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Holy Rule for Nov. 3

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the folliwng, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Barbara Anne, it seems to
    Message 1 of 236 , Nov 2, 2012
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      Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the folliwng, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Barbara Anne, it seems to be a disc problem in her neck, radiating pain down her right shoulder and right arm. The disc may be ruptured and impinging on the nerve that leads all the way to her right hand. It's not a constant pain at this time, but intermittent, and wakes her up at night.

      Marianne, 88, who has been incapacitated by a crippling stroke for many months, and now has pneumonia and congestive heart failure, and has just been placed in the care of Hospice. For a happy death whenever God calls her. Please pray also for her two remaining sisters, Janet and Joyce, and for all her family.

      Deo gratias and prayers of thanks for Veronica, for whom we prayed re her cancer. It was found that there were no other cancer spots in her body apart from the tumour on her lung which has now been successfully removed. She is so grateful for all prayers... thanks too from her family.

      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 4, July 4, November 3
      Chapter 27: How Solicitous the Abbot Should Be for the
      Excommunicated

      Let the Abbot be most solicitous in his concern for delinquent
      brethren, for "it is not the healthy but the sick who need a
      physician" (Matt 9:12) And therefore he ought to use every means
      that a wise physician would use. Let him send senpectae, that is,
      brethren of mature years and wisdom, who may as it were secretly
      console the wavering brother
      and induce him to make humble satisfaction; comforting him that he
      may not "be overwhelmed by excessive grief" (2 Cor. 2:7), but that,
      as the Apostle says, charity may be strengthened in him (2 Cor.
      2:8). And let everyone pray for him.

      For the Abbot must have the utmost solicitude and exercise all
      prudence and diligence
      lest he lose any of the sheep entrusted to him. Let him know that
      what he has undertaken is the care of weak souls and not a tyranny
      over strong ones; and let him fear the Prophet's warning through
      which God says, "What you saw to be fat you took to yourselves, and
      what was feeble you cast away" (Ezec. 34:3,4). Let him rather
      imitate the loving example of the Good Shepherd who left the ninety-
      nine sheep in the mountains
      and went to look for the one sheep that had gone astray, on whose
      weakness He had such compassion that He deigned to place it on His
      own sacred shoulders and thus carry it back to the flock (Luke 15:4-
      5).


      REFLECTION

      This is the chapter that makes the entire penal code (as it is
      usually termed,) of the Holy Rule clear. The Abbot (or parent
      or teacher or boss or spouse,) is actually called to exercise super
      concern for the fallen. Hence, it is clear that the whole purpose
      of punishment in the Holy Rule is only to heal, to reform. It is an action
      of great hope, not a cop out of exclusion, not simply writing a person
      off because of the difficulties presented.

      How often do we "punish" another, or even ourselves, as a means of
      write-off, of abdication of our responsibility to love? Both the
      Gospel and St. Benedict teach us that is wrong, it is not a
      Christian response and not at all the way we should "conveniently"
      unload ourselves of a troubled human being in our lives.

      All of us charged with the care of others must pay close attention
      to this chapter. It is so easy to love the "perfect" child or the
      whiz kid student. It is so easy to heap acceptance and confident
      affirmation on the types of employees who least need it, while the
      strugglers and the strays have their feelings of inferiority
      confirmed. People of any age quite often stoop to the level that
      others expect of them. We must offer them the best chance we can to
      do and be all that they can.

      The world will offer all the empty praise that is necessary to the
      successful. It is the shallow way of the world to do so. Christians
      and monastics, however, are called to be OTHER than the world.
      There has to be something topsy-turvy in the way we love that
      becomes puzzlingly apparent. We have to love the underdog, even
      when the underdog is driving us slowly nuts. This doesn't mean we
      don't love the holy and good ones, it means we never, never fail to
      love the plodders. It means that we always remember that we are
      plodders
      in many ways ourselves.

      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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