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Holy Rule for Feb. 10

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX A blessed feast iof St. Scholastica to all. It is a solemnity here, as she is our nuns patron. Prayers for our nuns at St. Scholastica Priory, please,
    Message 1 of 144 , Feb 9, 2013
      +PAX

      A blessed feast iof St. Scholastica to all. It is a solemnity here, as she is our nuns' patron. Prayers for our nuns at St. Scholastica Priory, please, and prayers for all Benedictine women.

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

      Yoaska, 12, just diagnosed with cancer, and for her Mom, who is unemployed.

      Arjahn, health and relationship issues.

      Beverly, special intention.

      JS, difficult oral presentation

      Elaine who is battling with a cold and cough this past week and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

      Thanksgiving regarding our prayers for a Sister with failing kidneys and for the news that last week's tests showed improved function. Meanwhile, she has come peacefully to a decision to decline dialysis if that time comes.

      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 10, June 11, October 11
      Chapter 8: On the Divine Office During the Night

      In the winter time,
      that is from the Calends of November until Easter,
      the sisters shall rise
      at what is calculated to be the eighth hour of the night,
      so that they may sleep somewhat longer than half the night
      and rise with their rest completed.
      And the time that remains after the Night Office
      should be spent in study
      by those sisters who need a better knowledge of the Psalter
      or the lessons.


      From Easter to the aforesaid Calends of November,
      the hour of rising should be so arranged that the Morning Office,
      which is to be said at daybreak,
      will follow the Night Office after a very short interval,
      during which they may go out for the necessities of nature.

      REFLECTION

      Two very human glimpses into the personality of St. Benedict here. He
      is thoughtful and kind, making sure the monastics have time for a
      bathroom run and he is not prudish about mentioning it. It's part of
      the human and part of family life. As casually as a mother asks young
      children if anybody "has to go" before a trip, he throws out mention
      of the fact that not everyone could make it through two long services
      without great discomfort!

      The tender concern of a loving parent comes through loud and clear
      here. St. Benedict is well aware that he is not setting up a spa
      resort, but he also wants the monastics living by his ascetic regime
      to live in the reasonable comfort of moderation. "Reasonable," that
      is, in accord with reason; and "comfort" that is, to strengthen,
      literally, "with-strength".

      It's not
      supposed to be easy, ( and it isn't!) but being a monastic isn't
      supposed to be ALL gritted teeth, either. We Benedictines need, as
      Hopkins put it: "room to let joy size."!

      So, yeah, let them sleep enough, but not too much. And after they've
      been chanting in Church for a good long while, give 'em all a
      bathroom break. This is not the program of a heartless, joyless,
      unloving taskmaster!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      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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