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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 144 , Mar 12, 2013
      +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


      [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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