- basis without much difficulty. Remember, too,
      that modern psychology is a science which, like all science, is
      limited to observable data.

      Hence, it is not surprising that the generalities of psychology deal
      with relations between people and things. The catch here is that the
      humility St. Benedict speaks of is rooted in relationship of humans
      to God, a sphere in which psychology finds itself woefully out
      of its element. It can see some things amiss, but not all. It lacks
      the supernatural basis of faith, and this impedes it in this
      area. Balance, always balance. Keep God in focus in these areas.
      The model is His greatness, not our own.

      A quickie on the Psalm quote today: "...neither have I walked in
      great matters, nor in matters above me." This was a favorite of
      Brother Patrick Creamer, my mentor. He learned to do it quite
      well and in just 46 years or so!! (He'd laugh, too!)

      I speak as one who has been all too focused at many times on the
      monastic soap opera and its hand-wringing tempests in teacups. About
      many things, even most, we must learn simply not to get upset, not to
      trouble ourselves with matters too great, even though we may have to
      call them "great" with an inner, rueful chuckle.

      That's not apathy, simply a frank admission that, in many cases, others
      have charge of areas so that the rest need NOT worry or concern themselves.
      The purpose of the division of responsibility is to give the community the
      chance to focus their energy on the one thing really needful. This is especially
      true in monasteries, but the principle has applications in the workplace, too.
      In the latter, there may be times when one is morally obliged to get involved,
      but the key word is "morally". About trivia or non-essentials in any milieu,
      shrug, say nothing and keep your sanity.

      You will never have peace until you learn to leave all that alone, to
      distrust it for the empty and tragic charade that it truly is. And you will
      never get anywhere if you don't have peace. The road to that peace is
      humility and love.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA








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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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