Holy Rule for Mar. 15
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
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
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
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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).
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
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,