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Holy Rule for Apr. 13

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Margaret, for whom we have been praynbg, has died. Prayers for her eternal rest and for her son Ordice, and all her family and all who mourn her, Prayers
    Message 1 of 143 , Apr 12, 2013
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      +PAX

      Margaret, for whom we have been praynbg, has died. Prayers for her eternal rest and for her son Ordice, and all her family and all who mourn her,

      Prayers for Ashley, 27, beginning dialysis for diminished kidney function.

      Ardent prayers for Alex -- health and long life, discernment, and special intention.


      Prayers for Judith, that the closing on her house sale goes smoothly and on time. Prayers for all involved.

      Deo gratias for past prayers answered

      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

      April 13, August 13, December 13
      Chapter 59: On the Sons of Nobles and of the Poor Who Are Offered

      If anyone of the nobility
      offers his son to God in the monastery
      and the boy is very young,
      let his parents draw up the document which we mentioned above;
      and at the oblation
      let them wrap the document itself and the body's hand in the altar
      cloth.
      That is how they offer him.

      As regards their property,
      they shall promise in the same petition under oath
      that they will never of themselves, or through an intermediary,
      or in any way whatever,
      give him anything
      or provide him with the opportunity of owning anything.
      Or else,
      if they are unwilling to do this,
      and if they want to offer something as an alms to the monastery
      for their advantage,
      let them make a donation
      of the property they wish to give to the monastery,
      reserving the income to themselves if they wish.
      And in this way let everything be barred,
      so that the boy may have no expectations
      whereby (which God forbid) he might be deceived and ruined,
      as we have learned by experience.

      Let those who are less well-to-do make a similar offering.
      But those who have nothing at all
      shall simply draw up the document
      and offer their son before witnesses at the oblation.

      REFLECTION

      It's always nice to read Chapter. 59, because it is the source of our
      having Oblates today. Thanks be to God for the myriad blessings and
      graces that have come to the Benedictine family through Oblates and
      for the graces they have received from their bonds to the Order! It
      is hard for me to imagine where we would be without Oblates.

      Those who are seen help us with labors and goods, and those who are
      unseen, help us with a treasure of prayers whose vastness we dare not
      even guess until we finally see clearly in heaven. In most cases, by
      numbers, Oblates outnumber the professed of the community, so God
      must have known how badly we needed them. It is most likely their
      prayers that kept us going all these years.

      The living and the dead, the strugglers and those already in heaven,
      help us move the great throng of our Order forward through history.
      What heaven must be like! The Oblates there are united to God,
      already freely conversant with St. Benedict, with heroes and heroines
      we can only read about. How delighted they must have been to be
      welcomed by a family far more numerous than they ever imagined.

      They were not strangers to those Benedictines of centuries past. Why?
      Because the saints of the past hold us dear throughout our time of
      trial. They already know us, they have been praying for us all along,
      even if we have not met them yet in person. When I read Anglo-Saxon
      Benedictine history, a favorite hobby of mine, I am just learning their
      names. They already know my name: they have prayed for me for years
      before I even cracked a book.

      When an Oblate joins our ranks, becoming a member of this great
      family, there are graces beyond counting in store. Ours is a family
      of saints, of great holiness. It is also a family of strugglers, the
      mediocre, the halt and lame and the beginning. The communion of
      saints is replicated in miniature in our own Order. All that great sanctity,
      past and present, comes, in the eternal now of heaven, to our aid.
      The weak are carried by the strong. It is easy to forget the miracle
      that signing one little Oblation chart on the altar effects.

      If I could (and did!) write a love song for the habit, I could write one as
      great for Oblates. How much they have changed and enriched my life,
      how deeply I find my days entwined around Oblates from all over the
      world. Prayers and insights shared back and forth, friendships that
      have sprung up in cyberspace, the wonderful gift of having others spread
      far and wide who share the journey with me, these are all gifts of grace to
      me, inestimable gifts! My life would be so much diminished without the
      gifts of light and joy, love and edification that you bring to me. Thanks so
      very, very much!!

      Thank God for our Oblates. Thank God for the chance He led St.
      Benedict to give to them and to ourselves!

      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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