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Holy Rule for Feb. 23

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual and physical welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Alex, very depressed and
    Message 1 of 143 , Feb 22, 2013
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual and physical welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Alex, very depressed and no motivation to apply for jobs, to get back on track and motivated to seek work.

      Brittany and Orest, who just got engaged. May God be with them always.

      Marie, for whom we prayed, is out of ICU, but may have had a heart attack., tests will show what's wrong. Prayers for Myrna and all her family, too.

      Another Marie, 87, who is suffering much, and for her daughter Cathy with whom she lives, who is trying to help her, but feels she is not getting very far.

      Emily and her newborn baby, Zachary. He was born at 30 weeks and both are having many serious medical problems.

      Ricky, cancer in his head. Much prayer needed.

      Ida, elderly senior with constant pain for years. Taken to the hospital today.

      B and C, undergoing deep crises of faith and also that B stop actively seeking to undermine the faith of C who is suffering greatly because of it.

      Deo gratias, Sadie, 7, is recovering so well from her heart transplant that she can now walk up into town from her house, and back, with her mother - that will be over a mile in total! Her parents say she has never in her young life had such energy. Thanks be to God! Please thank everyone for their kind prayers.

      Maggie, 86, is very ill. She recently had RSV (a respiratory virus) which made her unable to breath, and the strain on her heart caused a heart attack. She also has an aneurysm in her aorta, but surgery is too dangerous in her weakened state. She is being sent home, it seems, to allow her to die in the comfort of her own home. She is a Scientologist. Prayers for her happy death and all who will mourn her, esp. Barbara.

      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 23, June 24, October 24
      Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said

      Vespers are to be sung with four Psalms every day.
      These shall begin with Psalm 109 and go on to Psalm 147,
      omitting those which are set apart for other Hours;
      that is to say that
      with the exception of Psalms 117 to 127 and Psalms 133 and 142,
      all the rest of these are to be said at Vespers.
      And since there are three Psalms too few,
      let the longer ones of the above number be divided,
      namely Psalms 138, 143 and 144.
      But let Psalm 116 because of its brevity be joined to Psalm 115.


      The order of the Vesper Psalms being thus settled,
      let the rest of the Hour --
      lesson, responsory, hymn, verse and canticle --
      be carried out as we prescribed above.


      At Compline the same Psalms are to be repeated every day,
      namely Psalms 4, 90 and 133.

      REFLECTION

      Maybe it's just me, but I find Vespers and Compline very different
      and refreshing. They are evening hours, not followed by work, except
      for the light clean up after supper, which is not a main meal here
      anyway. Vespers makes me think of finally getting home and shutting
      the door after a long day and a tough commute. It is a flavor no
      other hour has for me. It ends the workday, leaving the evening for
      family. Not shabby! A rite of passage from the job to the home hearth!

      A brief glance at the Psalms for Vespers will show that they are yet
      another example of consecutive, running psalmody. One right after
      another, except for a few which get bumped elsewhere or thoughtfully
      divided because of their length. Apparently by numerical
      happenstance, Psalm 140 winds up in the Vespers grouping, and it is
      most appropriate: "Let my prayer ascend to You like incense and the
      lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice." Historically,
      Psalm 140 has appeared in the Vespers or services of light
      (Lucenaria) of many, many rites.

      For active monasteries, or for busy Oblates in the world, evening and
      early morning are often the only times we get of relative cloister
      and focus. The morning hours are largely available to anyone willing
      or able to get up while the rest of the world (including the kids!)
      sleeps, the evening hours perhaps less so. Those evenings are family
      times par excellence and our first vocations must always be respected.

      If, as a working parent or spouse, getting home means just getting
      started with dinner, don't despair! There is (or can be, if you
      provide for it,) a lot of undistracted solitude in cooking, even if
      it is rather harried cooking. The solitude of a cook in the kitchen,
      at work feeding loved ones, is a rich one, indeed. That exercise of
      care for your loved ones is truly prayer, a graced act of love!

      If you are into CD's or tapes, get one of somebody else singing Vespers and
      play it. Heaven knows, if you can put up with the kids' music, they
      can put up with yours for half an hour a day. Even if you do not
      listen to every word, the soothing chant will settle into your bones,
      become a backdrop of peace on which you can position the rest of your
      evening. Give it a shot for two weeks and I'll bet you find your
      evening meals and later times very different, because YOU are
      different!

      We carry a CD from the monks of Solesmes which has Sunday Vespers and Compline.
      Click on our webpage, then on gift shop, then on Gregorian Chant.

      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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