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Holy Rule for Mar. 5

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the following: Br. Aelred of Pluscarden on his feastday, and for the eternal rest of Fr. Roger,on his birthday. Elaine, who went to
    Message 1 of 144 , Mar 4, 2013
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the following:

      Br. Aelred of Pluscarden on his feastday, and for the eternal rest of Fr. Roger,on his birthday.

      Elaine, who went to God twenty-two years ago today. For her Mom, Rosemarie, and all her brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews who miss her.

      Ken, facing a third surgery for laryngeal cancer, wounds not healing. Many prayers needed here.

      Jasne's Aunt Katy, who has gone to God at age 94, and her daughter Kathy who has cared for her. Also her Aunt Therese, now the lone sibling left in the family.

      Beth and her husband, rough spots in their marriage, just when she has many health issues and is discerning next steps career-wise.

      Amy, recently laid off from a well-paid but stressful job, now finding few openings and lots of ageism in the few interviews she's had.

      Gloria and Ev, both unemployed for about a year now and finding few prospects.

      Jim S. who has recently found out that he has cancer of the muscles which has metastasized to his lungs. He started chemo this past Friday.


      Damian F. who needs pro bono legal assistance immediately.

      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!

      Mar 5, Jul 5, Nov 4
      Chapter 28: On Those Who Will Not Amend after Repeated Corrections

      If a sister who has been frequently corrected for some fault,
      and even excommunicated,
      does not amend,
      let a harsher correction be applied,
      that is, let the punishment of the rod be administered.


      But if she still does not reform
      or perhaps (which God forbid)
      even rises up in pride and wants to defend her conduct,
      then let the Abbess do what a wise physician would do.
      Having used applications,
      the ointments of exhortation,
      the medicines of the Holy Scriptures,
      finally the cautery of excommunication
      and of the strokes of the rod,
      if she sees that her efforts are of no avail,
      let her apply a still greater remedy,
      her own prayers and those of all the others,
      that the Lord, who can do all things
      may restore health to the sister who is sick.


      But if she is not healed even in this way,
      then let the Abbess use the knife of amputation,
      according to the Apostle's words,
      "Expel the evil one from your midst" (1 Cor. 5:13),
      and again,
      "If the faithless one departs, let her depart" (1 Cor. 7:15)
      lest one diseased sheep contaminate the whole flock.

      REFLECTION

      The Holy Rule and its author, St. Benedict, are tremendously kind,
      insisting that we go all the way we possibly can and even a bit
      beyond with the erring. All that love and care and sorely tried
      patience is absolutely necessary before this point, "the knife of
      amputation," is reached. This, too, is a great and important part of
      mercy, though we may not easily see that at first.

      This is so hard for us, to finally, seemingly "give up" on someone.
      In truth, we never do that. We still pray, we must, but we must also
      have the humility to admit that we no longer be of useful help, that
      we are even likely to harm further by enabling.

      That is an affront to our natural pride: we OUGHT to be able to heal
      ANYTHING, ANYONE... Sigh... But we aren't. We are also wounded, also
      imperfect, neither better nor more capable than the poor sufferer for
      whom we erroneously think we can be a healing god from the sky.

      St. Benedict is NOT saying to give up on the person- I still pray
      for people who left decades ago and probably should have done so. I
      have no idea where they are or what they're doing, but I do know the
      monastery didn't seem to be the place that was most helpful to them,
      nor were they particularly a gift to the community.

      What St. Benedict is saying is that we must have the wisdom and
      humility to stop trying things that don't work, for the good of all
      concerned, including ourselves. When this point is reached, no one
      can help but God. Fix what you can and pray for the rest.

      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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