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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 143 , Apr 19, 2013
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      +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 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.

      REFLECTION

      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
      ourselves!

      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
      vocations.

      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
      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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