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Holy Rule for Mar. 8

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Michael LoPiccolo is home today after his fouir hour surgery yesterday. He is groggy, but resting. The prayers need to keep coming now for his post-op
    Message 1 of 143 , Mar 7, 2013
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      +PAX

      Michael LoPiccolo is home today after his fouir hour surgery yesterday. He is groggy, but resting. The prayers need to keep coming now for his post-op recovery.
      Praise God, your prayers have been mightily effective. Please keep him in prayers.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of MaryJo, who died of cancer, and for all her family and all who mourn her.

      Also pray for Jean who had surgery for cancer in January and is undergoing chemotherapy.

      Prayers for Tim and his students and all going with them as they travel to Rome today. Saf e travels and a holy trip.

      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 8, July 8, November 7
      Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

      As cellarer of the monastery
      let there be chosen from the community
      one who is wise, of mature character, sober,
      not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable,
      not offensive, not slow, not wasteful,
      but a God-fearing man
      who may be like a father to the whole community.


      Let him have charge of everything.
      He shall do nothing without the Abbot's orders,
      but keep to his instructions.
      Let him not vex the brethren.
      If any brother
      happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
      instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
      he should humbly give the reason
      for denying the improper request.

      Let him keep guard over his own soul,
      mindful always of the Apostle's saying
      that "he who has ministered well
      will acquire for himself a good standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).


      Let him take the greatest care
      of the sick, of children, of guests and of the poor,
      knowing without doubt
      that he will have to render an account for all these
      on the Day of Judgment.


      Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery
      and its whole property
      as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.
      Let him not think that he may neglect anything.
      He should be neither a miser
      nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance,
      but should do all things with measure
      and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.

      REFLECTION

      The Abbot is father to the family, in all respects. Some of those,
      however, are delegated to others, so that no one, not even the Abbot,
      may be overburdened. In one sense, the Abbot may be said to be the
      father in things spiritual and the cellarer in things material. It is
      interesting that St. Benedict requires very similar qualities in both.

      What lies beneath that requirement is the Benedictine view of
      property, of goods, of the earth itself. We scorn excess, in either
      direction, but we do not scorn the material world, we reverence it as
      if it were one of the vessels of the altar! We see creation for what
      it truly is: a stupendous and free gift of God to all.

      While we always place people before things, we demand that both
      people and things be the objects of downright exquisite care. We love
      both because they ARE God's gifts, because they are both the means of
      sustaining our lives for God's ends. As such, the Holy Rule's view
      does not permit that things be loved in and of themselves, for
      themselves alone. That's an attachment we have to be careful to
      avoid. That false love, however, can lead to all kinds of erroneous
      ideas about the good we administer: stinginess, hoarding,
      acquisitiveness.

      All of these traits translate very easily into the family sphere.
      Parents need to achieve a sane balance in regards to material things.
      They need not to be career-driven workaholics, but they must also
      avoid being poor providers through lack of concern. The key to the
      middle way is love, as usual. Love the family members more than
      anything worldly and the rest falls more or less into place. If
      children know that they come before things, they have learned a
      lesson that they will pass on for the rest of their lives.

      Face it, many a rich, spoiled child, immersed in privilege, feels
      unloved. Things are never an adequate substitute for our HEARTS,
      which is what God, St. Benedict and the Holy Rule ask us to give
      without reserve. It is the love, the genuine love, that a child (or
      anyone else, for that matter!) will remember. All the rest is dust
      and ashes.

      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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