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Holy Rule for Oct. 1

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Thanks to all who wished me a happy feastday, I really appreciate all the prayers, and prayers for all of you. Lord, help us all as You know and will.
    Message 1 of 236 , Sep 30, 2012
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      Thanks to all who wished me a happy feastday, I really appreciate all the prayers, and prayers for all of you.

      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 31, June 1, October 1
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The third degree of humility is that a person
      for love of God
      submit himself to his Superior in all obedience,
      imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle says,
      "He became obedient even unto death."

      REFLECTION

      Looks a little repetitious here, doesn't it? Almost like St. Benedict
      was scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something to use for a
      third step, so he'd still wind up with twelve. Not so.

      This short passage tempts one to a short reading and that casual
      perusal will miss the terribly important things here. These are the
      important elements that frame and sustain our obedience: it is done
      for love of God, it is submission to another and it is lifelong.
      Remove any one of those mainstays and you no longer have a
      Benedictine.

      It is nothing to persevere to the end without love. Nothing. It is
      nothing to obey without love, war criminals did that quite admirably. Nor
      does it avail us anything at all to be obedient to ourselves: big
      challenge there! We'd wind up Sarabaites for sure, worshipping
      nothing but the idol of our own wills.

      This third degree gives the reason for Benedictine obedience: "for
      the love of God." We do not obey for so little as an orderly community,
      our obedience is not mere sociology, it is love. More even than just
      love, it is love of the One Who is Love at its highest perfection.

      We obey Love's delegates, our superiors, unto death. There are two
      meanings hidden in that phrase. It can mean martyrdom, obeying even
      to the point of being killed, but it also means obeying all of our lives,
      till the moment of our deaths. Frankly, few of us will be martyrs, because
      few of us are worthy of that grace. ALL of us, however, are called to the
      lifelong white martyrdom of obedience, which can often remind us that
      St. Teresa of Avila said that the martyrs "bought heaven cheaply", that
      they gained in one instant what the rest of us must plod on for many
      decades in a lifelong struggle to gain.

      Like Christ, for love, we become "obedient even unto death." During
      the Spanish Civil War, in the 30's, Communist forces raided the
      Benedictine monastery of El Pueyo, taking its 18 monks prisoner. One
      of the very significant things about this group is that many were
      just average monks, nothing special. All of them were martyred and
      one witness said that they went to their death "joyfully, as if going
      to a fiesta." These martyrs were members of our Subiaco Congregation
      and we are justifiably proud to have them as our brothers.

      Benedictine obedience of love, even unto death is decidedly not the
      kind that would please earthly tyrants. In fact, they'd gladly kill
      us for it. There is quite a likeness to our crucified Lord if we
      embrace that peril fully.

      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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        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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