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Holy Rule for Mar. 13

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following, for all their families and all who mourn them: Ricarda, 101, and esp. for Evelyn, her
    Message 1 of 143 , Mar 12 5:34 PM
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following, for all their families and all who mourn them:

      Ricarda, 101, and esp. for Evelyn, her granddaughter

      Bill's wife's brother, who sadly took his own life, and for Bill's wife and family.

      Prayers for the following and all their families and all who take care of them:

      Bill's Father, brain bleed, stable now, but they don't know what caused it.

      Larry, new treatment for very chronic depresssion.

      Michael, congestive heart failure and swollen legs

      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 13, July 13, November 12
      Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen

      Let the brethren serve one another, and let no one be excused from
      the kitchen service
      except by reason of sickness or occupation in some important work.
      For this service brings increase of reward and of charity. But let
      helpers be provided for the weak ones, that they may not be
      distressed by this work; and indeed let everyone have help, as
      required by the size of the community or the circumstances of the
      locality. If the community is a large one,
      the cellarer shall be excused from the kitchen service; and so also
      those whose occupations are of greater utility, as we said above.
      Let the rest serve one another in charity.

      The one who is ending his week of service shall do the cleaning on
      Saturday. He shall wash the towels with which the brethren wipe
      their hands and feet; and this server who is ending his week, aided
      by the one who is about to begin, shall wash the feet of all the
      brethren. He shall return the utensils of his office to the
      cellarer clean and in good condition,
      and the cellarer in turn shall consign them to the incoming server,
      in order that he may know what he gives out and what he receives
      back.

      REFLECTION

      I know some houses have moved away from having table waiters, but
      something is lost in that. We have cafeteria style first portions
      here, then the waiter goes around to offer seconds and clears the
      dishes. It isn't a really big deal, but it does have a great reward,
      as the Holy Rule points out. Because we are a small community, only
      7, everyone, even the Superior takes a turn at waiting.

      Formerly, in some houses (maybe in all, but I am not sure,) the
      Abbot would wait tables on Holy Thursday. There was a nice
      connection there: he who held the place of Christ waited on all on
      the feast of the Last Supper, and washed the feet of twelve in
      Church that day.

      The connection here is personalist. Waiting on people connects you
      very much to them, as any waiter could tell you. Restaurants may
      not pursue that connection to any depth, but a home situation, like
      a monastery, surely does.

      There's a great notion here for Oblates
      who do not live alone: take turns waiting. We can get slumped into Dad
      or Mom or husband or wife always being waiter or waited upon.
      Switch off, care for each other, in this and many, many other ways!

      There are tons of ways of serving another, serving each other, that
      have nothing at all to do with tables or dining. There are many,
      many, equivalent forms of foot-washing. Hunt for them diligently and
      practice them with deep love!

      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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