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Holy Rule for Jan. 6

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX At last, with the 6th on Sunday, Epiphany falls on its traditional date! A blessed Epiphany to all, as well as the rest of Christmastide. Don t forget to
    Message 1 of 58 , Jan 5, 2013
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      +PAX

      At last, with the 6th on Sunday, Epiphany falls on its traditional date! A blessed Epiphany to all, as well as the rest of Christmastide. Don't forget to pray for those on your Christmas list, Christmas isn't over till the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.


      Prayers for the following:

      Tom, in hospice in Tampa.

      For healing in a special situation.

      Healing for Bob & back injury, depression.

      Michael, leaving for the Navy.

      Healing for Max & strength for his family.

      Sister Pat, that she be blessed in her work with Union Hill School Children.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Robert, 76, a great teacher, and for all his 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

      January 6, May 7, September 6
      Prologue

      So we have asked the Lord
      who is to dwell in His tent,
      and we have heard His commands
      to anyone who would dwell there;
      it remains for us to fulfill those duties.

      Therefore we must prepare our hearts and our bodies
      to do battle under the holy obedience of His commands;
      and let us ask God
      that He be pleased to give us the help of His grace
      for anything which our nature finds hardly possible.
      And if we want to escape the pains of hell
      and attain life everlasting,
      then, while there is still time,
      while we are still in the body
      and are able to fulfill all these things
      by the light of this life,
      we must hasten to do now
      what will profit us for eternity.

      REFLECTION

      This is a shameless re-run on the Morning Offering, one of my all-
      time favorite things to write about! Everyone reading this is in
      every morning offering of mine and has been for a long, long time!

      The first section of the Prologue asked us to seek God's blessing
      before doing any work. Today we are asked to prepare our hearts and
      bodies for the struggles ahead and ask God for His help. Both of
      these precepts are quite nicely filled by making the Morning
      Offering. Now I know that is a Roman Catholic prayer, and I also know
      we have (thanks be to God!) many Oblates of other faiths among us.
      Bear with me, please. I think this has applications for everyone.

      The morning offering is considered rather passe in some Roman
      Catholic circles. One actually wonders why, in an age that loves
      computers with tons of memory, hard drives that do all the work for
      us, even more work than our own minds could dream of doing. I have
      12,000 names in a data base I built on royal genealogy, a favorite
      hobby. One click and a few seconds will tell me how any two of them
      are related, even up to mind-boggling relationships like eighteenth
      cousin three times removed. It will start at a point like that and
      then list all lesser relationships, until common ancestors are all
      depleted. No way I could EVER do that. The morning offering, however,
      makes computer ability look like shooting fish in a barrel.

      The morning offering is the perfect capstone, cornerstone and
      beginning for a great life of intercessory prayer. It unites the
      poverty of our own lives, prayers, works, joys and sufferings with
      those of Christ, with those of His Mystical Body. It plunges the
      finite smallness of our own actions into sea after sea of infinite
      grace and perfection and, wrapped in that awesome completeness,
      offers them to the Father in the perhaps most perfect personal gift
      we could ever hope for that day, short of martyrdom itself.

      Ever forget to pray during the day? The morning offering makes our
      very heartbeats and breathing prayers, means of grace for ourselves
      and for all. We have offered ALL our works, even the unconscious ones
      of our bodies to God, and we have offered them in union with the most
      perfect sacrifice of Jesus. With a gift tag like that, the Father is
      quite likely to be pleased, indeed. Each time we blink, or eat,
      suffer or rejoice, we link that to Christ on His Cross. None of us
      have enough bytes of memory to really do that. The morning
      offering is our "hard drive" it is the program that saves to disk and
      runs automatically.

      Our baptism into the Mystical Body gives us the right to plug into
      that infinite worth. It would be a shame if we missed the
      opportunity. Let me tell you, with complete sincerity, that all the
      works of my entire life couldn't save a flea from drowning in a
      raindrop. No way. Buried within the depths of Christ, however, their
      value becomes literally infinite.

      Ever feel bad that you forgot to pray for some one who asked, or only
      whispered a quick: "Lord, help her."? The morning offering makes our
      life and our prayer an infinite pie, one which can never be sliced
      too thin. Counting huge groups and individuals, I pray every single
      day for literally billions of people and not one of them is short-
      changed at all. That's the marvel of uniting our lives and heart
      daily to Christ. Every slice of the pie gets served on the plate of
      His infinity, every single one. Cloaked in the perfect mercy and
      offering of Jesus, every single act, even the keys I just struck and
      the mouse I just moved are wonderful prayers for all, for everyone
      throughout time. That's not shabby, folks!

      Ever wish that your heart prone to largesse had all the money in the
      world? How generous you would be! But, with the morning offering, you
      have daily more than that. Claim your infinite share and spread it
      around! Name people and groups, sure, but know that God has a memory
      that never quits. You can say: for all people in all time" and it
      WILL count! Heavens, I pray for all Oblates (among lots of other
      groups every day. Not only could I not name them, I don't even know
      them, nor is it possible for ANYONE to know them all throughout time.
      But God does, and it counts!) There is no one reading this for whom I
      have not prayed every single day, many by name, but it doesn't
      matter if I cannot name you all. God is my hard drive!
      The morning offering is a very neat method!

      Look, folks, it's a Roman Catholic prayer. I'll give you a version of
      it at the end of this post, but there are many others. I KNOW that
      some of our Oblates from other Churches may have to amend it a bit
      and that's OK, go for what God and your heart allows. I think,
      however, that all Christians could agree on at least these
      essentials. (Someone please correct me here, if I am wrong.) Offer
      all your prayers, works, joys and sufferings in union with those of
      Christ, for the intentions of Christ, for all the Church and its
      leaders, for all people throughout time. Say it any way your heart
      allows, but do at least this much and congratulations: you have just
      thrust your own prayers and works and joys and sufferings into the
      very heart of the Cosmos, into the whole of history itself. You now
      stand beside Christ in HIS perfect work in every age. WOOOOF!

      And, if today is your first morning offering, or your first in some
      time, remember to pray for all Benedictines on Tuesdays,
      St. Benedict's special day! Hey, remember to pray for us all EVERY day!
      We need it.

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

      MORNING OFFERING

      O my Jesus, I offer You this day my prayers, works, joys and
      suffering, for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart and Divine
      Mercy, in union with every sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world
      and with all the prayers, works, joys and sufferings of Your Mystical
      Body throughout time, in reparation for our sins and in thanksgiving
      for all Your benefits. I offer them for the Pope and his intentions,
      all Church leaders, and for the unity of all.

      (Now you can add your own intentions- don't be stingy here, you have
      infinity! I always end my own list with: for everyone and everything
      throughout time, created by Your hands, I offer You my life, in
      holocaust for these and for Your will for them.)

      End with: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto
      Yours. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You.

      Many older Catholics may recall getting monthly leaflets for the Morning
      Offering at Church, maybe some Churches still have them, but they are
      nowhere near as available as they once were. This website puts the leaflets
      on line, along with a simple morning offering, lives of certain
      saints from the month and what the Pope's intentions for that month
      really are. (I have spent most of my life not knowing... Now I try to
      actually use them!)

      here's the URL. Enjoy!

      http://www.apostleship-prayer.org/



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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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        +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



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