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Holy Rule for Nov. 19

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for Gina, she is still being falsely accused of child abuse and may be arrested this week on criminal charges; hoping that her newly acquired
    Message 1 of 236 , Nov 18, 2012
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      Prayers for Gina, she is still being falsely accused of child abuse and may be arrested this week on criminal charges; hoping that her newly acquired lawyer will get statements from persons other than the child who has lied and his manipulative mother.

      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 20, July 20, November 19
      Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken

      From holy Easter until Pentecost
      let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
      and supper in the evening.


      From Pentecost throughout the summer,
      unless the monks have work in the fields
      let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
      on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
      This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
      if they have work in the fields
      or the heat of summer is extreme;
      the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.


      Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
      in such a way that souls may be saved
      and that the brethren may do their work
      without just cause for murmuring.


      From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
      let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.


      In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
      But this evening hour shall be so determined
      that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
      Indeed at all seasons
      let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
      that everything will be done by daylight.

      REFLECTION

      Don't get caught up on times here. That's not the hook and it's not
      the point. It can also lead you down a primrose path to
      ineffectiveness and that's what the Father of Lies wants to happen.

      Here's the central point of this chapter: "...[the Abbot] should
      adapt and arrange everything in such a way that souls may be saved."
      That is a tremendous responsibility and it is also tremendously
      subjective. Each Abbot, each parent, each boss and teacher, any
      Benedictine in charge or anything must order things so "that souls
      may be saved."

      That means all things (well, after all, the Holy Rule DOES
      say "everything",) in our control must be ordered towards the end
      that Peter Maurin, co-founder of Catholic Worker, ascribed to society
      itself, the task of "making it easier for people to be good." That
      means no chop-busting for the sake of chop-busting, no power trips or
      ego trips or control issues that have nothing to do with helping
      people become holy. Not only must we remove obstacles to holiness for
      those around us and in our care, we must actually provide aids to
      sanctity in their environment. Now that is a very tall order!

      Within that tall order, however, lies one more secret and key to
      Benedictine peace. Peace is no accident, nor is it a void or vacuum
      from which conflict is merely absent. Peace is the active presence of
      justice and holiness and truth and love to an unusual degree.
      Promote those values and peace is the unavoidable result.

      Like so much in our Rule, peace is a lot of hard work and a very
      delicate balance. Ah, but is it ever worth the effort! Our work must
      be to let heaven begin at least partially in THIS life for all.

      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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