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Holy Rule for Mar. 15

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Michael LoPiccolo, still having bladder spasms and catheter probems, blood clots and bleeding. Prayers fpor continued healing.
    Message 1 of 143 , Mar 14, 2013
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      Prayers, please, for Michael LoPiccolo, still having bladder spasms and catheter probems, blood clots and bleeding. Prayers fpor continued healing. Prayers for Genny, his wife, on her 73rd birthday, and sp[ecial prayers for the strengthening of her heart muscle.

      Prayers for Pope Francis I, may he lead a Church willing to follow and may all our divisions and flaws be healed.

      Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI as he lives his life of prayer for the Church.

      Prayers for Gary, in ICU, the doctors are not entirely sure what is wrong with him, and he's not getting any better at the moment. The problem seems to be with his heart but he can't breathe for himself and his kidneys aren't working well either. All prayers gratefully received.

      Two weeks after giving birth to her first child, a healthy baby girl, Debby's daughter is seriously ill and has been admitted to the hospital. It looks like a long road to recovery. Prayers please for a miraculously speedy recovery. Prayers too for her husband, new baby, and her parents, and for Debby (and her husband holding down the fort at home) who is presently with the young family, helping them to weather this trial

      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 15, July 15, November 14
      Chapter 36: On the Sick

      Before all things and above all things, care must be taken of the
      sick, so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;
      for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" (Matt 25:36),
      and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me"

      But let the sick on their part consider that they are being served
      for the honor of God, and let them not annoy their sisters who are
      serving them by their unnecessary demands. Yet they should be
      patiently borne with, because from such as these is gained a more
      abundant reward. Therefore the Abbess shall take the greatest care
      that they suffer no neglect.

      For these sick let there be assigned a special room and an
      attendant who is God-fearing, diligent and solicitous. Let the use
      of baths be afforded the sick as often as may be expedient; but to
      the healthy, and especially to the young, let them be granted more
      Moreover, let the use of meat be granted to the sick who are very
      weak, for the restoration of their strength; but when they are
      convalescent, let all abstain from meat as usual.

      The Abbess shall take the greatest care that the sick be not
      neglected by the cellarers or the attendants; for she also is
      responsible for what is done wrongly by her disciples.


      We serve the sick "for the honor of God." That is important to remember,
      both for ourselves and for the sick. We serve Christ in the sick,
      it is Him we visit. That, too, must be held in view by both patient
      and caregiver.

      I monasteries and in the world, one can get too used to always having
      people come to one under their own steam. When the sick can no longer
      do this, it is treacherously easy to forget them, to write them off. Some
      folks just stay out of the way of sick people, for whatever reason, but
      that must not be our way.

      Oblates in the world can find ample opportunities to visit the sick. A
      caregiver who is overwrought may welcome a respite, even of a few
      hours in the day, to tend to things not easily done otherwise, or even
      just for rest and recovery. Why not offer? Why not volunteer at a
      nursing home or adult day care center? Visiting friends in the hospital
      is another way, and one we should not omit. "I was sick and you
      visited Me."

      We are to care for the sick "before all things and above all things."
      That means that a Benedictine should be known as much for care of the
      sick as we are for hospitality or liturgy. It should be one of the things
      that stand out in a Benedictine.

      An interesting aside here is the last word on the Abbess: she is responsible
      for what her disciples do (or don't do.) That is an awesome responsibility,
      but it is very real. With the Benedictine Abbot or Abbess, the buck really
      does stop there, as the Rule frequently reminds us.

      Love and prayers,
      Br. Jerome Leo, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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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        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.
        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).


        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

        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
        Petersham, MA

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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