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Holy Rule for Feb. 16

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Moyra writes from Belfast, N. Ireland, asking that we pray for peace there as violence has erupted again. Prayers for Moyra s Dad, for healing, he has
    Message 1 of 143 , Feb 15 4:43 PM
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      Moyra writes from Belfast, N. Ireland, asking that we pray for peace there as violence has erupted again.

      Prayers for Moyra's Dad, for healing, he has lost seven toes to diabetes, and for her Mum, who cares for him and for Moyra's sister, brother-in-laww and niece, who do so much for them.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Michael, 47, who died before he could get a lung transplant. We had prayed for him, but he was taken off life support and died. Cystic fibrosis was the lung problem and he could not survive without a transplant.

      Prayers for Roy; fell and broke his hip. Surgery a must. Dr.'s say there is a good chance he will not make it through the operation. Roy has received the Last Rites from his family priest. Include prayers for Dan and Angela, Roy's son and wife; and Roy's wife who is very grieved.

      Prayers for Shannon, who must have yet another eye surgery to remove or repair scar tissue from previous surgeries. The doctor believes that the scar tissue is a factor in a retinal detachment. She has been so good about getting her life in order, please pray that this will not derail her progress.

      continued prayers for Jill and Debbie who are trying to quit smoking.

      Prayers for Beverly, for as positive as possible results for tests.and special intention.

      Prayers for JS, difficult work situation and school situation.

      Deo gratias for past prayers answered

      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 16, June 17, October 17

      Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays

      The Morning and Evening Offices
      should never be allowed to pass
      without the Superior saying the Lord's Prayer
      in its place at the end
      so that all may hear it,
      on account of the thorns of scandal which are apt to spring up.
      Thus those who hear it,
      being warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer
      when they say, "Forgive us as we forgive,"
      may cleanse themselves of faults against that covenant.

      But at the other Offices
      let the last part only of that prayer be said aloud,
      so that all may answer, "But deliver us from evil."


      If one just counts the times we say the Our Father aloud, at Mass,
      Lauds and Vespers, it's three times a day. Actually, given the silent
      repetitions at minor Hours, Compline and grace at table, the number
      jumps considerably. Added up, that can be pretty damning evidence at
      the Judgement seat if we don't mean what we are saying!

      Do we forgive? Do we really want His Kingdom to come? Or His Will to
      be done? Probably, in many cases, yes and no... The work of our
      monastic lives is to make that equation all "yes"! We argue with God
      over His Will, we seek to change His mind, as if we really could! As
      for forgiveness and His Kingdom, well, you can't have one without the
      other! The very equality of all in God's love that will obtain in the
      Kingdom already chafes us when we stop to think of someone we
      mightily WISH He did not love quite that much!

      As Dorothy Day's friend, Fr. Hugo, used to say: "You love God as
      much as the one you love the least." That remark shames me every
      single time I think of it. It is a great barometer of just how far
      one has to go, of how much God really matters to one. So far, I have
      never had a shortage of people I loved little enough to be quite
      embarrassed. But I am working on it, and that is all any of us can do.

      This perfection called for in the Lord's Prayer is a task we will
      never complete. There will always be more to do, our ducks will never
      be in a row, we will never and can never be utterly perfect. That's
      why we need a Savior, that's what He did. That's how ALL the "i's"
      got dotted and "t's" got crossed (literally!)

      Jesus does call us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, but He
      also knows that job will never be finished. He wants us to keep trying, but
      He certainly knows that no one could do that exactly without becoming God.
      Let us be frank in holding out no hope of anyone ever doing that!
      Still, that is the standard He set for us. we must aim for that goal and strive
      for it. Jesus Himself asked us to do that.

      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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