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Holy Rule for Dec. 16

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Barbara and her nephew, Will. He is in the hospital with a serious gall bladder infection that must be cleared up before he can have
    Message 1 of 59 , Dec 15, 2012

      Prayers, please, for Barbara and her nephew, Will. He is in the hospital with a serious gall bladder infection that must be cleared up before he can have needed surgery.

      Deo gratias: Emily received a scholarship in a very Providential way. Thanks and prayers for her and her benefactor and her family.

      Prayers for Jimmy, on his birthday, for his eternal rest.

      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

      April 16, August 16, December 16
      Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received


      ++A note on the gender in this excerpt of the Holy Rule. I don't switch the
      genders, that's the way it comes from St. John's daily reading which I cut
      and paste. It is rarely problematic, but today it often gets me posts from Roman
      Catholics asking me what gives...

      The daily changing genders of pronouns, etc, in the Holy Rule come
      from the site at St. John's, not from me. This reading raises some hackles
      nearly every year, because it seems to advocate women's ordination. That,
      however, is not the case. I follow RC teaching in that regard.

      But if as a guest she was found exacting or prone to vice,
      not only should she be denied membership in the community,
      but she should even be politely requested to leave,
      lest others be corrupted by her evil life.

      If, however, she has not proved to be the kind
      who deserves to be put out,
      she should not only on her own application be received
      as a member of the community,
      but she should even be persuaded to stay,
      that the others may be instructed by her example,
      and because in every place it is the same Lord who is served,
      the same King for whom the battle is fought.

      Moreover, if the Abbess perceives that she is worthy,
      she may put her in a somewhat higher rank.
      [And not only with regard to a nun
      but also with regard to those in priestly or clerical orders
      previously mentioned,]*
      the Abbess may establish them in a higher rank
      than would be theirs by date of entrance
      if she perceives that their life is deserving.

      Let the Abbess take care, however,
      never to receive a nun from another known monastery
      as a member of her community
      without the consent of her Abbess or a letter of recommendation;
      for it is written,
      "Do not to another what you would not want done to yourself" (Tob.

      *[Applicable only to women of some contemporary monastic communities
      in the Anglican Communion.]


      The flip side of a visitor having a few good things to point out is
      one who has very little good to say at all, carping about everything.
      Just as the monastic family is to listen carefully at first to see
      which brand of critic they have, here they are warned that the one
      who is happy with nothing should be politely asked to leave. It is,
      as always, balance. We should fall into neither extreme.

      Monasteries and families are very much alike in their innate sense of
      being more or less OK. Like families, they can sometimes be mistaken
      about this and St. Benedict knows that. However, he also points out
      that there are times when that instinctive feeling of being all right
      IS right, and a visiting malcontent ought not to disrupt it.

      Virtually all of us could use some improvements in our lives,
      especially if we have fallen into some of the peculiar habits that
      seem to thrive among those who live alone. An outside observer, one
      who sees the side of our life previously hidden, can offer some real

      However, someone who wants to overhaul us or our lives wholesale, is
      not a "suitable suitor" or friend! We must learn to live with and
      adapt to others, but I'll bet that many of us who have dated have
      known at least one of those who wanted to remake us from the ground
      up. Not a good idea!

      Religious people can actually be too passive in this respect, quite
      easily. All kinds of things might enter into that judgement, but self-
      emptying and self-destruction are two different things! A human
      relationship is the union of two people, not the total absorption of

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day to all in the US who are celebrating today. God be thanked for His many blessings to us all. Prayers for all and
      Message 59 of 59 , Nov 23, 2016



        Happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day to all in the US who are celebrating today. God be thanked for His many blessings to us all. Prayers for all and especially for the safety of those travelling.


        Prayers for Cas, who has gastrointestinal cancer. Prayers, too, for Bev, his wife, and Gabrielle, their daughter. Bev is a classmate of mine from Tampa Catholic High.


        Prayers for Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, OSB, newly appointed Prior of the Benedictine community at Norcia, Italy, and continued prayers for them as they recover from the catastrophic damage the earthquake did to their monastery and basilica.


        Prayers for Christopher, 13, in hospice care at home with brain cancer and thought to be very close to death. Prayers for his family, too, and for all who will mourn him.


        Prayers for Daniel, had an injection for knee pain, knee reduced to bone on bone and will eventually need a replacement.


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

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Stella, 92, a Benedictine Oblate, and prayers for her family and all who mourn her.


        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.


        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
        Petersham, MA




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