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Dec. 18

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please for Margie, no brain activity and family signed a do not resuscitate, for God s mercy and her release, and for her husband, Jon, and son
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 18, 2003

      Prayers, please for Margie, no brain activity and family signed a do
      not resuscitate, for God's mercy and her release, and for her
      husband, Jon, and son Gary and all her family, especially that this
      may lead them to Christ. Yesterday I asked prayers for Audrey and her
      abusive relationship, today I ask prayers for her abuser, too.
      Remember that God can work a problem from any angle!!! Prayers, too,
      for Cindy and her job search. God's will is best. All is mercy and
      grace. Thanks so much. JL

      April 18, August 18, December 18
      Chapter 63: On the Order of the Community

      Let all keep their places in the monastery
      established by the time of their entrance,
      the merit of their lives and the decision of the Abbot.
      Yet the Abbot must not disturb the flock committed to him,
      nor by an arbitrary use of his power ordain anything unjustly;
      but let him always think
      of the account he will have to render to God
      for all his decisions and his deeds.

      Therefore in that order which he has established
      or which they already had,
      let the brethren approach to receive the kiss of peace and Communion,
      intone the Psalms and stand in choir.
      And in no place whatever should age decide the order
      or be prejudicial to it;
      for Samuel and Daniel as mere boys judged priests.

      Except for those already mentioned, therefore,
      whom the Abbot has promoted by a special decision
      or demoted for definite reasons,
      all the rest shall take their order
      according to the time of their entrance.
      Thus, for example,
      he who came to the monastery at the second hour of the day,
      whatever be his age or his dignity,
      must know that he is junior
      to one who came at the first hour of the day.
      Boys, however, are to be kept under discipline
      in all matters and by everyone.


      St. Benedict, who has stressed fairness in so many ways, even
      equality, also insists on order, hence the title of this chapter. But
      it is an order which is largely established by God: the time of
      entrance. God calls when He chooses, whomever He chooses. When that
      person responds, that, for the most part, is going to determine their
      place in community.

      Families, too, need order. Yes, fairness and equality are important,
      but every child is not the equal of their siblings: anarchy would
      result. Imagine a teenager exactly equal to a toddler sibling, unable
      to interfere at all in the baby's whims to destroy its nursery or
      harm itself.

      We are used to hearing sibling rivalry horror stories that traipse
      far into adult life as psychological baggage. How many of them might
      have been avoided if, as St. Benedict prescribed for his family,
      order was never decided by capriciousness and affection was equal.

      Children cannot understand favoritism and rightly so. But a child
      could be a bit more comfortable with rewards for good behavior "the
      merit of" their siblings lives. That might annoy them, true, but at
      least it is something they, too, can work towards. Arbitrary
      affectional preference is not.

      Note that St. Benedict leaves the Abbot free to advance anyone for
      his own reasons, but immediately tacks on a warning that the Abbot
      must not disturb his flock and that he must give an account of his
      stewardship. Abbots are human, not infallible. Human affection can
      enter into their choices and St. Benedict warns them against that.
      (PS: They have not always listened, but he did warn them...LOL!)

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA
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