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Holy Rule for Mar. 25

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for Zach, 17, upper respiratory infection Prayers for Krystal, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines and other problems. Prayers for Isabelle,
    Message 1 of 144 , Mar 24, 2013
      +PAX

      Prayers for Zach, 17, upper respiratory infection

      Prayers for Krystal, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines and other problems.

      Prayers for Isabelle, pending knee surgery and recurrent infections

      Prayers for Stephen, treatment for alcoholism

      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 25, July 25, November 24
      Chapter 45: On Those Who Make Mistakes in the Oratory

      When anyone has made a mistake
      while reciting a Psalm, a responsory,
      an antiphon or a lesson,
      if he does not humble himself there before all
      by making a satisfaction,
      let him undergo a greater punishment
      because he would not correct by humility
      what he did wrong through carelessness.

      But boys for such faults shall be whipped.

      REFLECTION

      Calm down, we don't whip anybody anymore. It has too often been my
      experience that such lines push all the buttons of some readers these
      days and blind them to the rest of the good stuff there. We don't
      whip now, they did 1,500 years ago, everyone else did, too. Let's not get so
      mired in the sensitivities of our own time that we forget how terribly recent
      some of them are.

      As I mentioned before, in our house we do kneel in the center when
      late for choir, then bow to the superior and go to our place. We also bow
      to the superior when late to table. We kneel when we make audible
      mistakes in Church. And yes, those things can be very useful.

      But most Oblates do not have a refectory or choir to kneel in, so
      what's here for the majority of us? The grace of humility, without
      which communal life on any level, in monastery, workplace, market or
      home would be unlivable. Check out some of the lyrics of Shaker
      hymns, other than the famous "'Tis a Gift to Be Simple." They feature
      LOADS of messages about getting along with others. One speaks of
      not being stubborn like the oak, but of being like the willow who can bend!

      Every single human community or whatever sort is going to have its
      share of strays, fumblers and crosses. Every one without fail
      will mirror in some sense the fallen brokenness of humanity. Our job
      is to see to it that we are part of the solution, not part of the
      problem. When, through whatever means, we become part of the problem,
      we must own up to it at once and smooth it over as best and as
      quickly as we can.

      If you can't say "I'm sorry.", start
      practicing alone in front of a mirror until the words can somehow
      tumble out in public. Until they can, try some useful (though not
      perfect,) substitutes, like "Forgive me," or "It was my fault." Work
      on words of forgiveness, too, like: "It doesn't matter," or "Oh,
      that's OK,".

      Strive to make light of things. There will never be any
      shortage whatever of people who will explode and magnify things out
      of all rational proportion, so don't duplicate services! Join the
      minority and try to prevent hurricanes in teacups, rather than
      produce them.

      Most outrage, most lack of apology, most tempests in teacups stem
      from a distorted an unhealthy view of the self. Humility corrects
      that imbalance. While you're in front of the mirror practicing
      apology, why not try a bit of self-interview?

      Why do these things or persons upset you so? What do you have in
      common with those who annoy you most? Most important, just who are
      you that your perceived slights are such a big deal? Try reminding
      yourself that He is God and you are not. Honest reflection on these points
      may be a big and promising start.

      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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