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Holy Rule for Jan. 19

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Deacon Ian, and for his wife, Liz and all his family and all who mourn him. Prayers for Judith, identity theft
    Message 1 of 144 , Jan 18, 2013
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Deacon Ian, and for his wife, Liz and all his family and all who mourn him.

      Prayers for Judith, identity theft problems, and for the conversion of the perpetrator.

      Prayers for Mike and Donna, who had to put down their beloved dog, Max.

      Prayers for Bro. Bede of Valyermo, very tough times just now.

      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 19, May 20, September 19
      Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

      Not to give way to anger.
      Not to nurse a grudge.
      Not to entertain deceit in one's heart.
      Not to give a false peace.
      Not to forsake charity.
      Not to swear, for fear of perjuring oneself.
      To utter truth from heart and mouth.
      Not to return evil for evil.
      To do no wrong to anyone, and to bear patiently wrongs done to
      oneself.
      To love one's enemies.
      Not to curse those who curse us, but rather to bless them.
      To bear persecution for justice' sake.
      Not to be proud.
      Not addicted to wine.
      Not a great eater.
      Not drowsy.
      Not lazy.
      Not a grumbler.
      Not a detractor.
      To put one's hope in God.
      To attribute to God, and not to self, whatever good one sees in
      oneself.
      But to recognize always that the evil is one's own doing, and to
      impute it to oneself.

      REFLECTION

      A beginning warning as we read these instruments of good works: don't
      focus on the few you already can more or less manage! Lots of people
      do that, carefully skimming over the ones they can't dream of doing
      or fathoming, patting themselves on the back for the stray one here
      and there they can. (E.g., "Hey, I don't murder anybody...") None of
      us could do any of these things at all without grace and mercy. It is
      all God's gift that allows us to do good. The most important
      instruments of good works are the ones we HAVEN'T mastered... yet!!

      Just a quickie on one of these: "Not to forsake charity." St. Paul
      tells us that love never gives up. There is a similarity here to the
      vow of conversion of manners: one never gives up striving for
      holiness or the vow is broken. So it is with love: if we give up, it
      is broken.

      If we deny that a person can ever change, we deny an important truth: all
      people can change, even those who annoy or hurt us the most. Insisting that a
      person will never be any better is clinging to a falsehood. The person MIGHT
      never change, sure, but to insist that we KNOW someone never will improve is a
      lie. We know nothing of the sort. Every lie diminishes our sharing in truth.
      Since Jesus said He is the Truth, we must grasp and gather every bit of truth
      that we can. To cling to a false (and uncharitable,) conviction of a
      person's perpetual inability to become better is to work against ourselves. We
      should be gathering truth, not lies.

      One of the Dominican applications of their motto, "Veritas", Truth,
      to spirituality is to justify study by Jesus' statement that He is
      the Truth. Hence, every bit and fragment of real truth that
      Dominicans gain in their learning is like one more piece of the
      puzzle, one more shard of the shattered mirror of human consciousness
      that reflects Christ. The more we learn of truth, the more familiar
      His face will be to us when we finally see Him.

      Jesus said He was the Truth, St. John tells us God is love. The two
      are intertwined in the essence of God. They must also be wound
      together tightly in our ways of loving, forgiving and knowing each
      other.

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



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for the at least 37 killed and 15 injured in a plane crash in Kyrgyzstan. For the eternal rest of the dead, the recovery of the wounded and for
      Message 144 of 144 , Jan 16

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for the at least 37 killed and 15 injured in a plane crash in Kyrgyzstan. For the eternal rest of the dead, the recovery of the wounded and for the families of all. Prayers, too, for those who lost homes or property, half of the village was destroyed by the crash.

         

        The Salesians invite all to join them in praying a novena to Mary Immaculate, Help of Christians, for the release of kidnapped Fr. Tom in Yemen. The novena is from January 15-23.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of JP. For whom we prayed, and for all his family, especially his son, and all who mourn him.

         

        Prayers for John, facing two hours of dental implant surgery on Tuesday, may all go well and may he recover quickly.

         

        Prayers for Donna, on her birthday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Br. Augustine, 58, of the Maronite monks in Petersham, Holy Trinity Monastery, 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.

        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 is anywhere 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, MA

         

         

         

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