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Holy Rule for Jan. 14

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Deo gratias, Doug is home and glad to be, continued prayers for his recovery from his toe removal surfery, as he is confined to a wheelchair till March.
    Message 1 of 59 , Jan 13, 2013
      +PAX

      Deo gratias, Doug is home and glad to be, continued prayers for his recovery from his toe removal surfery, as he is confined to a wheelchair till March.

      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 14, May 15, September 14
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

      The Abbess should always remember what she is
      and what she is called,
      and should know that to whom more is committed,
      from her more is required (Luke 12:48).
      Let her understand also
      what a difficult and arduous task she has undertaken:
      ruling souls and adapting herself to a variety of characters.
      One she must coax, another scold, another persuade,
      according to each one's character and understanding.
      Thus she must adjust and adapt herself to all
      in such a way that she may not only suffer no loss
      in the flock committed to her care,
      but may even rejoice in the increase of a good flock.

      REFLECTION

      When we read these portions of the Holy Rule which deal with the
      Abbot or other officials a very handy suggestion is in order. Read
      them to see what the Abbess DOES comply with, not what you feel she
      misses, because no one I have ever known in the abbacy is perfect
      enough to fulfill them all at all times.

      Read them with one eye on who the Abbot or boss or parent really is
      as a frail human being, what sort of person he is, and the other eye
      focused on what is demanded of him by the Holy Rule. Chapters such as
      this one will give you a really valuable insight into what those
      officials are wrestling with, a glimpse of how tough it can be to
      tread the very fine line.

      Parents, fear not! I'll bet most people couldn't read
      this chapter's portions without cringing a little, maybe even a lot. If your
      eyes are even half open, you will see the areas of failure every time
      you read them. (If, by some odd oversight, you have missed one or
      two, your children are quite likely to point them out to you the next
      time they get mad!!)

      Use those areas as goals to work on, but don't
      beat yourself up on them too badly. Not only does no one ever get
      there all at once, but, frankly, I think hardly anyone ever gets there
      all the way period. It is death and purgation which finally perfect us.
      Meanwhile, we struggle and plod.

      Finally, since the majority of us will never be Abbots, read these
      portions of the Rule to see how you measure up. How many of these
      qualities do you have? When one of the things demanded of the Abbess
      is exercised in your regard, how gracefully, even gratefully, do you
      receive it? Authority is a two-way street. Any kid who thinks it ALL
      devolves on parents hasn't read the Commandments past number three.
      There are responsibilities both parties must uphold.

      Change "Abbess" to "Christian" and read again. Then add "Benedictine"
      to "Christian" and re-check that part about "to whom more is
      committed."

      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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