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Holy Rule for Aug. 28

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of the following, for all theri families and all who mourn them: William and his wife, Cleta, both 53, killed in a motorcycle
    Message 1 of 102 , Aug 27, 2013
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      Prayers for the eternal rest of the following, for all theri families and all who mourn them:

      William and his wife, Cleta, both 53, killed in a motorcycle accident while on a charity run.

      Vittoria, anointed and her family with her at the end. Special prayers for her son, Lino.

      Prayers for Judy, that her surgery on 8/28 goes well and healing and recovery go smoothly; and for the family and friends around her, that they may have peace and rest as well.

      Jerry suffers from Ulcerative Colitis. Please pray for Jerry, his wife Marie and their family as they deal with this debilitating illness, pray for healing and comfort of all.

      Pray for the pilgrimage of Kathy, Laura, Mary Ann and others as they will spend time September 13-15 in Montreal visiting Notre Dame du Cap de Madelaine and L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal. Keep them safe in their journey and pray for spiritual enrichment of all.

      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 28, August 28, December 28
      Chapter 70: That No One Venture to Punish at Random

      Every occasion of presumption shall be avoided in the monastery,
      and we decree that no one be allowed to excommunicate or to strike
      any of her sisters unless the Abbess has given her the authority.
      Those who offend in this matter shall be rebuked in the presence of
      all, that the rest may have fear.

      But children up to 15 years of age shall be carefully controlled
      and watched by all, yet this too with all moderation and
      discretion. All, therefore, who presume without the Abbess'
      instructions to punish those above that age or who lose their
      temper with them, shall undergo the discipline of the Rule; for it
      is written, "Do not to another what you would not want done to
      yourself" (Tobias 4:16).


      "Every occasion of presumption shall be avoided in the monastery."
      This is about a lot more than saying who can punish whom. This is
      pointing out that, whenever there are more than one to be
      considered, absolute freedom cannot exist. This is about central
      authority, yes,
      but it is also about the total way one conducts oneself in a home
      or workplace or planet that others share.

      Ever think about your first home away from your parents house? It
      was probably different in a lot of ways, especially if you lived
      there alone. Heady freedom that! I recall my own first place very
      well and fondly. However, I can assure you, I could not have lived
      as I did there had I been in a family, with younger siblings at
      home. (OK, it was 1969, so go figure...) Even alone, however, I was
      not free to play my stereo at undue volumes at 3 AM. We live on a
      common planet, at some point ALL of our lives touch others. When
      they do, control
      of some sort is necessary if people are to live in peace.

      There is a great and treacherous myth of individualism among
      Americans and, to a lesser extent, I think, among all Western
      European cultures. Consumerism and secularism at levels which are
      dangerously opposed to religion promote this fallacy at every turn.
      The lie is sold that one can be happy, even happiest, without
      Christ, without religion. Even Christians subconsciously buy into
      more of this nonsense than they often realize. This baggage sneaks
      up on us in very subtle ways. We must be equally mindful and
      to perceive it!

      Non-western cultures often have a much more highly developed sense
      of sharing and commonality. The stresses of profit and production
      are incongruous to many a more pristine culture. The self is less
      exalted than the common good and the common good
      seems to be more readily available to all. Face it, when the Amazon
      hunters come home, the elderly eat as well as anyone else.

      Schweitzer pointed out that Europeans found the Africans lazy,
      because they would not work to a point of exhaustion without need.
      They worked all right, but when the work was done, they quit. They
      had a casual and natural attitude to work, proper to their own
      economic system, that drove the Europeans nuts, because the latter
      had more of a 40-hours-a-week-and-then-you-rest notion. Both
      Schweitzer and I tend to side with the natives on this one!

      That myth of total freedom, of self-sufficiency being able to buy
      one the right to any activity is totally wrong. Even at 20, in my
      richly bohemian digs that I called "Shackri-la", I was not totally
      free. I didn't know it back then, but I wasn't. I had no right to
      waste water or leave lights on all night or drive drunk. My fantasy
      might have been chronologically appropriate as Haight-Ashbury in
      San Francisco, but hey, even there, even then, people were not free
      in any absolute sense. None of us are.

      Every presumed domain of our control which exists on a planet
      shared by billions is just that: presumption, of which "every
      occasion shall be avoided." No one of us is an island. Our complete
      interdependence is not only objective fact, it is our only hope.

      You might never have read this chapter as an ad for ecological
      consciousness, but look at the first line again. We are ALWAYS in
      this with others and that always means responsibilities to "...not
      do to another what one would not have done to oneself."

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB

      [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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