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Holy Rule for Feb. 8

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following and for all their families and all who mourn them: Mildred, celebrated her 105th birthday just last
    Message 1 of 144 , Feb 7, 2013

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following and for all their families and all who mourn them:

      Mildred, celebrated her 105th birthday just last week in good spirits and passed on just a few days ago. Deo gratias for a life well lived and a happy death.
      Joe, who tragically took his own life due to a family history of depression. For his eternal soul and for the entire family which is devastated by his loss.

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

      Martin, recovering from knee replacement, healing but still in pain and some swelling in his calf area.

      Diana, losing her fight with stage four cancer and being moved to hospice care. For her continued courage and confidence in Him as she sees her journey to the end.

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual well-being and conversion of Judi and Peter,
      both of whom abandoned the Christian faith for another. May God lead them firmly

      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

      Chapter 7: On Humility cont.
      February 8, June 9, October 9

      The eleventh degree of humility is that when a monk speaks he do so gently
      and without laughter, humbly and seriously, in few and sensible words, and
      that he be not noisy in his speech. It is written, "A wise man is known by
      the fewness of his words."


      I read this one and cringe, largely because I fail it so much. Part of my
      loudness is being 40% deaf, and while I try to control my levels of speech, I
      sometimes forget. That, however, in NO way absolves me from the wise man and
      fewness of words part, nor does it cover the sins of my tendency to make a
      big splash nearly every time I'm entering the pool. Face it, beloveds, for those
      at poolside dining on dry snacks like potato chips, those big splashes can get
      very old, very fast!

      I'm speaking of my own failure here, but I imagine some of it may apply to
      others' lives, too. So many wasted words, and at such volume! What is their
      purpose, what insecurities do they cover? How many times do I speak as if on
      stage and why? To show that I am cool or a big shot or clever or funny? All
      those things are ultimately lies and the person I may be trying most to
      convince is my pathetically false self.

      How many times do I call it teasing when another is really hurt? How many
      times do I go over the top and not even notice, because my focus is really on
      myself? Even if I am only futilely trying to overcome my own boredom by
      creating some excitement, the message reads frighteningly clear: I am more
      important, I am a big deal, I matter more than the people or silence that make
      uncomfortable. None of that is true in the sense I am modeling it. None. So why
      do I bother? Why do any of us? These are tough and excellent questions!

      The twofold key is charity and balance. There have been times when I have
      seen a person- even been a person- who monopolized a recreation. There have been
      other times when I have longed for someone to do so. It requires that
      mindfulness born of love and balance to truthfully ascertain whether a situation
      profit more from our silence or our speaking.

      But the key here is "profit more" and the recipients in mind must be others, not
      just ourselves. Buffoonery can certainly annoy, but silence can also sometimes
      hurt: this person doesn't care about me at all, it's like I didn't even exist.
      between the extremes lies love, folks, and that is our precarious goal.

      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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