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Holy Rule for Mar. 26

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Please pray for healing for Cheryl. Sent to the ER and admitted for being light headed, sweating, and tightness in her chest. It is possible one of her
    Message 1 of 144 , Mar 25, 2013

      Please pray for healing for Cheryl. Sent to the ER and admitted for being light headed, sweating, and tightness in her chest. It is possible one of her Stents might be clogging. Please also pray for her husband and son and all the family who are very concerned.

      Prayers for Jennifer H. age 30, stage 4 cancer

      Prayers for Ilse, 46, competent and hard-working secretary, needs badly a new job. She left a demanding job after years of harassment and is now very upset

      Prayers for Margaret, 88, in the hospital, her situation has taken a turn for the worst.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Philip, homeless until 6 months sgo, and for all who mourn him, esp. the social service agencies to whom he was dear.

      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 26, July 26, November 25
      Chapter 46: On Those Who Fail in Any Other Matters

      When anyone is engaged in any sort of work,
      whether in the kitchen, in the cellar, in a shop,
      in the bakery, in the garden, while working at some craft,
      or in any other place,
      and she commits some fault,
      or breaks something, or loses something,
      or transgresses in any other way whatsoever,
      if she does not come immediately
      before the Abbess and the community
      of her own accord
      to make satisfaction and confess her fault,
      then when it becomes known through another,
      let her be subjected to a more severe correction.

      But if the sin-sickness of the soul is a hidden one,
      let her reveal it only to the Abbess or to a spiritual mother,
      who knows how to cure her own and others' wounds
      without exposing them and making them public.


      I can hear parents relating to this one! "When you break something,
      why don't you tell me? Don't just hide the pieces and say nothing."
      Well, truthfully, sometimes people may have been afraid to ask us
      because of ways we have reacted before, but that's not always so. As
      former guest master, I can assure you that many adults have very adolescent
      habits when it comes to breaking something, even though they
      never had any dealings with me on the matter before. Nothing is said,
      the damage is hidden and I'd find out a lot later.

      That's too bad, because I really like to give a monastic witness to
      the value of people before things and a broken plate or glass or
      toilet is a great way to do that. When people do come to me, always
      apologetic, and often quite sheepish as well, I say something
      like: "Oh, that's OK! We can always get another pitcher, but we can
      never get another you! People before things!"

      People before things. That is so crucial to remember, because all of
      us have lived in a very materialist world. For people of our times,
      some of the Holy Rule's insistence that we be careful of the earthly
      goods of monastery or home must be carefully balanced. Otherwise, we
      run into the trap of becoming monastic materialists, quite a
      contradiction in terms, to say the least.

      Yes, we must be careful of things, but we must always keep uppermost
      in our minds that the greatest treasures or family or monastery or workplace
      are the members themselves. If frugality becomes stinginess, if conservation
      breaks charity, we are way, way off the mark.

      There's another little gem here, right at the end. Not everyone in
      the group needs to know all your details all the time, but letting no
      one at all know is equally foolish. A balance must be obtained here,
      as in all things.

      Knowing whom to tell what to is a delicate art of paying very close
      attention to reality of the other person. Such attentiveness to another is
      an exquisite exercise of personalism, a trait we should all desire! Some
      people may not be trustworthy, others may not profit from knowing for
      other reasons, like distress or worry or even scandal. Weigh those
      considerations very, very carefully.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      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



        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).


        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

        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
        Petersham, MA




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