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Holy Rule for Feb. 11

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Jayne, who was in a head-on car accident, in ICU in critical but stable condition. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God s will
    Message 1 of 143 , Feb 10, 2013
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Jayne, who was in a head-on car accident, in ICU in critical but stable condition.

      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 11, June 12, October 12

      Chapter 9: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at the Night Office


      In winter time as defined above,
      there is first this verse to be said three times:
      "O Lord, open my lips,
      and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
      To it is added Psalm 3 and the "Glory be to the Father,"
      and after that Psalm 94 to be chanted with an antiphon
      or even chanted simply.
      Let the Ambrosian hymn follow next,
      and then six Psalms with antiphons.
      When these are finished and the verse said,
      let the Abbot give a blessing;
      then, all being seated on the benches,
      let three lessons be read from the book on the lectern
      by the brethren in their turns,
      and after each lesson let a responsory be chanted.
      Two of the responsories are to be said
      without a "Glory be to the Father"
      but after the third lesson
      let the chanter say the "Glory be to the Father,"
      and as soon as he begins it let all rise from their seats
      out of honor and reverence to the Holy Trinity.


      The books to be read at the Night Office
      shall be those of divine authorship,
      of both the Old and the New Testament,
      and also the explanations of them which have been made
      by well known and orthodox Catholic Fathers.


      After these three lessons with their responsories
      let the remaining six Psalms follow,
      to be chanted with "Alleluia."
      After these shall follow the lesson from the Apostle,
      to be recited by heart,
      the verse
      and the petition of the litany, that is "Lord, have mercy on us."
      And so let the Night Office come to an end.


      REFLECTION

      Keeping Vigils is one of the things monastics do and have done from
      time immemorial. Monasteries are structured to make that possible.
      Things that are never easy are at least possible in monasteries
      because everything has been geared toward that end.

      Oblates in the world may sometimes express regret that they cannot
      keep the whole monastic Office, but let me assure you, there are
      Vigils kept by Oblates of which monastics have no clue. Sure, it's
      hard to get up in the dark and say 14 psalms, but monastics need
      never face the harder, lonelier Vigils spent beside a desperately ill
      spouse or child. They need not face the terror of long insomniac
      nights of financial dread and worry, which compounds when one
      realizes that oversleeping might cost one one's job. The vocations in
      which Oblates find themselves often more than compensate for whatever
      asceticism one might find in a cloister!

      But, you see, that is how it ought to be: all the graces we need for
      holiness, for sainthood, are built right into our situations. The
      monk need not long for parenthood, nor the parent for the cloister.
      Each vocation is different and appropriately varied, but every
      vocation carries within it exactly the mercy and the means of grace which
      God knew from all eternity would be most perfect for us.

      We must train ourselves with great care to really will whatever God wills
      for us. This is different from merely passive acceptance. This is actually
      wanting whatever God sends out of deep faith that it is tailored flawlessly
      to our best growth in holiness. The best book ever written on this practice,
      in my opinion, is "Abandonment to Divine Providence", by Father Jean-Pierre
      de Caussade, SJ. I heartily recommend it and it is still in print after
      several centuries, a real classic! Great Lenten reading!

      We have it available in
      our on-line gift shop. Go to St. Marys web site below and click on gift shop.
      You want to get an edition that has the letters of de Caussade, they are the
      best. The only edition we carry has the letters.

      Never, ever think that a night spent sleepless for a sick child
      doesn't count as many, many, MANY Vigils! Benedictines live and
      thrive in all manner of environments today, and some of the best of
      them are not in choir in the wee hours, but that matters absolutely
      not at all!

      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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