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Holy Rule for Feb. 19

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for a happy and peaceful death for Kathy, sister of Sr. Pat H. Prayers for Ben, multiple injuries after a bad fall. Lord, help us all as You know
    Message 1 of 143 , Feb 18, 2013
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      Prayers for a happy and peaceful death for Kathy, sister of Sr. Pat H.

      Prayers for Ben, multiple injuries after a bad fall.

      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 19, June 20, October 20
      Chapter 16: How the Work of God Is to Be Performed During the Day

      "Seven times in the day," says the Prophet,
      "I have rendered praise to You" (Ps. 118:164).
      Now that sacred number of seven will be fulfilled by us
      if we perform the Offices of our service
      at the time of the Morning Office,
      of Prime, of Terce, of Sext, of None,
      of Vespers and of Compline,
      since it was of these day Hours that he said,
      "Seven times in the day I have rendered praise to You."
      For as to the Night Office the same Prophet says,
      "In the middle of the night I arose to glorify You" (Ps. 118:62).

      Let us therefore bring our tribute of praise to our Creator
      "for the judgments of His justice" (Ps. 118:164)
      at these times:
      the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext, None,
      Vespers and Compline;
      and in the night let us arise to glorify Him.


      Tucked neatly into all this business of naming and counting the Hours
      of the Divine Office comes the actual reason we go to choir or say
      the Office alone. It is "our tribute of praise to our Creator 'for
      the judgments of His justice' "

      OK, tribute, praise, glorify, all those things are familiar enough to
      us, but the zinger here is "for the judgments of His justice."
      Whoops! A lot fall out on that one! Whether we realize it or not, the
      reason we praise God as Benedictines is to thank Him for ALL His
      decisions in regard to us. That isn't easy, but it is terribly valid
      and terribly necessary.

      We thank God- admittedly sometimes with gritted teeth- for all the
      things that did and DIDN'T work out the way we wanted them, for every
      acceptance and every rejection that brought us to be as we find
      ourselves today, in His arms. The jobs we didn't get, the great loves
      which were not reciprocal, the course we flunked, the kids that went
      wrong, the illness that dogs us, the spouse we should never have gone
      out with twice, the unwanted pregnancy, EVERYTHING
      that has shaped our lives and persons is something we thank God for
      in the Office, everything He either permitted to happen or willed for us.

      I mention only the difficult things, because anybody can be thankful
      that the apparently GOOD stuff worked out. I am not saying all the
      bad stuff is God's fault, or that it's our own fault, but ALL of it
      is turned to GOOD by God, He alone can do that, and that is worth singing about!
      All of it! If we look back honestly, we can see the hand of His goodness in the
      darkest times, we can see it in NOT having our way, we can see it in

      Since the way God turns all to good is a mystery we shall never know
      fully in this life, we cannot adequately say much of anything but
      thanks and praise, the stammered joy of someone who has received a
      really great gift and is astounded at such generosity. Thanks, God.
      And hey, You really DID know what You were doing all along, didn't

      Truly, truly, God's will *IS* best! And all is mercy and grace!!!

      A final word about the "seven times daily" part. Many regret that they
      cannot do the whole Office. Indeed, few Oblates in the world have
      lives that can easily accommodate that. Start with small steps. Believe me,
      if one just makes a point of recalling Jesus' presence in our hearts
      and souls seven times a day, that is a firm and wondrous beginning!
      Doesn't take long and fits any schedule. Try it and I think you will see
      what I mean, as well as a change in yourself.

      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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