Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Holy Rule for Jan. 3

Expand Messages
  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Sarah who goes for a
    Message 1 of 58 , Jan 2, 2013
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Sarah who goes for a second job interview, seeking a new position to improve the quality of life for herself and for her family.

      Owen, a new job appliaction in a search which has been very long for him.

      Carol, stress test on Friday. She has been having cardiac issues and may need a pacemaker-defibrillator.

      Katie, a courageous young woman who has been battling cancer from age 22 to her present age of 29. The cancer is still there but the last treatments have made her too weak to address it. She receives results from a PET scan this Friday.

      P., life in chaos as his marriage ends, needs to sell his house and get some balance back in his spiritual life and for his wife and their two grown kids.

      Nola who is having a knee replacement on the 4th.

      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 3, May 4, September 3
      Prologue

      And the Lord, seeking his laborer
      in the multitude to whom He thus cries out,
      says again,
      "Who is the one who will have life,
      and desires to see good days" (Ps. 33:13)?
      And if, hearing Him, you answer,
      "I am the one,"
      God says to you,
      "If you will have true and everlasting life,
      keep your tongue from evil
      and your lips that they speak no guile.
      Turn away from evil and do good;
      seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps. 33:14-15).
      And when you have done these things,
      My eyes shall be upon you
      and My ears open to your prayers;
      and before you call upon Me,
      I will say to you,
      'Behold, here I am'" (Ps. 33:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9).

      What can be sweeter to us, dear ones,
      than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
      Behold, in His loving kindness
      the Lord shows us the way of life.

      REFLECTION

      This is perhaps my all-time favorite reading from the Holy Rule. Then
      gentle, loving tenderness of both the Divine Merciful Christ and our
      holy Father Benedict are here in abundance. One is tempted to merely
      bask in the warmth, rather than write, but I will try to write!

      Lest any of us (which, as the Holy Rule would say, God forbid,) tend
      to pride at undertaking the monastic way, this one deflates that
      balloon in a hurry. Christ seeks US. What mercy! Our very being is
      nothing but an act of His love and mercy, all that we have is His
      love and His mercy, yet, on top of all that, He seeks US! We're
      talking God here, not some other created being. We're talking the
      Alpha and Omega, end all and be all, the First Cause, you name it.
      The very force of life and light and truth and love and mercy in the
      cosmos, before all time, names us, knows us and calls us.

      He ALREADY calls us His laborers, even before we answer. He knows
      intimately and well, from personal experience, the fouled up chaotic
      mess in which we live. He has lived in it, too. He tenderly calls us
      to "true and everlasting life" and assures us that He knows the way.
      In fact, He *IS* the Way!

      I can gush a bit writing about the Prologue, so indulge me here as I
      do so. Beloveds, for so you are to me, our fractured hearts and sin-
      veiled eyes just cannot see the way, nor can we name the hurts nor
      their cures well. God and God alone can pierce that darkness and He
      offers to do so before we even ask. This is awesome grace, this is
      enough for a lifetime's meditation on humility. Hard things to come
      in the struggle are real, but their harshness is in some way
      illusory: "Behold, in His loving-kindness, the Lord shows us the way
      of life."

      It is solely because of heaven and Christ for all eternity that every
      suffering, every cross can be diminished into absolute nothingness by
      the greatness of the reward. Yes, He shows us the way to life, but,
      as a wonderfully Dominican Doctor of the Church, St. Catherine of
      Siena, taught us: "All the way to Heaven *IS* Heaven, because He
      said: 'I am 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 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
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        +PAX

        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



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.