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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 143 , Mar 24, 2013
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      +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
      .


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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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