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Holy Rule for Oct. 8

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Jual, for whom we have prayed, and for all her family and all who mourn her. Prayesr for Sean and his Dad, his
    Message 1 of 236 , Oct 7, 2012
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      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Jual, for whom we have prayed, and for all her family and all who mourn her.

      Prayesr for Sean and his Dad, his Dad has melanoma and it has spread to one lymph node. Serious condition, but hopefully beatable.

      Prayers for Br. Adrian, on his feastday, garces galore and many more.

      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 7, June 8, October 8
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The tenth degree of humility
      is that he be not ready and quick to laugh,
      for it is written,
      "The fool lifts up his voice in laughter" (Eccles. 21:23).

      REFLECTION

      Note that the Holy Rule does NOT say not to laugh at all, but just
      not to laugh too fast! In another place, the Rule condemns "idle words"
      which can "provoke buffoonery" (read immoderate laughter!) We are
      not, however, forbidden to laugh at all. Life together will always produce
      some truly comical stuff, and well-ordered appreciation of that gift of
      humor is right in line with a good, balanced Benedictine life.

      WHAT do we laugh at, and how? Do we find humor at others' expense cruelly?
      Do we laugh in such a way as to make the person feel a fool, or in such a way
      as to make her feel part of a shared family joke and joy? Do we laugh with
      love and affection or with pompous derision? There are, make no mistake,
      lots of good and bad ways to laugh.

      Christians, all Christians, even Benedictines, are commanded to
      rejoice. There is a Christian imperative to joy, even in the midst of
      the sufferings promised us in this life. Picture joy with never one
      single moment of throw-your-head-back-in-glorious-laughter. My!
      What a prim, prudish and bloodless little party animal that would be!
      What a great, lifeless remove from the abandon of genuine joy, what a
      total lie!

      There are, in every age, inappropriate uses of humor. Humor is often
      a nervous cover-up, an avoidance, a substitute for real
      communication. I think these examples are what the Holy Rule
      addresses. We are called to relate to people on a more honest level
      than perpetual joking about. That playfulness may be an antechamber
      to intimacy, but it is no substitute. All loving friends share jokes,
      but if jokes are ALL they share, they are, as yet, neither truly
      loving nor friends. It takes something more than that humor alone.

      It is because humor, jokes and shared laughter can be that first step
      towards intimacy that they are so very necessary for a cenobitic,
      community-loving Benedictine heart. Then, of course, there is also
      that Christian imperative to JOY!

      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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