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Holy Rule for Nov. 13

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for our Br. Isidore on his birthday, ad multos annos, many years and many more! Prayers, please, for Barry and BIll, special intentions.
    Message 1 of 236 , Nov 12, 2012
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      Prayers, please, for our Br. Isidore on his birthday, ad multos annos, many years and many more!

      Prayers, please, for Barry and BIll, special intentions.

      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 14, July 14, November 13
      Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen

      An hour before the meal
      let the weekly servers each receive a drink and some bread
      over and above the appointed allowance,
      in order that at the meal time they may serve their brethren
      without murmuring and without excessive fatigue.
      On solemn days, however, let them wait until after Mass.


      Immediately after the Morning Office on Sunday,
      the incoming and outgoing servers
      shall prostrate themselves before all the brethren in the oratory
      and ask their prayers.
      Let the server who is ending his week say this verse:
      "Blessed are You, O Lord God,
      who have helped me and consoled me."
      When this has been said three times
      and the outgoing server has received his blessing,
      then let the incoming server follow and say,
      "Incline unto my aid, O God;
      O Lord, make haste to help me."
      Let this also be repeated three times by all,
      and having received his blessing
      let him enter his service.

      REFLECTION

      Blessing readers and servers may strike the modern reader as a bit
      silly: a CEREMONY of blessing to do a no-brainer like that for a
      week? Ah, well there's the rub. Ancient monastics (and many Eastern
      Orthodox monastics even in our own day,) did NOTHING without a
      blessing. This results in all kinds of blessings for things we would
      take for granted. When the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne went as a
      group to the guillotine, at least one of the nuns approached the
      Prioress and asked; "Permission to die, Mother?" The Prioress blessed
      her to die.

      Getting a blessing, asking God's help for even seemingly trivial
      matters is a powerful reminder of our own weakness. It is a statement
      that we can do nothing without Him, that we truly are nothing that He
      has not given. There is a great humility in asking anyone for help.
      In this instance, however, humility is richest truth: we need God's
      help for everything. We do things only because He enables us, whether
      we asked Him for help or not. Our very lives would not exist without
      Him.

      We still bless readers and servers. Short ceremony, same every week.
      We all pray together for whomever is serving us. Since we are small
      (only 7,) the Superior is often reader or server. When that happens,
      he kneels like anyone else and the senior monk blesses him. It's a
      little family ritual.

      But what is its message for families in the world? For single Oblates
      living alone? The message is that there are no tasks too insignificant
      to bless with prayer. St. Benedict has earlier encouraged us to begin
      every good work with prayer, but maybe we have forgotten. Because the
      monastic is MINDFUL, careful, attuned to life, nothing is
      unimportant, nothing should be done "on automatic pilot." There is
      that healthy level of mistrust of self that will ask for Divine
      assistance in any endeavor. "Bless, Lord, yet another
      diaper." "Bless, Lord, emptying the trash." "Bless, Lord, management
      meeting!!" "Bless, Lord, picking up pins."

      Making dinner or washing the dishes? Take a quiet moment in the midst
      of either to say "Help!" and "Thanks!" Two simple, one word prayers.
      No matter how chaotic your household, everyone will find time for at
      least that. God knows the details, knows your heart and can readily
      fill in the blanks! We may think God needs essay-length prayers, but
      He doesn't. He may enjoy hearing from details from us, as He told St.
      Faustina that , but He also hears our one word or one line prayers.

      Of course, there is another side to simple things like serving table,
      picking up pins and the like. No, one could not have done anything
      without God's help, but ah, if one does them out of love and care!
      Bingo! Double coupons, so to speak! If that pin got carefully picked
      up because of a barefoot and running child, or a beloved pet who is
      prone to "tasting" whatever she can find on the floor, simplicity
      becomes a very much greater matter, indeed. Now it is very close to
      the heart of God, and that is a wonderful place to be.

      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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