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Holy Rule for July 14

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death of Richard, nearly 81, heart failure and fluid on his lung. He has no faith and didn t want to see a priest. He is
    Message 1 of 102 , Jul 13, 2013
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      Prayers, please, for the happy death of Richard, nearly 81, heart failure and fluid on his lung. He has no faith and didn't want to see a priest. He is likely dying, prayers, especially Divine Mercy chaplets, are urgently needed.

      Prayers for Donna, on her birthday and prayers that she get her marriage blessed.

      Prayers for Lisa, a rare mitochondrial disorder has her unable to absorb nutrients. She has lost 20 lbs and is very ill. Prayers, too for her husband, Phillip, and their children, Anna, Ellie and Tim. Prayers for effective treatment and healing, please.

      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. BJL

      March 14, July 14, November 13
      Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen

      An hour before the meal
      let the weekly servers each receive a drink and some bread
      over and above the appointed allowance,
      in order that at the meal time they may serve their brethren
      without murmuring and without excessive fatigue.
      On solemn days, however, let them wait until after Mass.

      Immediately after the Morning Office on Sunday,
      the incoming and outgoing servers
      shall prostrate themselves before all the brethren in the oratory
      and ask their prayers.
      Let the server who is ending his week say this verse:
      "Blessed are You, O Lord God,
      who have helped me and consoled me."
      When this has been said three times
      and the outgoing server has received his blessing,
      then let the incoming server follow and say,
      "Incline unto my aid, O God;
      O Lord, make haste to help me."
      Let this also be repeated three times by all,
      and having received his blessing
      let him enter his service.


      Blessing readers and servers may strike the modern reader as a bit
      silly: a CEREMONY of blessing to do a no-brainer like that for a
      week? Ah, well there's the rub. Ancient monastics (and many Eastern
      Orthodox monastics even in our own day,) did NOTHING without a
      blessing from their elder. This results in all kinds of blessings for things we
      would take for granted. When the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne went as a
      group to the guillotine in the French Revolution, at least one of the nuns
      approached the Prioress and asked; "Permission to die, Mother?" The Prioress
      blessed her to die.

      Getting a blessing, asking God's help for even seemingly trivial
      matters is a powerful reminder of our own weakness. It is a statement
      that we can do nothing without Him, that we truly are nothing that He
      has not given. There is a great humility in asking anyone for help.
      In this instance, however, humility is richest truth: we need God's
      help for everything. We do things only because He enables us, whether
      we asked Him for help or not. Our very lives would not exist without

      We still bless readers and servers. Short ceremony, same every week.
      We all pray together for whomever is serving us. Since we are small
      (only 7,) the Superior is often reader or server. When that happens,
      he kneels like anyone else and the senior monk blesses him. It's a
      little family ritual.

      But what is its message for families in the world? For single Oblates
      living alone? The message is that there are no tasks to insignificant
      to bless with prayer. St. Benedict has earlier encouraged us to begin
      every good work with prayer, but maybe we have forgotten. Because the
      monastic is MINDFUL, careful, attuned to life, nothing is unimportant,
      nothing should be done "on automatic pilot." There is that healthy level of
      mistrust of self that will ask for Divine assistance in any endeavor. "Bless,
      Lord, yet another diaper." "Bless, Lord, emptying the trash." "Bless, Lord,
      management meeting!!"

      Making dinner or washing the dishes? Take a quiet moment in the midst
      of either to say "Help!" and "Thanks!" Two simple, one word prayers.
      No matter how chaotic your household, everyone will find time for at
      least that. God knows the details, knows your heart and can readily
      fill in the blanks! We may think God needs essay-length prayers, but
      He doesn't. He may enjoy hearing from us, but trust me, we NEVER tell
      Him anything that's news to Him.

      Of course, there is another side to simple things like serving table,
      picking up pins and the like. No one could have done anything
      without God's help, but ah, if one does them out of love and care!
      Bingo! Double coupons, so to speak! If that pin got carefully picked
      up because of a barefoot and running child, or a beloved pet who is
      prone to "tasting" whatever she can find on the floor, simplicity
      becomes a very much greater matter, indeed. Now it is very close to
      the heart of God, and that is a wonderful place to be.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for Dot, 86, COPD, on her birthday. Continued prayers for Beckham, surgery to remove bladder blockage was successful, kidney damage remains to be
      Message 102 of 102 , Sep 6, 2013
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        Prayers for Dot, 86, COPD, on her birthday.
        Continued prayers for Beckham, surgery to remove bladder blockage was successful, kidney damage remains to be determined.
        Deo gratias, Bone scan for DJ shows cancer is contained in the prostate and he will have surgery Sept 30. Of your kindness please continue to pray that surgery will eradicate all the cancer.
        God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much! JL

        January 7, May 8, September 7
        Prologue (concluded)

        And so we are going to establish
        a school for the service of the Lord.
        In founding it we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome.
        But if a certain strictness results from the dictates of equity
        for the amendment of vices or the preservation of charity,
        do not be at once dismayed and fly from the way of salvation,
        whose entrance cannot but be narrow (Matt. 7:14).
        For as we advance in the religious life and in faith,
        our hearts expand
        and we run the way of God's commandments
        with unspeakable sweetness of love (Ps. 118:32).
        Thus, never departing from His school,
        but persevering in the monastery according to His teaching
        until death,
        we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:13)
        and deserve to have a share also in His kingdom.


        "Our hearts expand..." they truly do. Mine has already been
        wonderfully stretched and pulled and enlarged beyond my wildest
        dreams, often with me kicking and screaming every inch of the way. I
        have no doubt that it will grow bigger still, capable of holding
        more, but I know I could not stand that now, it would be too much.
        God works slowly, according to our individual needs. Better than
        anyone, He knows that doing it all at once would reduce us to
        shivering panic.

        The biggest factor that I can see in God's work of heart renovation
        for me has been intercessory prayer. When you renovate a building,
        you have to tear down some walls, a dusty, ugly, painful mess. Ah,
        but the light and air and space that one finds in those new areas
        where walls had stood! In praying for God's people, I learned to love
        them, more prayer equaled more love and so it spiraled upward and
        spirals on!

        The rain for my roots was that work in progress, the expansion of my
        heart. It's not the same as other loves I have known and in no way as
        graphic or immediate or intimate, but oh, it is deep. I am sure it is
        not incompatible with married love, but God seemed to want it so for
        me. True to form, I argued with Him for years about that and still do
        at times.

        When a novice in my twenties, I used to look at two real saints of
        St. Leo Abbey, Brothers David Gormican and Raphael Daly, both now
        gone to God. I am not even sure I thought it had become easier for
        them at the end of their lives, I thought, with the mindlessness so
        easy for me then, that they were just so old they didn't care
        anymore. Wrong!

        My dear friend Ann Chatlos was a FABULOUS cook and she had been at it
        for years. One day I went to see her and we sat talking in her
        kitchen, she was fiddling around, nothing special. Frankly, I didn't
        even notice any activity that would have produced a meal. She finally
        turned around and said to me: "Stay for dinner." I asked when it
        would be ready and she said, "Now." I was floored. While we spoke, a
        pie, chicken and roast potatoes and something else I forget had been
        going on. A full meal with nothing out of cans and a homemade
        dessert, yet it appeared that she had just been chatting.

        That's the nonchalance of Brother David and Brother Raphael. It
        wasn't that they didn't care, it was that things of sanctity had
        become so much second nature to them that many of those around them
        never noticed that dinner was ready. May that nonchalance of sanctity
        come to us all, and may Brothers David and Raphael and Ann, now also
        with God, pray us there.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        Petersham, MA
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