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Holy Rule for Feb. 28

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Sherman and for all his family and all who mourn him, esp. Sister Sylvia, OSB, and her brother s family. Prayers
    Message 1 of 144 , Feb 27, 2013
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Sherman and for all his family and all who mourn him, esp. Sister Sylvia, OSB, and her brother's family.

      Prayers for Cathie, cancer and now she has an infection at an unknown site, she can't have her chemo if she has an infection and there are multiple problems with her treatment. They are having trouble finding veins for tests.

      Prayers for Judith, trying to sell her home.

      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 28, June 29, October 29
      Chapter 22: How the Sisters Are to Sleep

      Let each one sleep in a separate bed. Let them receive bedding
      suitable to their manner of life, according to the Abbess's
      directions. If possible let all sleep in one place; but if the
      number does not allow this, let them take their rest by tens or
      twenties with the seniors who have charge of them.

      A candle shall be kept burning in the room until morning.

      Let them sleep clothed and girded with belts or cords -- but not
      with their knives at their sides, lest they cut themselves in their
      sleep -- and thus be always ready to rise without delay when the
      signal is given and hasten to be before one another at the Work of
      God,
      yet with all gravity and decorum.

      The younger shall not have beds next to one another, but among
      those of the older ones.

      When they rise for the Work of God let them gently encourage one
      another, that the drowsy may have no excuse.

      REFLECTION

      Hastening "yet will all gravity and decorum" has prompted many a
      community joke, many a wry comment as one ran most ungracefully,
      parts of the habit flapping wildly in the breeze, to whatever the
      bell was about to make one late for! St. Benedict far antedates the
      Three Stooges, but he still took precautions to ensure that we
      would not look EXACTLY like Moe, Larry and Curly when we went to
      choir or dinner! Admittedly, some of our human tendency still
      arises to give a partial glimpse of that comedic trio, but, as
      always, the picture is
      balanced!

      In the dormitory, the elderly may have problems during the
      night if their health is declining. Hale and hearty (and hopefully
      easily awakened!) juniors nearby promise them assistance, if
      needed. Of course, if you want a humorous take on the knives issue,
      it may have been to prevent mayhem and murder of snorers, an idea
      which has occurred to many light sleepers!

      Dormitory sleeping is a thing of the past in our Order
      today, but its nice to see that thoughtfulness behind its original
      expression in the Holy Rule. There's a bit of the mother in St.
      Benedict, going out of his way to mention a small detail like not
      sleeping with knives. It is worthy of note, however, that St.
      Benedict, as always is MODERATELY maternal, not neurotically so! He
      doesn't get all bent out of shape, but he cares greatly and deeply.

      One of the most beautiful images in this passage is the exhortation
      to "gently encourage one another" at the hour of rising. Remember
      that the strictest silence of all prevailed at this time. Now
      picture the monastics gently encouraging one another! With no
      words, there
      had to be a lot of touch, a lot of gentle smiles, a lot of warmth
      and care expressed NON-verbally.

      A very good idea of how loving a monastic is can be had by
      disturbing their silence (or sleep, I imagine!!) Is the reaction
      cross and withering? Watch out for that one! Is there a smile, even
      a warm one, a reaction of sweetness? Well, when silence is over,
      that is a
      monastic to whose words you may want to listen carefully.


      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/
      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

        +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 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).

        REFLECTION

        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
        fancy."

        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
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

         

         

         

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