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Holy Rule for Dec. 25

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX A Blessed Christmas to all! Christ is born! Glorify Him! Continued prayers for Mrs. Service and her son and family, she has been improving. Prayers for
    Message 1 of 59 , Dec 24, 2012
      +PAX

      A Blessed Christmas to all! Christ is born! Glorify Him!

      Continued prayers for Mrs. Service and her son and family, she has been improving.

      Prayers for Martin, that a serious problem with chronic vandalism to his car be resolved. Neighbors are suspects, but nothing can be proven so far. Prayers for their conversion, too.

      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 25, August 25, December 25
      Chapter 67: On Brethren Who Are Sent on a Journey

      Let the brethren who are sent on a journey
      commend themselves
      to the prayers of all the brethren and of the Abbot;
      and always at the last prayer of the Work of God
      let a commemoration be made of all absent brethren.

      When brethren return from a journey,
      at the end of each canonical Hour of the Work of God
      on the day they return,
      let them lie prostrate on the floor of the oratory
      and beg the prayers of all
      on account of any faults
      that may have surprised them on the road,
      through the seeing or hearing of something evil,
      or through idle talk.
      And let no one presume to tell another
      whatever he may have seen or heard outside of the monastery,
      because this causes very great harm.
      But if anyone presumes to do so,
      let him undergo the punishment of the Rule.
      And let him be punished likewise who would presume
      to leave the enclosure of the monastery
      and go anywhere or do anything, however small,
      without an order from the Abbot.

      REFLECTION

      Rare is the person who can manage to stay employed without at least a
      slightly different persona at work. We are one thing there, because
      we have to be, but when we clock out, much, if not all of the work
      persona is shed. In fact, we usually have a whole repertoire of
      different selves, being one thing with our grandmother and quite
      another with a childhood friend we have known all our lives, one
      thing with the promising new date and quite another with the spouse
      of many years!

      Secular society has enlarged upon this tendency to its own ends.
      Because the tendency is so deeply rooted in us, we may fail to see
      its dangers when carried to extremes. Thanks to a society often
      glaringly unassisted by revelation, we have the unhappy concept of
      different umbrellas, different sets of ethics to cover different
      areas of life. "Hey, religion is fine if you want it, but this is
      BUSINESS!" or "I may be a Christian, but this is public service. I
      was elected by a constituency that expected me to leave some of that
      Gospel stuff at the door." Well, folks, such notions do not
      wash well. In fact, they really don't wash at all.

      The message of the Holy Rule and of the Gospel is that there is one
      umbrella, period. There is one persona, period. Granted, in the
      latter, shades and gradations may last throughout most of our
      struggling lives, but the goal is clear. All monastic, all Christian,
      all the time. One heart, one umbrella, one Lord, one faith, one
      baptism.

      That work persona that we drop when we clock out, the totally free
      and other person we are on days off or on trips away can be an OK
      notion in relation to work. Wouldn't we find someone who was a
      salesperson or teacher or secretary or manager ALL the time to be a
      dreadful drip? The concept fails, however, when it is applied to
      vocations, to any vocation at all. One does not take a vacation from
      being married or a parent or ordained or a monastic.

      Do I hear loud screams in cyber-space as I mention BALANCE again?
      Sorry, but it is true. There is a balanced way to be under one
      umbrella all the time that we must strive to achieve. Yes, I am
      different with different friends, we all are, we have to be, charity
      demands that. But there is a commonality between all the threads of
      our behavior. We are monastics. We are freer within defined limits.
      It is to the balance of those defined limits that this chapter refers.

      At Petersham, we still follow this custom of prayer for one who will
      be away overnight. The prayers are said in the refectory, after
      grace. One is blessed leaving and returning, while kneeling in the
      center of the ref. It's just a way of saying, as a community, that we
      all know that maintaining that one umbrella can be tough, especially
      when one is away alone. We want to support each other with our
      prayers, we want our brother to know that our hearts are with him all
      the way.

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

        +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 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.

        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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