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Holy Rule for Dec. 10

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Deo gratias, Kathy, whose chest pains we prayed for, has only got acute bronchitis, her heart tests are all OK. Lord, help us all as You know and will.
    Message 1 of 60 , Dec 9 1:36 PM
      +PAX

      Deo gratias, Kathy, whose chest pains we prayed for, has only got acute bronchitis, her heart tests are all OK.

      Lord, help us all as You know and
      will. Help us to believe You take care of us. God's will is best. All is mercy
      and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL


      April 10, August 10, December 10

      Chapter 57: On the Artisans of the Monastery

      If there are artisans in the monastery,
      let them practice their crafts with all humility,
      provided the Abbot has given permission.
      But if any one of them becomes conceited
      over his skill in his craft,
      because he seems to be conferring a benefit on the monastery,
      let him be taken from his craft
      and no longer exercise it unless,
      after he has humbled himself,
      the Abbot again gives him permission.

      If any of the work of the craftsmen is to be sold,
      those responsible for the sale
      must not dare to practice any fraud.
      Let them always remember Ananias and Saphira,
      who incurred bodily death (Acts 5:1-11),
      lest they and all who perpetrate fraud
      in monastery affairs
      suffer spiritual death.
      And in the prices let not the sin of avarice creep in,
      but let the goods always be sold a little cheaper
      than they can be sold by people in the world,
      "that in all things God may be glorified" (1 Peter 4:11).

      REFLECTION

      My all-time favorite quote from G. K. Chesterton is: "The artistic
      temperament is a disease which afflicts amateurs." Amen!!! Ideally,
      Christian life done right would eliminate the phenomenon of prima
      donnas of either gender! Monastic life should, too.

      The true artist is marked by humility, not because of low self-
      esteem, but because of a healthy dose of reality, a firm conviction
      that one's gift has been given by God and given with an eye to the
      service of all. Christian art, in any form, has no meaning at all
      outside of the glory of God and the betterment of the community.

      For an artisan to become proud about this would be as ludicrous as
      for a priest to be proud of his ability to consecrate, or a lay person
      proud of their ability to baptize. Sorry, folks! Doesn't come from us.
      Comes from God and we have to always remember our own littleness in
      receiving such wonders.

      A wrong attitude towards one's gift can quickly turn what God
      intended to be a boon to the Christian community into a very large
      and unmanageable human cross. Art
      in communities must be treasured and held dear, because
      it is a gift from a loving God. It is God and His gift that must be
      sacrosanct, not some temperamental artist who is just passing that
      gift on to others.

      The point here is that art must always and everywhere matter less
      than the people performing or enjoying it. The brothers and sisters
      come first, and they do so from a theological imperative of charity,
      much, much more intense than any concept of human reason alone or
      canon of aesthetics. In a very real sense, the artist must matter
      least of all, must disappear behind the gift, not insist on being
      thrust into a foreground.

      When a person does liturgy correctly, they vanish behind the veil of
      vesture and rubric. They become icon bearers and what is seen is no
      longer Staci or Jason, but acolyte and priest. It ought to be so with
      artists, but it ought to be so with any gift or skill God has
      graciously given us. We truly are NOT the source of the profound
      gifts we receive and share. God is. God alone is.

      "He must increase, I must decrease..." As soon as we forget that, our
      gift becomes a weight dragging us downwards, rather than helping
      us to ascend the heights. Good superiors can see this and stop it, but
      not all superiors can see it! Let us pray that our gifts will always be focused
      by the wise and loving hand of some realist, to whom God has given the gift of
      loving truthfulness!

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • russophile2002
      +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Emilia’s Mom, who died peacefully, and prayers for Emilia and all her family and all who mourn her Mom. Prayers for the
      Message 60 of 60 , Nov 23

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Emilia’s Mom, who died peacefully, and prayers for Emilia and all her family and all who mourn her Mom.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Timothy, OSB, of New Subiaco Abbey, Arkansas, and for his family, Community and all who mourn him.

         

        Deo gratias and prayers of thanks, Charlie’s bladder cancer surgery went well and the lab work came back clear, cancer-free. Prayers for his continued recovery and health.

         

        Prayers for the health of Brs. Bruno, Anselm and Ephrem, of New Subiaco Abbey, all three have had a variety of hospitalizations and problems.

         

        Prayers for Doug and Catherine, who have lost some family members in the past year, may their loved ones rest in peace and may those surviving be consoled.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Greg, and for all his family and all who mourn him

         

        Prayers for B., for her return to the Faith.

         

        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 25, July 25, November 24
        Chapter 45: On Those Who Make Mistakes in the Oratory

        When anyone has made a mistake
        while reciting a Psalm, a responsory,
        an antiphon or a lesson,
        if he does not humble himself there before all
        by making a satisfaction,
        let him undergo a greater punishment
        because he would not correct by humility
        what he did wrong through carelessness.

        But boys for such faults shall be whipped.

        REFLECTION

        Calm down, we don't whip anybody anymore. It has too often been my
        experience that such lines push all the buttons of some readers these
        days and blind them to the rest of the good stuff there. We don't
        whip now, they did 1,500 years ago, everyone else did, too. Let's not
        get so mired in the sensitivities of our own time that we forget how
        terribly recent some of them are.

        As I have mentioned before, in our house we do kneel in the center
        when late for choir, then bow to the superior and go to our
        place. We also kneel when we make audible mistakes in Church. And
        yes, those things, as I pointed out, can be very useful.

        But most Oblates do not have a choir to kneel in, so
        what's here for the majority of us? There is the grace of humility,
        without which communal life on any level, in monastery, workplace, market or
        home would be unlivable.


        Every single human community or whatever sort is going to have its
        share of kinks, strays and crosses. Every one without fail
        will mirror in some sense the fallen brokenness of humanity. The
        gamut of human flaws exists in microcosm, in at least some mitigated form,
        in every human group.

        Even more annoyingly, most, if not all, pieces of our OWN broken
        humanity will be modeled, much to our distaste, by others around us. It is,
        alas, our own sins and faults in others that tend to annoy us most. Never
        forget to check for that. He or she may REALLY tick you off because
        of the great similarities between you!

        Our job is to see to it that we are part of the solution, not part
        of the problem. When, through whatever means, we become part of the problem,
        we must own up to it at once and smooth it over as best and as
        quickly as we can.

        If you can't say "I'm sorry," for heaven's sake- quite literally- start
        practicing alone in front of a mirror until the words can somehow
        tumble out in public. Until they can, try some useful (though not
        perfect,) substitutes, like "Excuse me," or "It was my fault." Work
        on words of forgiveness, too, like: "It doesn't matter," or "Oh,
        that's OK,".

        Strive to make light of things. There will never be any
        shortage whatever of people who will explode and magnify things out
        of all rational proportion, so don't duplicate services! Join the
        minority and try to prevent hurricanes in teacups, rather than
        produce them.

        Most outrage, most lack of apology, most tempests in teacups stem
        from a distorted an unhealthy view of the self. Humility corrects
        that imbalance. While you're in front of the mirror practicing
        apology, why not try a bit of self-interview?

        WHY do these things or persons upset you so? What do you have in
        common with those who annoy you most? Most important, just who the
        heck ARE you that your perceived slights are such a big deal? Try
        reminding yourself that He is God and you are not. Honest reflection on these
        points may be a big and promising start.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

         


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