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Holy Rule for May 7

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers,. please, for the spiritual and bodily health of the following: Joe, under a lot of stress and for his wife, Jeanmarie. Joe, a new dad who cannot
    Message 1 of 143 , May 6, 2013
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      +PAX

      Prayers,. please, for the spiritual and bodily health of the following:

      Joe, under a lot of stress and for his wife, Jeanmarie.

      Joe, a new dad who cannot find work, and for his wife and daughter, Elise and Laura.

      Bishop Gordon, recovering from pericarditis

      Benek - prayers needed for a new job after being laid off.

      Glenna, in her late 70s, who fell and faces surgery on two fractures on her hip Tuesday. (She had just returned to her home after a long spell in rehab.) And for her three sons trying to deal with their mother's failing health.

      the Eleazar Fernandez family, general well-being.
      Prayers for the eternal rest of Michael, for whom we prayed, who died of cancer, and for all his 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 6, May 7, September 6
      Prologue

      So we have asked the Lord
      who is to dwell in His tent,
      and we have heard His commands
      to anyone who would dwell there;
      it remains for us to fulfill those duties.

      Therefore we must prepare our hearts and our bodies
      to do battle under the holy obedience of His commands;
      and let us ask God
      that He be pleased to give us the help of His grace
      for anything which our nature finds hardly possible.
      And if we want to escape the pains of hell
      and attain life everlasting,
      then, while there is still time,
      while we are still in the body
      and are able to fulfill all these things
      by the light of this life,
      we must hasten to do now
      what will profit us for eternity.

      REFLECTION

      The first section of the Prologue asked us to seek God's blessing
      before doing any work. Today we are asked to prepare our hearts and
      bodies for the struggles ahead and ask God for His help. Both of
      these precepts are quite nicely filled by making the Morning
      Offering. Now I know that is a Roman Catholic prayer, and I also know
      we have (thanks be to God!) many Oblates of other faiths among us.
      Bear with me, please. I think this has applications for everyone.

      The morning offering is considered rather passe in some Roman
      Catholic circles. One actually wonders why, in an age that loves
      computers with tons of memory, hard drives that do all the work for
      us, even more work than our own minds could dream of doing.The morning offering,
      however,
      makes computer ability look like shooting fish in a barrel.

      The morning offering is the perfect capstone, cornerstone and
      beginning for a great life of intercessory prayer. It unites the
      poverty of our own lives, prayers, works, joys and sufferings with
      those of Christ, with those of His Mystical Body. It plunges the
      finite smallness of our own actions into sea after sea of infinite
      grace and perfection and, wrapped in that awesome completeness,
      offers them to the Father in the perhaps most perfect personal gift
      we could ever hope for that day, short of martyrdom itself.

      Ever forget to pray during the day? The morning offering makes our
      very heartbeats and breathing prayers, means of grace for ourselves
      and for all. We have offered ALL our works, even the unconscious ones
      of our bodies to God, and we have offered them in union with the most
      perfect sacrifice of Jesus. With a gift tag like that, the Father is
      quite likely to be pleased, indeed. Each time we blink, or eat,
      suffer or rejoice, we link that to Christ on His Cross. None of us
      have enough bytes of memory to really do that (I have forgotten about
      it at least three times while writing this sentence!) The morning
      offering is our "hard drive" it is the program that saves to disk and
      runs automatically.

      Our baptism into the Mystical Body gives us the right to plug into
      that infinite worth. It would be a shame if we missed the
      opportunity. Let me tell you, with complete sincerity, that all the
      works of my entire life couldn't save a flea from drowning in a
      raindrop. No way. Buried within the depths of Christ, however, their
      value becomes literally infinite.

      Ever feel bad that you forgot to pray for some one who asked, or only
      whispered a quick: "Lord, help her."? The morning offering makes our
      life and our prayer an infinite pie, one which can never be sliced
      too thin. Counting huge groups and individuals, I pray every single
      day for literally billions of people and not one of them is short-
      changed at all. That's the marvel of uniting our lives and heart
      daily to Christ. Every slice of the pie gets served on the plate of
      His infinity, every single one. Cloaked in the perfect mercy and
      offering of Jesus, every single act, even the keys I just struck and
      the mouse I just moved are wonderful prayers for all, for everyone
      throughout time. That's not shabby, folks!

      Ever wish that your heart prone to largesse had all the money in the
      world? How generous you would be! But, with the morning offering, you
      have daily more than that. Claim your infinite share and spread it
      around! Name people and groups, sure, but know that God has a memory
      that never quits. You can say: for all people in all time" and it
      WILL count! Heavens, I pray for all Oblates (among lots of other
      groups every day. Not only could I not name them, I don't even know
      them, nor is it possible for ANYONE to know them all throughout time.
      But God does, and it counts!) There is no one reading this for whom I
      have not prayed every single day.
      God is my hard drive! The morning offering is a very neat method!

      Look, folks, it's a Roman Catholic prayer. I'll give you a version of
      it at the end of this post, but there are many others. I KNOW that
      some of our Oblates who are not Catholic may have to amend it a bit
      and that's OK, go for what God and your heart allows. I think,
      however, that all Christians could agree on at least these
      essentials. (Someone please correct me here, if I am wrong.) Offer
      all your prayers, works, joys and sufferings in union with those of
      Christ, for the intentions of Christ, for all the Church and its
      leaders, for all people throughout time. Say it any way your heart
      allows, but do at least this much and congratulations: you have just
      thrust your own prayers and works and joys and sufferings into the
      very heart of the Cosmos, into the whole of history itself. You now
      stand beside Christ in HIS perfect work in every age. WOOOOF!

      And, if today is your first morning offering, or your first in some
      time, make it a habit to pray for all Benedictines each day!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA

      MORNING OFFERING

      O my Jesus, I offer You this day my prayers, works, joys and
      suffering, for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart and Divine
      Mercy, in union with every sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world
      and with all the prayers, works, joys and sufferings of Your Mystical
      Body throughout time, in reparation for our sins and in thanksgiving
      for all Your benefits. I offer them for the Pope's intentions and all Church
      leaders, for the unity of all Christians.

      (Now you can add your own intentions- don't be stingy here, you have
      infinity! I always end my own list with: for everyone and everything
      throughout time, created by Your hands, I offer You my life for these and for Your will for them.)

      End with: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto
      Yours. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You.








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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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