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Holy Rule for July 17

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for a little girl just born and her family, due to lack of oxygen, she is considered brain dead and may not make it through the night.
    Message 1 of 102 , Jul 16, 2013
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for a little girl just born and her family, due to lack of oxygen, she is considered brain dead and may not make it through the night. Prayers for a miracle change for the better.

      Prayers for the eternal rest of John, and for all his family and loved ones 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

      March 17, July 17, November 16
      Chapter 38: On the Weekly Reader

      The meals of the sisters should not be without reading.
      Nor should the reader be
      anyone who happens to take up the book;
      but there should be a reader for the whole week,
      entering that office on Sunday.
      Let this incoming reader,
      after Mass and Communion,
      ask all to pray for her
      that God may keep her from the spirit of pride
      And let her intone the following verse,
      which shall be said three times by all in the oratory:
      "O Lord, open my lips,
      and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
      Then, having received a blessing,
      let her enter on the reading.


      And let absolute silence be kept at table,
      so that no whispering may be heard
      nor any voice except the reader's.
      As to the things they need while they eat and drink,
      let the sisters pass them to one another
      so that no one need ask for anything.
      If anything is needed, however,
      let it be asked for by means of some audible sign
      rather than by speech.
      Nor shall anyone at table presume to ask questions
      about the reading or anything else,
      lest that give occasion for talking;
      except that the Superior may perhaps wish
      to say something briefly for the purpose of edification.


      The sister who is reader for the week
      shall take a little ablution before she begins to read,
      on account of the Holy Communion
      and lest perhaps the fast be hard for her to bear.
      She shall take her meal afterwards
      with the kitchen and table servers of the week.


      The sisters are not to read or chant in order,
      but only those who edify their hearers.

      REFLECTION

      It is tempting when reading any rule or law to view it being observed
      with a Nazi goose-step precision. Don't go there! That's not how the
      Holy Rule gets fleshed out in healthy communities. (And the key word
      here is HEALTHY!) Ours is a Rule for families, and families need love
      and affectionate playfulness to build and strengthen their bonds of
      unity and delight in each other.

      OK, so we do keep silence in the refectory and we do have reading
      and we can't go absolutely off the wall while there, but we do quite
      often have some fun. A sidelong glance with eyes rolled upward can
      say volumes, a smile or chuckle, sometimes universal and joyous
      laughter do the same.

      One could go too far with such things, but in moderation they are
      fine. They unite with non-verbal ties, they connect with wordless
      junctures and these are very powerful. The huge amount of verbiage in
      our modern world has taught us to discount words on many occasions,
      but the genuinely affectionate body language of shared silence does
      not fall under that sentence. Hence, these are very strong messages
      of love we send to one another.

      Sometimes the matter being read is sufficiently boring to make one
      chew with incredible speed. (This is as Catch 22, however. The faster
      one eats, the more days it will take to finish the pearl of great
      price at hand....)

      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 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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        +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 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.

        REFLECTION

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