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Holy Rule for Aug. 27

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Please pray for Leon, who suffered a massive stroke. He is 88. Please pray for Paul and Jeannie, Leon s son and daughter-in-law. Please pray for Lee s
    Message 1 of 103 , Aug 26, 2013
      +PAX

      Please pray for Leon, who suffered a massive stroke. He is 88. Please pray for Paul and Jeannie, Leon's son and daughter-in-law.

      Please pray for Lee's healing and for his family during this difficult time.

      Prayers for Mary Eleanor, surgery for her broken wrist, under local anesthesia, because she also had a concussion from her fall.

      Prayers for Elaine who has to meet with her boss regarding a very sensitive situation at work. Prayers that God speaks through Elaine and explains everything perfectly so her boss understands and has a change of heart with her plan of action. Prayers that Elaine's boss respects her for her action in stopping a toxic situation. Prayers that Elaine is protected in all of this and she has the words to deter one of the managers who keeps coming to her with gossip and that he has no idea it was Elaine who brought this to light.


      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 27, August 27, December 27

      Chapter 69: That the Monks Presume Not to Defend One Another

      Care must be taken that no monk presume on any ground to defend
      another monk in the monastery, or as it were to take him under his
      protection, even though they be united by some tie of blood-
      relationship. Let not the monks dare to do this in any way
      whatsoever,
      because it may give rise to most serious scandals. But if anyone
      breaks this rule, let him be severely punished.


      REFLECTION

      In one of his tapes of lectures given to formation classes at
      Gethsemani, Merton speaks of a loneliness at the core of each
      monastic that cannot be touched and OUGHT not to be touched. In
      saying that, he articulated one of those sensed things that one
      learns (hopefully!) by osmosis in monastic community. Hearing him I
      had both the sense of "Wow! I never heard that before!" and also
      knowing that I knew exactly what he meant, just had never talked
      about it. It's just one of those things we rather "know" without
      putting into words very often. Goes with the territory.

      In every monastic struggler, from newest Oblate to Abbot Primate,
      this place of aloneness- and sometimes loneliness- exists. It must
      exist. It must be protected. It is at the very root of our
      name: "monos" alone, solitary.

      This is a breathtakingly sacred place of solitude, where, like
      Jacob, we wrestle with God and with ourselves. It is the place
      where all those unlovely things we have to confront in ourselves
      are first displayed. It is part and parcel of the original monastic
      way: alone with God.

      It is what we have retained of the Desert. It may be the only place
      left to many of us where we are like St. Antony the Great,dwelling
      alone in the tombs. It can often be no less smelly and scary than
      the tombs, too! Sigh... the place where we gradually meet our
      true selves is not always a cloistered paradise!

      Preserving this necessarily inviolate solitude is what this chapter
      is all about. No matter how much one loves another monastic, one
      must know to leave this place alone. This is the place where every
      monastic must be a stand-alone grown up before God, with no
      defenders, no co-dependency, no illusions on the part of those who
      may think they are doing a favor by taking one's part. I think most
      of us dwelling in monasteries know this almost by instinct. We
      know, somehow, the place beyond which one must not go. To go there
      imperils both parties in many, many ways.

      This is the love of realism. I cannot "love" my brother by taking
      from him the very arena from which monastic growth springs. If I do
      so, I am defeating him and defeating myself. No, we must love in
      truth, and that is not always easy. We must desire firmly the best
      for those we love, and it is so easy for the self to get in the way
      of those desires.

      What monasticism hopes to do is to teach us the frightening
      boon that we have in such solitary adulthood. It is the time we get real.
      It is the moment of Truth. And Jesus did, after all, say: "I am the Truth."
      What an encounter both terrifying and sublime!

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB
      www.stmarysmonastery.org

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Vern, for whom we have been praying, and for his parishioners at St. Francis in Bechertown, Massachusetts, his family
      Message 103 of 103 , Jun 2, 2016

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Vern, for whom we have been praying, and for his parishioners at St. Francis in Bechertown, Massachusetts, his family and friends and all who mourn him.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of 700 refugees who died in the Mediterranean, on their way to Italy, and for all their families and all who mourn them.

         

        Prayers for Syro-Malabar catholic Bishop Jacob, who is donating one of his kidneys to save the life of a 30 year old Hindu man, Sooraj. Prayers they both have safe and successful surgeries and that Sooraj’s body doesn’t reject the kidney.

         

        Prayers for newly elected Archabbot Kurt Stasiak, OSB, of St. Meinrad Archabbey, and for his Community. May he serve the Lord many years in his new role.

         

        Prayers for toddler Grace, who has Downs Syndrome and must have minor stomach surgery later this month. Her parents worry, since she will have to be under general anesthesia.

         

        Prayers for a young boy fighting for his life, in critical condition after being hit by a semi truck, and for his Mom and brothers and all his family.

        Please say a prayer for me, too. It's my birthday.

        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 2, June 3, October 3
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The fifth degree of humility
        is that he hide from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts
        that enter his heart
        or the sins committed in secret,
        but that he humbly confess them.
        The Scripture urges us to this when it says,
        "Reveal your way to the Lord and hope in Him" (Ps. 36:5)
        and again,
        "Confess to the Lord, for He is good,
        for His mercy endures forever" (Ps. 105:1).
        And the Prophet likewise says,
        "My offense I have made known to You,
        and my iniquities I have not covered up.
        I said: 'I will declare against myself my iniquities to the Lord;'
        and 'You forgave the wickedness of my heart'" (Ps. 31:5).

        REFLECTION

        A caution here: the Holy Rule uses the Septuagint version's numbering
        of the Psalms, not the Hebrew. Since most Bibles today use the latter
        system, even many Catholic editions, you might find that the Psalm
        referred to in this passage, which I strongly recommend you read
        through, is 32, not 31.

        Psalm 31 (32) is a wonderful exposition of sin and forgiveness. It
        begins by recounting the joy of one whose sin has been forgiven, then
        proceeds to unfold how concealing sin affects one and confessing sin
        heals one. In v. 3-4, immediately prior to the 5th verse which St.
        Benedict quotes, we find the following: "I kept it secret and my
        frame was wasted. I groaned all the day long for night and day Your
        hand was heavy upon me. Indeed, my strength was dried up as by the
        summer's heat."

        Guilty secrets control us, they rob us of our freedom, they destroy
        our peace. Long before one's frame is wasted (though that, too will
        eventually happen,) one's mind and spirit are trashed, laid low by
        the relentless fear of discovery. We shall have a MUCH harder time
        spiritually, if we try to keep our guilty secrets totally hidden.

        What the guilty one is fleeing is within herself, and
        travels right along with her. Ever see a news clip about a fugitive
        who successfully hid for decades and then was caught? I wonder what
        kind of life they had in the meantime, a life never free, a life that
        always had to fear. This is not what Jesus called us to.

        One may not belong to a tradition which practices sacramental
        confession, but all of us need the abscesses of our secret guilt
        lanced and drained somehow. AA, a spiritual program which can fit
        itself to any religion or no religion, insists that without confession to at
        least one other trustworthy person, our faults are likely to rule us forever.
        Don't spill your beans to just anyone, but don't hold them festering
        within, either! [A heavy PS, too: if you do belong to a Church that
        has sacramental Confession, GO!! Too many put that off at great
        risk and harm to themselves.]

        What keeps us chained to our dirty secrets is lack of faith, lack of
        trust: no one will love me if they know this, not God, not anyone.
        Well, the ending verses of Psalm 31(32) deal quite neatly with this
        falsehood:

        "Many sorrows have the wicked, but those who trust in the Lord,
        loving mercy surrounds them. Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, exult, you
        just! O come, ring out your joy, all you upright of heart!" (Ps.
        31:10-11)

        Not only does God forgive, but the guilty one now freed is accounted
        as among the just and the upright of heart, without any further ado.
        Now THAT is Divine Mercy! No heart is more full of such infinite
        mercy than the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Trust Him!

        Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You. Jesus, meek and
        humble of Heart, make our hearts like unto Yours.

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

         

         

         

         

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