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Holy Rule for Apr. 20

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for Madekine, having surgery, and for her parents, Kristen and Trevor, and for the family s dog, Bo, who has end stage bone cancer. Prayers for
    Message 1 of 144 , Apr 19, 2013

      Prayers for Madekine, having surgery, and for her parents, Kristen and Trevor, and for the family's dog, Bo, who has end stage bone cancer.

      Prayers for David, on his 55th birthday-- may he continue to live his life in faith ad multos annos!

      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 20, August 20, December 20
      Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

      In the constituting of an Abbess
      let this plan always be followed,
      that the office be conferred on the one who is chosen
      either by the whole community unanimously in the fear of God
      or else by a part of the community, however small,
      if its counsel is more wholesome.

      Merit of life and wisdom of doctrine
      should determine the choice of the one to be constituted,
      even if she be the last of the order of the community.

      But if (which God forbid)
      the whole community should agree to choose a person
      who will acquiesce in their vices,
      and if those vices somehow become known to the Bishop
      to whose diocese the place belongs,
      or to the Abbots, Abbesses or the faithful of the vicinity,
      let them prevent the success of this conspiracy of the wicked,
      and set a worthy steward over the house of God.
      They may be sure
      that they will receive a good reward for this action
      if they do it with a pure intention and out of zeal for God;
      as, on the contrary, they will sin if they fail to do it.


      There is an old monastic saying that holds that "The community gets
      the Abbot it deserves and the vocations it deserves." Like most
      generalizations, this one has kernels of both falsity and truth.
      Heresy is obviously taking a small truth and making it the only truth
      and this is no different. It is rash (even if sometimes seemingly
      handy!) to try to fit the inscrutable workings of the Holy Spirit, of
      our all-merciful God and His love into such a small compartment of
      phrase! There is infinitely more to God's loving plan than that.

      God has a plan from all eternity which none may ultimately thwart. Even
      those who seek to impede that plan serve only to further its cause, whether
      they want to or not, whether they know it or not. God can use anything.

      And *A* plan is exactly the right phrase: God has ONLY one plan, with
      only one goal: the salvation of all. God lacks a plan B because none is
      necessary. God uses ALL human agency, of any kind, to further the
      perfect good of His plan. God can turn absolutely every human
      event, good or evil, to useful means to further that perfect plan of love,
      mercy, salvation and good- yes, even joy!- for all.

      However, there IS that kernel of truth! I have certainly lived
      through times myself and seen them elsewhere which gave
      frightening credence to one or both halves of the axiom! There is a
      human side to these things, God DOES use human means to accomplish
      His perfect Will and we, let us face it, are far from perfect

      On that human side of things, like does tend to attract like. A house
      where holiness is at least frequent, if not common, is likely to
      elect an Abbot good and holy enough to nurture that. Unfortunately,
      houses may elect one Abbot to counterbalance the effects, (not
      always delightful,) of his predecessor, so a lot of things come into
      play here. A house where holiness abounds is likely to attract holy

      The grim truth that the saying does NOT address is that even good and
      holy houses are thirsting badly for vocations these days. Something
      else, something other, something strange has been added to imbalance
      the equation and no one can be sure just what. Pray, pray with all
      your hearts for vocations, good and holy vocations to the monastic
      life on every level, as monks, as nuns, as Oblates. With our dimmed
      vision looking through glasses darkly, we can neither see nor know
      perfectly what wonders of His Will God is working now, much less why!
      Just pray for His Will for all of us!

      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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