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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 143 , Mar 4, 2013
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      +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




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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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