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Holy Rule for Jan. 27

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for a Sister in Texas who is 87 and has deteriorating kidneys. She is trying to discern whether or not to go on dialysis if the
    Message 1 of 143 , Jan 26, 2013
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for a Sister in Texas who is 87 and has deteriorating kidneys. She is trying to discern whether or not to go on dialysis if the medication doesn't restore more kidney function. Please pray that the medication will work, or that she will be at peace in making the decision.

      Prayers for Pearl, who he has some eye and neurological issues that she is dealing with, along with the stress of paying for insurance, meeting her job requirements and trying to do all the right things. Prayers for peace and healing!

      Prayers for Cheryl and her job serach, may God give her the job He has for her.

      Prayers for Izzy, a sveral weeks old infant, for her eternal rest and for her parents and all her family and all who mourn her.

      Prayers, please, for Br. Timothy of Pluscarden on his feastday, and for all our Timothys and Tituses, graces and blessings galore! Ad multos annos!

      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 27, May 28, September 27
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      Let a man consider
      that God is always looking at him from heaven,
      that his actions are everywhere visible to the divine eyes
      and are constantly being reported to God by the Angels.
      This is what the Prophet shows us
      when he represents God as ever present within our thoughts,
      in the words "Searcher of minds and hearts is God" (Ps. 7:10)
      and again in the words "The Lord knows the thoughts of men" (Ps.
      93:11).
      Again he says,
      "You have read my thoughts from afar" (Ps. 138:3)
      and "The thoughts of people will confess to You" (Ps. 75:11).

      In order that he may be careful
      about his wrongful thoughts, therefore,
      let the faithful brother say constantly in his heart,
      "Then shall I be spotless before Him,
      if I have kept myself from my iniquity" (Ps. 17:24).

      REFLECTION

      One of the things I always wanted to get for Dame Maggie, my late
      cat, was a bird feeder that I saw. Picture an air conditioner put in
      a window backwards, with the protrusion inside. It was like that, but
      rather like an aquarium made of one way mirrors. The birds, all
      unwitting, came INSIDE to dine in that mirrored cube and I'll bet she
      would have loved it. Alas, the price was out of the question.

      Ah, how like those birds we are! Unfortunately, we CAN afford the
      cubes of mirrored walls all to easily: we create them ourselves, with
      our own illusions and ignorance and forgetfulness. We live and move
      in the falsity that we are unobserved. We forget altogether that God
      and His angels see us in every moment, in every place.

      Ever look over your shoulder to see if the boss was around? Ever
      relax because your parent or spouse was gone to the store and you had
      at least an hour of privacy? Most of us have. Kids behave differently
      (a LOT differently!!) when the teacher is out of the classroom or has
      turned away from them. We are conditioned to monitor our behavior
      according to who is or is not present.

      The the big-time difference with our loving God is that He is
      always in the office, never leaves the classroom, and never goes to
      the store. Faced with that truth, we defend ourselves with the only
      foolish thing we have left: forgetfulness of His presence. Well, sorry,
      beloveds, but it is false.

      He doesn't leave. He's always there. The spiritual world is all about us
      at every second, every instant. We just would rather not credit the
      fact, but that in no way makes it otherwise. It's a big mistake to
      think of the omnipresence of God as outdated, as something that
      happened "back then" but not now. That omnipresence never changes.

      Now, what is all this doing in a chapter on humility? Easy! We can be
      proud if we think we are not found out. The child who deals with a
      teacher who hasn't seen is a VERY different kid from the one who has
      been caught! We are hopefully humble if we admit we have been caught. We
      have to remind ourselves that nothing happens in secret and, having
      said that, that our track record is hardly so sterling as the one we
      would like to present to the world. Humility is truth, truth is the
      correct accordance of the mind with reality. And the reality is that
      we all fall regularly!

      Ever hear married folks talk about things they quit
      doing when no longer single? They thought they were alone before!
      Ever have the illusion of privacy yourself, with the door firmly closed?
      Ha! Thought you were alone, didn't you?
      Sigh... it is so deep in us!

      Now, look, this is not to get you crazy about security cameras in places.
      (Look how used we are to them, in fact!) The whole purpose
      here is just to get us more in tune with reality and the reality is
      that we could always be better. So there comes conversion of manners,
      that other Benedictine vow: we must never stop striving to be better.
      Face it, m'dears, we live and move and have our being in the banquet
      hall of the greatest King. Whether we credit that or not, it is so.

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










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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers, please, for the following, and for all their families and all who take care of them: Barbara, dementia worsening, major meltdown on Friday, and
      Message 143 of 143 , Jun 1, 2013
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        +PAX
        Prayers, please, for the following, and for all their families and all who take care of them:

        Barbara, dementia worsening, major meltdown on Friday, and for her husband, Jim.

        a member of Jane's family newly diagnosed with cancer.

        Al. His vision is critical to his work. He had cataract surgery and now the lens that was implanted will have to be removed Monday and replaced with a new one. Doc says there is a high risk of a detached retina. Please pray that God will guide the surgeon's hands and for complete healing.

        Denise, that she get her marriage blessed and return to the Sacraments.

        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

        February 1, June 2, October 2
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The fourth degree of humility
        is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
        when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
        and contradictions
        and even any kind of injustice,
        enduring all without growing weary or running away.
        For the Scripture says,
        "The one who perseveres to the end,
        is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
        and again
        "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!


        And to show how those who are faithful
        ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
        the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
        "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
        we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
        8:36).
        Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
        they go on with joy to declare,
        "But in all these trials we conquer,
        through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
        Again, in another place the Scripture says,
        "You have tested us, O God;
        You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
        You have brought us into a snare;
        You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
        And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
        it goes on to say,
        "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).


        Moreover, by their patience
        those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
        in adversities and injuries:
        when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
        when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
        when forced to go a mile, they go two;
        with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
        and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

        REFLECTION

        Be careful how you read this fourth step of patience. It is an ideal,
        presented in its most flawless form. It is not an unreachable goal, but neither
        should we expect significant progress before noon today. It is our call and
        our vocation, but it is a lifelong task.

        The danger for schleps like me is that this step can give one an image
        of a perfect, 1950's TV sitcom Mom: shirt dress, high heels and pearls as
        everyday wear, cookies and milk always forthcoming in a kitchen as clean
        as a surgical suite and never a hair out of place. Full make-up on rising
        and wears hat and matching gloves to shop. PUHLEEEZE! Give me a break.
        Real patience in action is not at all like that.

        Patience in action is a fierce struggle. Never think that it's easy for
        others and therefore something is wrong with you: it isn't easy
        for anyone. One of the biggest flaws of the "I'm OK and you are
        not..." school of ministry is that it makes people think exactly
        this. "It's easy for her and there's something terribly wrong with
        me." Neither is true.

        The Rule and Scriptures were meant for strugglers. They were written
        for real, average people, halt and lame, battle-scarred veterans like
        you and me, for people who have weathered life, but barely. Hey,
        there may be cookies and milk, but you'll probably have to get the
        plate yourself and brush aside a LOT of blood, sweat and tears to
        find one. Oh, and please drink the milk fast and take as much as you
        can... the fridge broke today.

        Patience is surely one of the most important fuels that perseverance
        runs on, but don't be surprised if it often is not very high octane!
        Neither should it surprise you if your engine is not a slant V-8, but
        rather a very cheap lawnmower that has trouble starting. Patience
        is ENDURANCE, not ease. It may, after years of struggle, confer a
        great peace and serenity, but it rarely, if ever, feels like that in
        the middle of things.

        Brother Patrick Creamer, OSB, of Saint Leo Abbey in Florida, taught
        me patience and perseverance. He was able to do so because he was so
        transparent about his own struggles. Many others tried to tell me how
        hard it was, but their lack of candor made me dismiss their warnings
        as tokenism. It certainly didn't seem to be hard for them. I couldn't
        believe them. Patrick, my late and beloved mentor, was so very different.

        Patrick entered the monastery in 1954, when he was 40, after a long
        career at sea. He missed being at sea so much (and for so long!) that
        it magnified many of the every day crosses of monastic life. Abbot
        Marion, who loved brothers and had a very tender spot for them, used
        to send Patrick to the beach for a weekend occasionally, in years
        when that sort of thing didn't often happen. Abbot Marion was wise enough
        to know he'd lose Patrick if he didn't get a salt air fix now and then.

        Even the beach trips were not enough alone. Patrick told me he was
        tempted to leave every single day for ten years. Patrick, when I
        lived with him, literally stayed packed with a hidden suitcase for
        years and boasted of his ability to be gone in an hour. As a novice,
        my heart used to be selfishly in my throat. I wanted him to go, if
        that was what he was supposed to do, but I really didn't want to lose
        him.

        I can also tell you that, during the worst
        of those years, Patrick helped scores of folks who came to him, because a
        transparently wounded person usually can. I can also tell you that
        Brother Patrick finally decided to stay: when he was 83 or so!! What a
        witness of hope that was to me, to others struggling like me.

        Please, let us all be given patience. But when we get it, however
        little at a time, let NONE of us be "perfect" TV Moms. Let us all be Patricks,
        let us show others how terribly hard, yet doable it can be.

        Patrick held forth from his infirmary room until his death
        at two weeks short of 90. A steady stream of visitors never waned.
        On the head of his bed and on the shaving mirror over his sink were
        two small notes, written in his own inimitable hand: "Lord, let me
        come to You." They broke my heart the first time I saw them. I still
        didn't want to lose him. But I know how right he was and how richly he
        deserves that loving embrace for which he so patiently waited.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome LEO, OSB (again and again you'll see why I took the second
        name!)
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA



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