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Holy Rule for Oct. 7

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all who take care of them and all their families: Adrian and his mum, who is
    Message 1 of 236 , Oct 6, 2012
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all who take care of them and all their families:

      Adrian and his mum, who is still very weak from her stroke back in February there has been a little change for the better but not much.

      Jane, an Oblate who had a hysterectomy yesterday, and for Claude, her husband.

      Deo gratias, on further testing Lorene's suspicious area could not be found. She thanks God and all who prayed.

      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

      February 6, June 7, October 7
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The ninth degree of humility
      is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence,
      not speaking until he is questioned.
      For the Scripture shows
      that "in much speaking there is no escape from sin" (Prov. 10:19)
      and that "the talkative man is not stable on the earth" (Ps. 139:12).

      REFLECTION

      OK, if you are a parent, you cannot speak to your children only when
      they question you. The therapy bills in later years would be
      astronomical. There are many situations in a Benedictine life lived
      in the world, among non-monastics, where this has to be altered, but
      its kernel of truth must be discovered and maintained.

      WHY do we talk needlessly? Quite often it is nothing more than a
      trick to change the reality around us. We are bored, or we feel we
      are not getting enough attention or we think the mood too heavy, so
      we speak to change whatever annoys us at the moment. I should know.
      I am infamous for creating my own entertainment when things seem
      dull to me. That's not always a great idea...

      Some tough moments, some difficult stuff are meant to be endured.
      They are part of our necessary learning and growth. Ever notice how
      we assess a child's maturity by its ability to be quiet and non-
      fidgety in surroundings (like Church!) that do not spoon feed its
      attention span? Well, the same is true of us at every stage. We do
      ourselves harm if we defuse every single tense moment with a word or
      two. We cheat ourselves.

      All too often we speak only to remind the universe around us, which
      has carelessly forgotten for a second that we are its center, of a
      whole bevy of falsehoods: I am the cutest, smartest, or wittiest, I
      have the solution to all of this. What folly on the part of the
      entire cosmos to forget our importance! Better speak to clear the
      matter up...

      Those who know me are thinking: "HE wrote THIS?!?" Yes, alas, I am
      guilty of all I wrote. Three times a year the Holy Rule reminds me of
      that and each time I am aware that I need to work on it. Thanks be to
      God, the Rule IS read three times a year: usually by the time the
      next reading comes up, my interest has flagged and I have to start
      over. As for the part about the talkative not being "stable on the
      earth," well, there have been times in the last 20 years
      when God had to nail my feet to the floor to keep me faithful and I am
      not dead yet... I have not always been His most willing pupil, but
      oh, is He ever patient! And infinitely merciful!

      But, as one Desert Father said, that's what we do all day in
      monasteries: "We fall down and we get up."

      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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