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Holy Rule for Nov. 10

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for St. Leo Abbey, its monks and oblates and St. Leo University on their patronal feast. And prayers for Hegumen Leo of Holy Trinity Monastery,
    Message 1 of 236 , Nov 9, 2012
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      +PAX

      Prayers for St. Leo Abbey, its monks and oblates and St. Leo University on their
      patronal feast. And prayers for Hegumen Leo of Holy Trinity Monastery, Butler, PA. And maybe a prayer for me, too. Leo is my second religious name,
      though so far my brothers have not been persuaded to give me two feastday celebrations, LOL!

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

      James, who took his own life; that he may have accepted God's infinite Grace in his last moments.


      Kyle, also a suicide, that he may have accepted God's grace in his last moments.

      Noah, twin girls and another man, all died in a plane crash.

      Mark, who died of testicular cancer.

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

      Update: First, Genny thanks all who are praying for her healing. After four more hours of testing today the Doc called. All have been inconclusive! More test tomorrow and a heart cath scheduled for next Wednesday. Please keep up the prayers.

      Arjahn, health issues and conversion of life needed.

      Denny, battling cancer, and for his friends, Vince and Megan

      Deo gratias, Angel, 10 months, came through his surgery well, continued prayers for his recovery.

      Lord, help us all asYou know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and
      grace. God is never
      absent. Thanks so much. JL

      March 11, July 11, November 10
      Chapter 33: Whether Monks Ought to Have Anything of Their Own

      This vice especially
      is to be cut out of the monastery by the roots.
      Let no one presume to give or receive anything
      without the Abbot's leave,
      or to have anything as his own --
      anything whatever,
      whether book or tablets or pen or whatever it may be --
      since they are not permitted to have even their bodies or wills
      at their own disposal;
      but for all their necessities
      let them look to the Father of the monastery.
      And let it be unlawful to have anything
      which the Abbot has not given or allowed.
      Let all things be common to all,
      as it is written (Acts 4:32),
      and let no one say or assume that anything is his own.

      But if anyone is caught indulging in this most wicked vice,
      let him be admonished once and a second time.
      If he fails to amend,
      let him undergo punishment.


      REFLECTION

      Benedictine poverty is easily translatable for the lay monastic,
      married or single, into terms of simplicity and detachment, a holy
      indifference to non-essentials. As such, it offers a powerful
      opportunity for a witness against some of the real falsehoods of
      modern consumerist society. This is not (nor need it be,) a preachy
      attack on today's values, just a quiet refusal to go along with them.
      It involves personal practice and choice, not confrontation.

      Benedictine teaching on material goods is based on needs, not
      desires. We ought to have all that is necessary and if, as sometimes
      happens, that is not possible, we ought not to grumble.
      Benedictine simplicity insists that we live in the moment of now with
      gratitude.

      Does your family have all that you really need today? If so, then
      don't put your heart on hold till you can swing a below-ground
      swimming pool. That's exactly why inordinate desires can be so
      harmful: they DO put our hearts on hold, they take us out of the
      contented present and force us to live in an uncertain future
      of "when" and "if".

      That future is not real. We might never live to see it. We have no
      way of knowing whether or not we will live till lunch today. The present is
      all we have and anything that distracts our view from it is often a complete
      waste of time.
      Living in the now is a great reality check!

      I always hate discussions of simplicity that are so general that they
      leave people thinking: "Well, great, but how do I DO that?" Hence a
      few suggestions, not at all as norms, but just as ideas. With them
      comes a huge warning for Oblates who are spouses and parents. You can
      make choices like this for yourself, in some cases, even for the
      household, but you must never force such things on children or
      spouses. That can be disastrous and produces the very same loss of
      serenity that simplicity is designed to protect us from.

      Clothes. Almost everyone can make do with less, male or female.
      Before I became a monk, I generally had two pairs of slacks- one
      khaki and one navy blue. They looked preppy. They went with
      everything. Yes, after a while, people did notice I was always in one
      or the other, but so what? The shirts were different and I was clean.
      The shirts came from the Salvation Army: years of wear in good
      clothes for less than $5 a pop, less than $2 a pop if one waited till
      sale day.

      Recycle in your own home. Towels go down from the bath, to the
      kitchen, to rags. With all the rags you will soon accumulate living
      this way, you can say goodbye to paper towels, unless there is some
      reason you really need them. Cloth napkins? Wow! They even seem a bit
      upscale and you can stop buying one-use paper. Trust me, ordinarily
      washing them once a week is fine.

      This is not stinge, folks. Insofar as possible, consume stuff that is
      really good for you, avoid stuff that is wasteful or harmful. We
      become immune to the very high levels that our society actually
      encourages waste, almost demands it.

      How many people over fifty recall their first reactions to disposable
      lighters, ballpoint pens and razors when they first came out? It was
      like: "Huh??? You throw them away???" When was the last time you
      bought a refill for a ballpoint pen? Now one hardly sees any pens BUT
      disposable ones. Big, big money and profits were made by the
      companies teaching us to throw away and waste the WHOLE item, not
      just the used part. We got used to that, sadly.

      I went back to non-disposable razors some time ago, but they cost
      more than the throw away kind, which have filled who knows
      how many garage dumps in 30 years. Somebody gave me a Zippo lighter
      for Christmas a few years ago. It is a bit of a hassle to keep it in
      flints and fluid, but it means that I have spared the planet from at
      least a little plastic.

      By the way, you don't do this because it will end over-consumption.
      It won't. The world has not moved to Schick razors and Zippos, nor
      are they likely to do so any time soon. What it does, and this is
      important, is limit your complicity in the nonsense. That, so long as
      one does not become self-righteous, can be an immensely freeing thing.

      Always remember the Zen principle: the only thing that is lacking is
      the sense that nothing is lacking. Modern consumerism thrives on and
      insists that we ALWAYS feel something is lacking. Not so, we can be
      free of that. Why be lied to any more?

      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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