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Holy Rule for Feb. 18

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Rhoda, geriatric issues. Update on Marie. She has been diagnosed with H1N1 influenza and she is still in ICU and still intubated. The
    Message 1 of 144 , Feb 17, 2013

      Prayers, please, for Rhoda, geriatric issues.

      Update on Marie. She has been diagnosed with H1N1 influenza and she is still in ICU and still intubated. The doctors said that this is a long time for her to not be breathing on her own so prayers that she makes a complete recovery and is able to go home soon. Prayers also for her sister Myrna and all of their family as they are in shock over this happening. Marie is young and only in her 50's.

      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.

      February 18, June 19, October 19
      Chapter 15: At What Times "Alleluia" Is to Be Said

      From holy Easter until Pentecost without interruption
      let "Alleluia" be said
      both in the Psalms and in the responsories.
      From Pentecost to the beginning of Lent
      let it be said every night
      with the last six Psalms of the Night Office only.
      On every Sunday, however, outside of Lent,
      the canticles, the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext and None
      shall be said with "Alleluia,"
      but Vespers with antiphons.

      The responsories are never to be said with "Alleluia"
      except from Easter to Pentecost.


      When I lived in the Byzantine rite for a very happy while, one of the
      things that surprised me was the fact that they still used Alleluia
      in Lent. That sounded strange to my Western ears, but not for long.
      In the West, Alleluia has become virtually nothing but a synonym
      for "Hooray!" In the East, not so. Our Western connection of Alleluia
      as primarily a word of rejoicing reserved for happy times is not
      quite on the mark, with all due apologies to St. Benedict and the
      rest of Western tradition.

      When was the last time you stopped to think that "Amen" really
      meant "So be it"? I do now and then, but usually just parrot the word
      out without a thought. So it is with most people saying
      Alleluia. "Oh, yeah, uh...alleluia...." Alleluia means "Praise the
      Lord." Focus on this and one can readily see why the East still says
      it during Lent.

      Of course, St. Benedict's prescriptions here are a perfect blend of
      change and variety for the Office. They "dress up" the most festive
      times of the years and provide a break from the ordinary. Probably
      what St. Benedict had in mind at the time was that our hearts should
      be so full at Paschaltide that no other words would do: only the
      ineffable stuttering out of "Alleluia!!" would convey our joy. He
      wasn't wrong about that, but saying Alleluia mindlessly misses the

      So, forgive me, does saying Alleluia only at joyous times. The
      charismatic movement in the 1970's made popular the English
      equivalent of Alleluia: "Praise the Lord!" It was an expression of
      joy and gratitude for whatever God had done for one. Ah, but then
      the "whatever" part of that phrase soon came to be evident! A very
      clever catch phrase evolved for those times when things WEREN'T so
      great, when one had difficulty appreciating what sometimes seems like
      God's decidedly strange sense of humor. On such occasions, they
      said: "Praise the Lord Anyhow!" So it should be with Alleluia!

      Our Office and Mass may change in Lent in the Western tradition, but
      our hearts must always and everywhere, in every circumstance,
      say "Alleluia!" and really mean it, really know it.

      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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