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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 143 , Feb 17, 2013
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      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, 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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