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Holy Rule for Dec. 17

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for Pat Ciaverella, on her birthday, and continued prayers for her happy death. Pryaers for Alicia, on her birthday, ad multos annos. Prayers for
    Message 1 of 58 , Dec 16, 2012
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      Prayers for Pat Ciaverella, on her birthday, and continued prayers for her happy death.

      Pryaers for Alicia, on her birthday, ad multos annos.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Luke Harris, OCSO, 91, of Mt. St. Bernard Abbey, UK, and for his community, family and all who mourn him.

      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 17, August 17, December 17
      Chapter 62: On the Priests of the Monastery

      If an Abbot desire to have a priest or a deacon ordained for his
      monastery, let him choose one who is worthy to exercise the priestly
      office.

      But let the one who is ordained beware of self-exaltation or pride;
      and let him not presume to do anything except what is commanded him
      by the Abbot, knowing that he is so much the more subject to the
      discipline of the Rule. Nor should he by reason of his priesthood
      forget
      the obedience and the discipline required by the Rule, but make ever
      more and more progress towards God.

      Let him always keep the place which he received on entering the
      monastery, except in his duties at the altar or in case the choice of
      the community and the will of the Abbess should promote him for the
      worthiness of his life. Yet he must understand that he is to observe
      the rules laid down by deans and Priors.

      Should he presume to act otherwise, let him be judged not as a priest
      but as a rebel. And if he does not reform after repeated admonitions,
      let even the Bishop be brought in as a witness. If then he still
      fails to amend, and his offenses are notorious, let him be put out of
      the monastery, but only if his contumacy is such that he refuses to
      submit or to obey the Rule.

      REFLECTION


      This chapter applies to anyone who rises at work or at school or even
      in the home. Much is required of those to whom much is given! When a
      Benedictine gets a promotion, the basic willingness to do anything
      necessary ought to remain firmly in place! All authority, all power
      entails responsibility.

      Authority, when we hold it, is not about us, it's about them, the
      people over whom it is exercised. It's exercise is not about us either, it
      is about the folks that authority is meant to serve. Just as a really good
      priest or minister "disappears" behind vesture and rubric when serving at the
      altar, so should those in authority be. We ought always to be able to
      see the common good in them, not a cheap and tacky caricature of a
      bad monarch.

      Authority, when it is placed over us, is to be reverenced and obeyed.
      When it is placed in our own hands, it is to serve, not to reign! All
      of us get the opportunity to deal with authority or to administer
      same. Our Benedictine hearts should make it readily evident to any
      who observes us that our style in either area is decidedly different!

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



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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers, please, for Kathleen, 92, having esophageal surgery, many problems, badly needs prayers. Prayers, please, for Adolfo and his wife, Mary Carmen.
      Message 58 of 58 , Jan 16, 2013
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        Prayers, please, for Kathleen, 92, having esophageal surgery, many problems, badly needs prayers.

        Prayers, please, for Adolfo and his wife, Mary Carmen.

        Prayers for Chris, on his 42nd birthday, graces galore and many more!

        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.

        January 17, May 18, September 17
        Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

        In all things, therefore, let all follow the Rule as guide,
        and let no one be so rash as to deviate from it.
        Let no one in the monastery follow his own heart's fancy;
        and let no one presume to contend with his Abbot
        in an insolent way or even outside of the monastery.
        But if anyone should presume to do so,
        let him undergo the discipline of the Rule.
        At the same time,
        the Abbot himself should do all things in the fear of God
        and in observance of the Rule,
        knowing that beyond a doubt
        he will have to render an account of all his decisions
        to God, the most just Judge.

        But if the business to be done in the interests of the monastery
        be of lesser importance,
        let him take counsel with the seniors only.
        It is written,
        "Do everything with counsel,
        and you will not repent when you have done it" (Eccles. 32:24).

        REFLECTION

        The key here is not to contend insolently; there is no proscription
        against telling the Abbot one feels something is amiss, so long as it
        is done respectfully and humbly. We are Benedictines, not fascists;
        we have a Father, not a Fuhrer.

        Human nature being what it is, people are usually more prone to cite
        the Abbot's responsibility to seek counsel than they are to cite the
        equally important proscription against contending with one's Abbot!
        There's a cure for that and many other ills buried within this
        chapter, a telling phrase whose observance promises peace. That
        little gem urges the monastics not to follow their "own heart's
        fancy."

        Follow that gem and peace abounds! For one thing, whether abbot or
        monastic, parent or child, boss or employee, the focus of the
        relationship ceases to become self. None of us are anywheres near the
        big deal we'd either like to be or think ourselves to be! Much of
        what seems earth-shattering to us is really small stuff, indeed.

        This is so important to monastic struggle because it is so intricately
        interwoven with detachment and holy indifference. We must learn how
        to hold onto our inner peace, how to safeguard it from damage at the
        hands of trivia. An abject TERRIBLE day for us, one when we are so
        hurt or angry that the world seems to have stopped, is just another average
        day for the rest of the community. Until, of course we decide we ARE
        the center of the universe and ruin it for them... Cling to that
        knowledge of trivia and less will suffer!

        At that point of recognizing trivia, truth and therefore, humility
        enter into the equation. We need very good "trivia
        detectors" and their default setting must be aimed at ourselves,
        rarely cast elsewhere except in cases of really great need. We can
        keep those detectors more than amply busy just in our own hearts
        and wills! We need to know deception, falsity, trivia, but it is
        essential to know them first in ourselves.

        If these good tools of detection are aimed only at others, the result
        will be pride and a fall, not humility and truth. Jesus said "I am
        the Truth," and to Him we must prefer nothing. Hence, our first
        desire must always be the truth and the truth is that the earth does
        not revolve around us as an axis!

        Our age, particularly, has embraced the idea of "Follow your bliss!"
        Well, maybe...sometimes.... but maybe not, too. Our "bliss" is no
        guarantee of infallibility. Years ago, and for many years of my life,
        I thought my "bliss" would be very different from where I finally wound up.

        As a handy rule of thumb, I would say that the will of God quite
        often looks nothing like bliss at first. Hence, confusing bliss with
        the divine will can be very risky. The will of God often BECOMES
        bliss when we are in the midst of following it, or in hindsight, but we
        frequently
        have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into that compliance!

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



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