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Holy Rule for Oct. 28

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for the safety of all in the path of monster storm Hurricane Sandy, threatening the NE United States. Prayers, please, for Br. Simon of
    Message 1 of 236 , Oct 27, 2012
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      Prayers for the safety of all in the path of monster storm Hurricane Sandy, threatening the NE United States.

      Prayers, please, for Br. Simon of Pluscarden, on his feastday, blessings and
      graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! Prayers, too, for the eternal rest
      of Fr. Jude of St. Leo, on his feastday. And for all our Simons and Judes,
      prayers and blessings and happy feastday!!

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following, for all their loved ones and all who mourn them:

      Mark, 28th anniversary of his death on Monday. He would have been 50 this year.

      Toddy, who has died, and for her husband Norm, who has been her caregiver for many years.

      Tom, who has died, and for his son Tom Jr, and their family.

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

      Matthew, a young boy with some emotional difficulties, who is having trouble in school, and for his Mom, Lisa.

      Nicolessa, diabetes and on dialysis, too.

      Joe, had a stroke, also dementia.

      Gracie, diabetes and cancer.

      Louise, surgery for a spot on her lung.

      Arlene, cancer.

      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 27, June 28, October 28
      Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery

      If the community is a large one, let there be chosen out of it
      brethren of good repute and holy life, and let them be appointed
      deans. These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
      observing the commandments of God and the instructions of their
      Abbot.

      Let men of such character be chosen deans that the Abbot may with
      confidence
      share his burdens among them. Let them be chosen not by rank but
      according to their worthiness of life and the wisdom of their
      doctrine.

      If any of these deans should become inflated with pride and found
      deserving of censure,
      let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time. If he will
      not amend, then let him be deposed and another be put in his place
      who is worthy of it.

      And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.


      REFLECTION

      St. Benedict reverences seniority- a traditional monastic value- in
      many places, but he also moderates that tradition, keeping it from
      turning into ageism. When considering the appointment of these
      deans, their worthy lives and teachings are the criteria, not their
      age. Unspoken here, but nevertheless evident, is the demand that seniors
      obey such young officials.

      There is no room for griping about young "whipper-snappers" here!
      Obedience is not about the age or wisdom or human perfection of the
      superior. It is about faith that God leads us through such flawed
      human beings of every sort. When "X" crosses you or breaks your
      heart or stokes your anger, it is imperative to recall that this
      often has precious little to do with "X" and his or her
      personality. It's is God's gift to your self-study. He wants you to
      learn something about yourself and tests you. "X" might not even be
      faintly aware of being used as an instrument of His will!

      A further check here is given by the insistence on personal
      holiness. What if all our offices, in monastery AND Church went to really
      holy people? The first objection (usually put forward by the
      ambitious who would be overlooked under this system!) is that they
      would be TERRIBLE administrators. So? The point there was what?

      Next time you want a fun day-dream, try to picture a Church and
      Order run entirely by the holy and wise. Wow! Now usually, day-
      dreaming is an utter waste of time, but this one is not. After you
      have spent some time envisioning all those things, go out and BE
      what you dreamed. Truly live as if the dream had come to pass.

      Be prepared to be a little lonely: none of us are likely soon to see a Church
      run entirely by saints. But we can all make that dream one person
      closer to coming true, by changing ourselves, by incarnating that
      ideal as best we can. The only ones we can surely change are
      ourselves!

      Of course, there will be loud complaints about saints in charge,
      too. For one thing, as Dorothy Day observed, saints can be terribly
      hard to live with. For another, the problem is our lack of faith,
      a problem even good governance will not remove. Only with the
      help of God's grace, we can remove that problem. It starts with us
      asking Him for that grace!

      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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