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Holy Rule for Mar. 16

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers ffor Isabelle, knee sugrery and recurrent infection Prayers for for Donna, AJ and Amanda, still heavily mourning the death of their husband and
    Message 1 of 144 , Mar 15, 2013
      +PAX

      Prayers ffor Isabelle, knee sugrery and recurrent infection

      Prayers for for Donna, AJ and Amanda, still heavily mourning the death of their husband and father, Alan, and for his eternal rest

      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 16, July 16, November 15
      Chapter 37: On the Old and Children

      Although human nature itself is drawn to special kindness towards
      these times of life, that is towards the old and children, still
      the authority of the Rule should also provide for them.

      Let their weakness be always taken into account, and let them by
      no means be held to the rigor of the Rule with regard to food. On
      the contrary, let a kind consideration be shown to them, and let
      them eat before the regular hours.


      REFLECTION

      The tenderness of St. Benedict shines through here. These are
      strong words for weakness: "ALWAYS taken into account," and "BY NO
      MEANS held to the rigor of the Rule for food." Though he prefaces
      his chapter recalling that any healthy human nature has a certain
      level of consideration for these age groups, our holy Father Benedict
      quickly returns to a very consistent theme of the Holy Rule: we are
      called to more than mere nature. We are called to enhance our
      nature to the heights of sanctity. Our considerate mindfulness for
      every person and their individual needs must be greater than that of the
      world.

      St. Benedict's aim is that each of us ALWAYS see the person first.
      That kind of loving mindfulness will make the chapters on the sick
      and the young and old complete no-brainers. This is the way we
      should be seeing everyone: real people for whom they really are,
      nothing more or less. Circumstances do arise that require greater
      attention, but the foundation of that is a firm theology of
      personalism.

      It should come as no great shock that the most frequent obstacle to
      viewing others correctly is ourselves. Our own image, our self, our
      projections get in the way of the lens of truth. We have to spend
      our monastic struggle learning to put those things aside, so that
      the light of others may shine through unobstructed. With our own
      needs at least on a back burner, or better yet, shelved far off in
      the pantry, we can begin to truly see others and their needs. Wipe
      the mud of self from our eyes and we can see the treasures that
      surround us. Mother Teresa of Calcutta surely did that. She saw beauty that
      all of us less holy than she missed big-time and she saw it in
      everyone.

      A key to all this is a favorite quote from Antoine de St.
      Exupery's "Little Prince":

      "The essential is invisible to the eyes. One can only see rightly
      with the heart."

      That's what our Rule demands: the cultivation of the very loving
      eyes of our hearts! And we open those eyes by expanding our hearts
      in 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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