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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 143 , Mar 25, 2013
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      +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 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.

      REFLECTION

      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
      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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