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Holy Rule for Feb. 7

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please,for the eternal rest of Fr. Luis Salazar, murdered in Colombia, and for all his famiy, parish, and all who mourn him, also for the
    Message 1 of 143 , Feb 6, 2013
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      Prayers, please,for the eternal rest of Fr. Luis Salazar, murdered in Colombia, and for all his famiy, parish, and all who mourn him, also for the conversion of his murderers.

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

      Kris B, single mother of 3, who works two jobs is having knee arthroscopy surgery Friday morning due to problems with the cartilage in the knee and they're checking to see if there are any chips, torn ligaments or tendons. Recovery time between 3-4 weeks.

      Craig, needs badly to sell two cabins to help their financial situation.

      Rochelle, 19, for whom we prayed when clots were removed from her spine, has been transferred to a spinal institute for 1-2 months, she cannot walk yet but can wiggle her toes.

      Nancy, she went to the hospital with an emergency -- seems to be a blood clot that began with headaches, gave a pain in her left arm then traveled to her left lung and now her leg hurts.

      Marian, who had a stroke, has beeen cleared to go home on Thursday, staff amazed at her progress. Deo gratias and continued prayers, as she still has some rehab therapies to go through from home.

      Steve Petrica, being ordained a transitional deacon this weekend.

      C., soon celebrating 27 years of sobriety in AA.

      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 7, June 8, October 8
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The tenth degree of humility
      is that he be not ready and quick to laugh,
      for it is written,
      "The fool lifts up his voice in laughter" (Eccles. 21:23).


      Face it, beloveds, speech and laughter have a lot in common! Both are
      often fake, insincere, nervous or empty. Both are often employed for
      no reason other than to break a silence which makes us uncomfortable.
      Both are frequently unnecessary. To the degree that both are
      sometimes false, they are destructive of truth and, therefore, of humility.

      I speak from experience as one of the big-time braying mules, all
      too ready to lift my fool's voice in laughter! People like me are
      quick to defend themselves by making the other side look dumb or
      challenged: "Oh, I can't stand someone with no sense of humor!" Well,
      the issue here is NOT having a sense of humor, all of us need that.
      It is having a hair trigger on same or, worse. It's having a
      catastrophic first strike capability to laugh when no one else does,
      to see humor where it truly does not exist, or to be silly in the
      presence of those far wiser than oneself.

      Every good monk I have ever known has laughed. The best monks,
      however, did not laugh easily. A knowing, warm smile with bright eyes
      or a discreet chuckle would have been most usual for them. They were
      not quick to laugh, nor did they roar loudly with laughter.

      There's another connection between speech and laughter here. Their
      moderate, virtuous use is connected to wisdom, which is why the person
      who rarely speaks at all is usually listened to when they do say
      something. Ditto the use of laughter. If Br. X, who laughs at
      everything, including things that aren't funny, howls in laughter,
      people don't ascribe much to the affair. On the other hand, if Br. Z,
      who is NOT given to laughter, even chuckles it is a sign that
      something is REALLY funny!

      Stupid laughter and stupid speech are both pathetic as a first
      resort. Both can stem from thinking we know something that we really
      do not, or that we can see clearly and entirely what we really see
      only partially, if that. Our ignorance in such matters may be missed
      by others, but those we live with can usually point it out, unless
      they are too polite or charitable to do so!

      Having said that about ignorance, let me jump in to defend valid
      laughter and truthful senses of humor. Merely being curmudgeonly and
      not laughing is definitely NOT the idea! That treats the symptom, not
      the cause! Joyless, cranky, unduly serious people who take
      themselves, above all, FAR too seriously, are every bit as much out
      of touch with reality as the braying mules.

      Both laughter and speech can be cruel and ought never to be so for the
      Christian. But both can be loving and charitable, too. Surely there is no
      implied here of charity! What of the many times when a laugh or chuckle truly
      did break the ice, lighten the moment or cheer someone up. One would be hard
      pressed to claim that those charitably kind uses of laughter were forbidden.

      Humility is truth, remember that one? As Sheen observed, both the sense of
      faith and the sense of humor are the terribly important ability to see through

      The good monks I described who rarely laughed were not morose. They were not
      so because they were holy enough to know better! They were cheerful, joyful men.
      That stands in high (and pleasant!) relief to being either a crank or a

      That's the issue here: being holy makes us humble, being holy makes
      us avoid extremes!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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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        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.
        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).


        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

        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
        Petersham, MA

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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