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Holy Rule for Feb. 5

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal est of the folowing, for all their families and all who mourn them: Bishop John D Arcy, of Ft.Wayne-South Bend,
    Message 1 of 144 , Feb 4, 2013

      Prayers, please, for the eternal est of the folowing, for all their families and all who mourn them:

      Bishop John D'Arcy, of Ft.Wayne-South Bend, Indiana,who died on the 56th anniversary of his first Mass as a priest.

      Joanne,and especialy for her son Richard and all her family.

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

      Paul, heart attack and in ICCU, has had angiopplasty for a blocked artery.

      Brian, still reeling in grief for the loss of his brother, then his car was totalled and now his cat had to be put to sleep, all the loss is weighing heavily on 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

      February 5, June 6, October 6
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The eighth degree of humility
      is that a monk do nothing except what is commended
      by the common Rule of the monastery
      and the example of the elders.


      [How many of you can tell I used to be a radio DJ by reading this? And I loved

      I am a much bigger fan of early Sinatra than I am of his later
      career. One of the hits of his closing years, which was also recorded
      by Elvis, was "My Way." It quickly became the defining anthem for
      many in the rather egocentric late 20th century.

      Couple these two guys with a third, Tony Bennett, in an imaginary trio
      for another hit, "I've Gotta Be Me" and you have the secular rationale
      of the self in a nutshell. I really love Tony Bennett, and I used to own a
      copy of his recording of "I've Gotta Be Me", but now I rather wish he'd
      passed up on that one.

      Both songs take the healthy notion of self and elevate it to a level
      of distortion and falsity. They erroneously elevate
      a part of truth to being the whole truth and that spells trouble. Our
      selves are wonderful, unique, precious gifts, so are children. Leave
      either unbridled and malformed and you will regret it.

      Humility forms rightly because it is truth. Like the Gospel itself,
      humility is the exact reverse of many a worldly tune. The real,
      objective truth lies in the paradox, in the tension of yes AND no to
      many things which the world would accept unquestioningly as "YES!"

      So, here comes the 8th degree. It's message is that it is most safe
      to assume that doing it one's own way is neither right nor terribly
      bright. We may find that sometimes we are right, but even there, so
      long as the action is morally neutral, the wise course is subjection
      to the common mind. Benedictines swim in schools, it's our nature to
      do so.

      In fact, even doing it some other monastery's tested, tried and true way
      makes no sense. God calls us to the house and the observance that
      will best suit us. If we have made a mistake in hearing Him, He will
      somehow gets us to transfer (unless we STILL can't hear Him!)
      Otherwise, let things alone.

      We come to a distinct monastery and congregation, to the Rule, to be
      taught, not to teach them. We come to be directed, not to direct, to
      be formed, not to form. If we allow all those things to happen to us
      in humility we quite likely WILL be elements of change for the better
      in the community's history, but that change will be one planned by
      God, not ourselves.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      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



        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).


        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

        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
        Petersham, MA




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