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Holy Rule for Mar. 24

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Deo gratias, Doris, 85, came through her heart valve surgery very well. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God s will is best. All is mercy and
    Message 1 of 144 , Mar 23, 2013
      +PAX

      Deo gratias, Doris, 85, came through her heart valve surgery very well.

      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 24, July 24, November 23
      Chapter 44: How the Excommunicated Are to Make Satisfaction

      One who for serious faults is excommunicated
      from oratory and table
      shall make satisfaction as follows.
      At the hour when the celebration of the Work of God is concluded
      in the oratory,
      let her lie prostrate before the door of the oratory,
      saying nothing, but only lying prone with her face to the ground
      at the feet of all as they come out of the oratory.
      And let her continue to do this
      until the Abbess judges that satisfaction has been made.
      Then, when she has come at the Abbess's bidding,
      let her cast herself first at the Abbess's feet
      and then at the feet of all,
      that they may pray for her.

      And next, if the Abbess so orders,
      let her be received into the choir,
      to the place which the Abbess appoints,
      but with the provision that she shall not presume
      to intone Psalm or lesson or anything else in the oratory
      without a further order from the Abbess.

      Moreover, at every Hour,
      when the Work of God is ended,
      let her cast herself on the ground in the place where she stands.
      And let her continue to satisfy in this way
      until the Abbess again orders her finally to cease
      from this satisfaction.

      But those who for slight faults are excommunicated
      only from table
      shall make satisfaction in the oratory,
      and continue in it till an order from the Abbess,
      until she blesses them and says, "It is enough."

      REFLECTION

      No matter how we came by it, one nasty little of baggage that a lot
      of us carry is the inability to say: "It is enough." For some of us,
      forgiving ourselves or believing we have been forgiven or even
      sensing that we have made all the reparation possible or necessary is
      all but completely impossible. (Any other obsessive/compulsive disorders
      out there reading this? Welcome to the club, I pray for us all daily!)

      There is great blessing for such people to have an Abbot. Even there,
      tremendous trust and obedience are required, because the Evil One
      would very much prefer that our upset and lack of faith continue! An
      Abbot can put and end to many matters, if only we allow that to
      happen. Abbots can offer resolution to many situations and the Holy
      Rule confirms them in this power again and again. The buck really
      stops there!

      If we let it stop there.... That can be so hard. However, even though
      most of us reading this do NOT live with Abbots, we all live with
      God, with Christ. He and He alone is in charge of our forgiveness, of
      the extent of our reparation or penance. He knows all too well the
      extremes of self-damage we can go to without His intervention and He
      does intervene, if only we have the faith to allow Him, to listen, trust and
      believe. We all ought to seek regular confessors who can also help
      us in this regard. Either confessor or Abbot can set many, many cares
      to rest!

      I am finding lately, much to the relief of my obsessive/compulsive
      heart and soul, that I really can achieve vastly greater amounts of
      inner serenity and peace by putting an affair in my superior's hands
      and accepting his judgement. There is the key to the value of this:
      inner peace and serenity. We badly need those aids to spiritual growth.
      Anything which increases their strength is a chance we ought never to
      miss!

      The Divine Mercy of God is His greatest attribute, linked inseparably
      to His love. We could never for an instant imagine the full extent of
      that Mercy's grandeur. We do Christ a terrible disservice and
      discourtesy when we refuse to believe that His riches are for us,
      that only others can be forgiven, but we must struggle on and "save
      ourselves" with Pelagian bootstraps firmly in hand! What a sneaky
      inverse pride there is in such feelings: I am so special (even so
      specially wicked!) that I cannot be like the rest of them!

      Mercy, mercy and always mercy! If you do not have a superior to live
      with, please learn to accept that mercy from God. If you do have a
      superior, learn to accept God's mercy through that channel. If you
      *ARE* a superior or parent or teacher, strive to be that channel.
      Mercy, mercy, always mercy!

      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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