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Holy Rule for Mar. 7

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Michael LoPiccolo, who had prostate surgery Wednesday. I will give you an update when I can get one. Prayers for Dot, in the hospital
    Message 1 of 143 , Mar 6 4:36 PM
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Michael LoPiccolo, who had prostate surgery Wednesday. I will give you an update when I can get one.

      Prayers for Dot, in the hospital with COPD and breathing problems.

      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

      March 7, July 7, November 6
      Chapter 30: How Boys Are to Be Corrected

      Every age and degree of understanding
      should have its proper measure of discipline.
      With regard to boys and adolescents, therefore,
      or those who cannot understand the seriousness
      of the penalty of excommunication,
      whenever such as these are delinquent
      let them be subjected to severe fasts
      or brought to terms by harsh beatings,
      that they may be cured.

      REFLECTION

      While I often suffer from the loneliness of being single, I never,
      ever regret the fact that I am childless. Quite the reverse! I always
      find myself deeply grateful that I have not had to face the challenge
      of raising children. I have the deepest respect for those who do.
      Having taught for a while, I know all too well how daunting it can
      be, even just part-time in the classroom.

      I also know from teaching that, while we did not use corporal
      punishment at all, there were a few rare times when I wished that we
      could. There were some children that I felt that possibly nothing else
      could reach. I also know that was something of a cop-out on my part
      to even entertain such thoughts. At the end of one's rope, all manner
      of drastic things pop into one's head. I am in no way sure that any
      use of violence doesn't just breed more violence, in fact, it probably
      does. Change effected only by fear is not usually lasting or good.

      Faced with such a problem, I don't know what one does,
      other than hope and pray, literally, that the child will improve.
      Praying, we must always recall *IS* doing something, not mere passivity!
      I can assure you that, just as there are deeply toxic adults, there
      are, alas, toxic children, too. I know. I have taught at least one. I don't
      mean that we should stoop to violence, but how does one reach such a
      child? I have never been able to answer that.

      We are social primates. We have a cross and burden to bear for our
      elevation above the rest of the primate world, a responsibility. For
      a baboon troop, this is a no-brainer: drive the loser out of the
      troop. After that, the next stop is the Lions' Pride Cafe and one
      becomes an entree. Tempting as that kind of abdication may be, it is
      something to which we can never resort.

      I think we need to cling to the Benedictine model in such situations:
      punish only to reform, not for revenge, not to destroy; punish
      appropriately, moderately in ways that will be understood and that
      fit the offense justly. When all that fails (and even before, while
      we're watching it fail slowly!) PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! To pray is NOT to do
      nothing. And it is often the only tool we have.

      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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