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Holy Rule for May 18

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for Sr. Mary Herbert, of St Scholastica Priory, Petersham MA, celebrating 80 years for her profession as a nun. Deo gratias! Prayers for Brian,
    Message 1 of 144 , May 17, 2013
      +PAX

      Prayers for Sr. Mary Herbert, of St Scholastica Priory, Petersham MA, celebrating 80
      years for her profession as a nun. Deo gratias!

      Prayers for Brian, making his final oblation, as an a Benedictine Oblate, at St. Mary's
      Monastery Petersham MA.

      Prayers for the spiritual and bodily health of the following, for all their families and all who care for them:

      Julia's niece, who is in an extended and very complicated battle with stage 2 cervical cancer. She has lost much weight, is in extreme pain, and is now undergoing long and complicated surgery to try to bring the cancer and her bodily functions under control.

      Arleen's Dad, losing strength rapidly due to an unknown illness.

      Cindy, suffering from a debilitating form of arthritis.

      Sylvia, mid-60's, laid off at work.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Jan, on the 8th anniversary of her death.

      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).

      REFLECTION

      This reading completes the chapter and offers us the capstone to the
      grace and beauty of St. Benedict's government. The Abbot "should do
      all things in the fear of God." Give just a brief shot at applying
      that to Cardinals, Bishops, and Pastors, as well as parents, bosses
      and all the laity. What a different world we would have!

      Abbot Charles Mohr of St. Leo used to say: "Keep the Holy Rule and
      the Rule will keep you." How true that is! If an Abbot acts in the
      fear of God, his community can be united in pride behind him, even
      decades later. In 1908, when Florida was still a hotbed of Ku Klux
      Klan activity, both racist and anti-Catholic, Abbot Charles accepted
      George Miller, a black man who had applied to enter the monastery.

      He ignored the threat that predictably came in the mail, and stood
      firm. Though George, of his own will, did not stay, he was welcome in
      Abbot Charles' eyes, a brother in Christ. Abbot Charles' actions
      preached that to any willing to listen, as well as to quite a few who
      were not!

      Abbot Francis, St. Leo's second Abbot, was born in Bavaria and fluent
      in German. In World War II, when POW camps in Florida began to fill up with
      German Catholics, Abbot Francis went calmly to minister to their sacramental
      needs, something his facility in their language made eminently
      sensible.

      Abbot Francis was no doubt the saintliest man to govern
      the Abbey thus far, and he emulated the gentle love of his patron,
      St. Francis de Sales. That gentle kindness prompted him to invite the
      German prisoners to come to the Abbey for Christmas Midnight Mass in
      1944. There were German voices singing "Silent Night" in its
      original tongue.

      Twelve days later, arson destroyed the prep school gym. Nothing could
      be proven, but many suspected the reason. Abbot Francis continued his
      ministry . He invited the POW's to come back for Easter, 1945. Two
      weeks after the Easter visit, St. Mary's Science Hall was torched.
      Abbot Francis did not budge.

      This was in war time, the community was hardly rolling in cash, they
      were building a Church and they had lost two terribly important
      components of their principal livelihood, a residential prep school
      for boys. Not only the buildings, but how many might fear to send
      their sons back to a campus of arson? What if it were a dormitory
      next time? Abbot Francis held firm. He did not protect capital or
      real estate. He protected the honor of God, period.

      The community is still very proud of him to this day, justly so. No
      one called for his ouster, because he protected things of God. That
      was a gutsy courage that none but his most implacable enemies could
      possibly hate. Do genuine, fearless good and the faithful will unite
      behind you in a formidable host.

      Abbot Francis died when I was 13. I had the inestimable privilege of
      meeting him while still in grade school and his kindness over his
      last years to me, a mere child, was touching, indeed. I'm a 9 year
      old kid and an Abbot was sending me postcards when he traveled to
      give retreats.

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

        +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 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).

        REFLECTION

        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
        fancy."

        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
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

         

         

         

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