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Holy Rule for Mar. 20

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the following: Gerry B., prostate cancer....surgery March 25. Joseph P., Brain tumor....young man with 1 young child. Ida & John G.,
    Message 1 of 143 , Mar 19, 2013
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the following:

      Gerry B., prostate cancer....surgery March 25.

      Joseph P., Brain tumor....young man with 1 young child.

      Ida & John G., Elderly & both in the hospital. Possible 2nd amputation in the future.

      Don, having surgery Tuesday.

      Hilda, having a recurrence of cancer.

      Jacqueline, not doing well at all.

      Adrienne also doing poorly.

      Agnes, and 80-plus year old woman due to have surgery and who is quite frightened about it.

      Elaine and Craig, moving to British Columbia.

      Aiden, having brain surgery to remove a tumor. Prayers for his safety, his family and all the doctors working on him.

      JM, badly needing to find direction and purpose in life.
      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 20, July 20, November 19
      Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken

      From holy Easter until Pentecost
      let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
      and supper in the evening.


      From Pentecost throughout the summer,
      unless the monks have work in the fields
      let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
      on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
      This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
      if they have work in the fields
      or the heat of summer is extreme;
      the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.


      Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
      in such a way that souls may be saved
      and that the brethren may do their work
      without just cause for murmuring.


      From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
      let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.


      In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
      But this evening hour shall be so determined
      that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
      Indeed at all seasons
      let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
      that everything will be done by daylight.

      REFLECTION

      While I wrote this largely about the US, it is, in many points, very
      easily applied to the developed world in general. I am trying
      to become more and more conscious of my international audience!

      In the US, we can be so glutted with food. Far from want, we are
      surrounded, even bombarded with plenty- and not all of it that
      nourishing! Consumerist marketing turns things upside down: food
      becomes more or less solely for pleasure, not need.

      It's a fair guess that this attitude to food in the US has influenced
      our attitude to fasting negatively. Now we look on the least thing as
      a dreadful privation, when those of us Roman Catholics who are over fifty
      can clearly recall meatless Fridays every week, all year and fasting from
      midnight on water only for Communion, even if you were just 7 years old!!

      When the US Bishops addressed the issue of Friday abstinence, they
      did not abolish it. They merely said some other form of penance might
      be substituted. Whoops! That got lost in a big hurry. How many of us
      Catholics do something penitential on Friday when we do not
      abstain from meat? Might be time to take a really hard look at that.

      As always, Oblates in the world must find ways that they can fast or
      abstain without imposing monastic ways on their non-monastic
      families. However, it is worthy of note that Friday abstinence is of
      the Church, not the Holy Rule and might be safely re-instituted, with
      careful explanation as to WHY we do it, for whole families. The
      meatless idea might be easiest for many, but what if something else
      in addition was done to really set Friday apart? Skip one, just one half-hour TV
      show and you have a slot for a devotional family practice like
      Scripture sharing or the Rosary. Could we imagine just 30 minutes
      once a week of TV gone? Find something that works for you and
      then be faithful to it.

      Our spirits are like our bodies in many respects. If we get soft, we
      get weak, if we get lazy, our energy actually diminishes while our
      total lives suffer from that inactivity. That's why Christian life
      itself, not just monastic life, is a life requiring a fair amount of
      discipline, of pushing oneself, of self-denial. Those values still
      exist in the secular world, but are usually only invoked for profit, fame,
      power or sex. See what I mean? We need badly to get our acts together
      in the affluent, developed nations.

      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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