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Holy Rule for Feb. 1

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX A blessed feast of Saint Brigid to all, especially those of the world s first Methodist Benedictine monastery, which bears her name! Continued prayers for
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 1, 2004
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      +PAX

      A blessed feast of Saint Brigid to all, especially those of the
      world's first Methodist Benedictine monastery, which bears her name!

      Continued prayers for Paul H. His job interview went well and now
      comes the hard part of waiting. God's will is best. All is mercy and
      grace. Thanks so much! JL


      February 1, June 2, October 2

      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The fourth degree of humility
      is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
      when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
      and contradictions
      and even any kind of injustice,
      enduring all without growing weary or running away.
      For the Scripture says,
      "The one who perseveres to the end,
      is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
      and again
      "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!

      And to show how those who are faithful
      ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
      the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
      "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
      we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
      8:36).
      Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
      they go on with joy to declare,
      "But in all these trials we conquer,
      through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
      Again, in another place the Scripture says,
      "You have tested us, O God;
      You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
      You have brought us into a snare;
      You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
      And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
      it goes on to say,
      "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).

      Moreover, by their patience
      those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
      in adversities and injuries:
      when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
      when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
      when forced to go a mile, they go two;
      with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
      and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

      REFLECTION

      The awful trip here is the part about holding "fast to patience with
      a silent mind." How on earth does one begin to do that? The trend in
      consumerist Western society is pretty much to form people- no, let's
      call them what consumerism does: "consumers"- in a mold that ALWAYS
      listens to very noisy minds. That, after all, is the root of desire
      and consumption (clever play on words there!) and profit. Nothing
      else matters much to a consumerist society.

      It's not surprising that living, moving and having our being in such
      waters, we more or less acquire consumerist gills in order to
      breathe. However, the Gospel itself, as well as the Holy Rule, tells
      us that we must adopt a view which contradicts that of the secular
      world. Learning to do this is neither easy nor fast.

      The really hard thing here is that sometimes, even when we are right,
      we have to put up and shut up, so to speak. The Rule speaks of
      bearing injustice and false brethren. There are no qualifiers here
      that say: "You may think it is unjust, but the truth is otherwise."
      No, sometimes we must actually endure stuff that really is unjust,
      endure people that truly are false. As one very wise old monk of
      Pluscarden once said: "Some things will only be fixed by a cross in
      the cemetery." That is frighteningly true. Some people, some
      dysfunctions will go unchecked and there are only two things one can
      do about it: leave or endure.

      This may feel like denial to us. It isn't. That's not what's asked of
      us. I may feel very clearly that a person or situation is wrong,
      nearly know it, but what is asked of me is to react in a particularly
      controlled fashion, "with a silent mind." Non-judging also enters in
      here. We must have silent minds because, generally speaking, we
      cannot be sure what is going on!

      Jesus did say, after all, the He is the Truth. He is not calling us
      to stupidity or denial, but to trust Him. He can well afford to call
      us to silent endurance. The briefest look at Jesus in His Passion can
      affirm His rights there. There was never a greater injustice done
      than that, nor was there ever a victim so innocent and completely
      undeserving of all that brutality.

      Why is the "silent mind" such a big deal? Because you cannot get
      anywhere spiritually without one. Your focus will be shattered. The
      messy bit here is that your focus can be shattered by things
      apparently worthwhile- the devil, after all is no fool. We can be
      tricked into spinning our wheels and expending all our emotional and
      spiritual energy on dead ends that look noble, or on things that
      truly are noble, but should not absorb all of our efforts or
      attention. We can distort our necessary caring and charity into anger
      and rage at injustice that does nothing other than perpetrate anger
      and rage in more religious attire. Big mistake there!

      Recently, on Monastic Life, a mini-flame war, perhaps only
      a "skirmish", has erupted. Predictably, quite early on it stooped to
      hurling charges at people, not ideas. Whoops! Wrong way, folks. The
      holiest monks I know would not have even entered into that
      discussion. They would have smiled and maybe shrugged and gone to
      their room to read or pray.

      That's not denial, that's a fair assessment that Brother David (the
      elderly monk I have in mind,) of Saint Leo would have made correctly.
      David was a very, very holy nobody and he knew that. It was a very
      freeing knowledge, one I completely lacked when I first lived with
      him. At the ripe old age of 18, I thought entering into heated
      argument was the thing to do. David, quite rightly, knew that it
      would result in a night (or day) of strife and nothing would be
      changed. David knew that a nickel-dime lay brother in Florida was not
      going to change the Church at all by fighting with other people who
      were similarly powerless. He was humble enough to go to his room. How
      I wish I had been that smart- then or now!

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      jeromeleo@...
      Petersham, MA
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX Prayers, please, for our Oblate Marj Hayes, hospitalized again with liver problems from her meds, and for Bill, her husband, over 90 and still faithfully
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1, 2005
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for our Oblate Marj Hayes, hospitalized again with liver problems from her meds, and for Bill, her husband, over 90 and still faithfully going to see her at not small effort. Prayers, please, for a woman entering counseling for some mid-life issues, also for Ron and his wife, whose marriage is strained by his elderly in-laws, who are not fond of Ron, moving in with them. Prayers, too, for the in-laws, that they clearly see how to be better in the situation. Prayers for a young woman interviewing for a job in Oregon and for her return to the practice of her faith, also for J., seeking discernment in a choice between a good and her state in life, may she always remember her primary vocation comes first. Prayers for Lois, in aggressive chemo and radiation treatments for colon cancer, frustrated and afraid, wondering if she wants to live, and for all her adult children, on whom she completely depends for rides to treatment, etc. This is also putting great strains on their families and lives, so prayers for all! God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Alleluia! Thanks so much! JL

        February 1, June 2, October 2

        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The fourth degree of humility
        is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
        when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
        and contradictions
        and even any kind of injustice,
        enduring all without growing weary or running away.
        For the Scripture says,
        "The one who perseveres to the end,
        is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
        and again
        "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!

        And to show how those who are faithful
        ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
        the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
        "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
        we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
        8:36).
        Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
        they go on with joy to declare,
        "But in all these trials we conquer,
        through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
        Again, in another place the Scripture says,
        "You have tested us, O God;
        You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
        You have brought us into a snare;
        You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
        And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
        it goes on to say,
        "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).

        Moreover, by their patience
        those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
        in adversities and injuries:
        when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
        when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
        when forced to go a mile, they go two;
        with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
        and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

        REFLECTION

        The awful trip here is the part about holding "fast to patience with
        a silent mind." How on earth does one begin to do that? The trend in
        consumerist Western society is pretty much to form people- no, let's
        call them what consumerism does: "consumers"- in a mold that ALWAYS
        listens to very noisy minds. That, after all, is the root of desire
        and consumption (clever play on words there!) and profit. Nothing
        else matters much to a consumerist society.

        It's not surprising that living, moving and having our being in such
        waters, we more or less acquire consumerist gills in order to
        breathe. However, the Gospel itself, as well as the Holy Rule, tells
        us that we must adopt a view which contradicts that of the secular
        world. Learning to do this is neither easy nor fast.

        The really hard thing here is that sometimes, even when we are right,
        we have to put up and shut up, so to speak. The Rule speaks of
        bearing injustice and false brethren. There are no qualifiers here
        that say: "You may think it is unjust, but the truth is otherwise."

        No, sometimes we must actually endure stuff that really is unjust,
        endure people that truly are false. As one very wise old monk of
        Pluscarden once said: "Some things will only be fixed by a cross in
        the cemetery." That is frighteningly true. Some people, some
        dysfunctions will go unchecked and there are only two things one can
        do about it: leave or endure.

        This may feel like denial to us. It isn't. That's not what's asked of
        us. I may feel very clearly that a person or situation is wrong,
        nearly know it, but what is asked of me is to react in a particularly
        controlled fashion, "with a silent mind." Non-judging also enters in
        here. We must have silent minds because, generally speaking, we
        cannot be sure what is going on!

        Jesus did say, after all, the He is the Truth. He is not calling us
        to stupidity or denial, but to trust Him. He can well afford to call
        us to silent endurance. The briefest look at Jesus in His Passion can
        affirm His rights there. There was never a greater injustice done
        than that, nor was there ever a victim so innocent and completely
        undeserving of all that brutality.

        Why is the "silent mind" such a big deal? Because you cannot get
        anywhere spiritually without one. Your focus will be shattered. The
        messy bit here is that your focus can be shattered by things
        apparently worthwhile- the devil, after all is no fool.

        We can be tricked into spinning our wheels and expending all our
        emotional and spiritual energy on dead ends that look noble, or on
        things that truly are noble, but should not absorb all of our efforts or
        attention. We can distort our necessary caring and charity into anger
        and rage at injustice that does nothing other than perpetrate anger
        and rage in more religious attire. Big mistake there!

        Recall the last time you saw a mini-flame war, perhaps only
        a "skirmish", erupt in any setting . Probably, quite early on it stooped to
        hurling charges at people, not ideas. Whoops! Wrong way, folks. The
        holiest monks I know would not have even entered into that
        discussion. They would have smiled and maybe shrugged and gone to
        their room to read or pray.

        That's not denial, that's a fair assessment that Brother David (the
        elderly monk I have in mind,) of Saint Leo would have made correctly.
        David was a very, very holy nobody and he knew that. It was a very
        freeing knowledge, one I completely lacked when I first lived with
        him.

        At the ripe old age of 18, I thought entering into heated
        argument was the thing to do. David, quite rightly, knew that it
        would result in a night (or day) of strife and nothing would be
        changed. David knew that a nickel-dime lay brother in Florida was not
        going to change the Church at all by fighting with other people who
        were similarly powerless. He was humble enough to go to his room. How
        I wish I had been that smart- then or now!

        Love and prayers,

        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        jeromeleo@...
        Petersham, MA

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jerry Lee
        +PAX Prayers for Vivian, elderly grandmother of one of our readers, Joy. She fell yesterday and suffered a brain clot and swelling, now, after surgery, she may
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 1, 2006
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          +PAX

          Prayers for Vivian, elderly grandmother of one of our readers, Joy. She fell yesterday and suffered a brain clot and swelling, now, after surgery, she may have a risk for developing aspiration pneumonia. Prayers for Joy, Joyce, and all their family and for the doctors who treat Vivian. Joy's son, Buddy, is having some court troubles related to his drinking, and prayers for him, too. Joy's husband, Dick, has ALS/Lou Gehrig's and she has had so much on her plate for so long. Prayers for them all, please. God's will be done.

          Prayers, please, for Carol, total knee replacement tomorrow, a previous bad experience with shoulder replacement surgery has her very apprehensive. Guide her surgeon's hands, Lord. Prayers, too, for Adam and Emma, his 11 year old dog who was abused before he adopted her. Emma has multiple surgeries tomorrow and Adam fears she might not make it. May God's will console and protect them both! Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Clinton, for whom we prayed. he lived longer than expected and has gone home to God. When told Benedictines were praying for him, he answered with a big smile! Prayers for his happy death and eternal rest, for his sister and all his family and friends who survive him. Prayers for Andy, 27, killed in a car wreck, for his happy death and eternal rest, for all his family, his fiancee, Alison, and roommate, David and all who mourn him.

          More Deo gratias: Pete had only part of his foot amputated, not the whole leg. Prayers for him and his wife Betsy, now much better able to care for him. Prayers for Corinne, intractable pain that doctors have tried three times to block, a fourth try on Feb. 14. If that doesn't work, she is uncertain what will happen. The pain is constant and terrible and is telling on her husband, Tom, who now suffers severe headaches of unknown cause, possibly from stress. Prayers for them both. Prayers, finally for all in the U.S. government after the State of the Union address last night. May all be led to God's will! Lord, help us 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 1, June 2, October 2

          Chapter 7: On Humility

          The fourth degree of humility
          is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
          when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
          and contradictions
          and even any kind of injustice,
          enduring all without growing weary or running away.
          For the Scripture says,
          "The one who perseveres to the end,
          is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
          and again
          "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!

          And to show how those who are faithful
          ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
          the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
          "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
          we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
          8:36).
          Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
          they go on with joy to declare,
          "But in all these trials we conquer,
          through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
          Again, in another place the Scripture says,
          "You have tested us, O God;
          You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
          You have brought us into a snare;
          You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
          And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
          it goes on to say,
          "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).

          Moreover, by their patience
          those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
          in adversities and injuries:
          when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
          when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
          when forced to go a mile, they go two;
          with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
          and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

          REFLECTION

          The awful trip here is the part about holding "fast to patience with
          a silent mind." How on earth does one begin to do that? The trend in
          consumerist Western society is pretty much to form people- no, let's
          call them what consumerism does: "consumers"- in a mold that ALWAYS
          listens to very noisy minds. That, after all, is the root of desire
          and consumption (clever play on words there!) and profit. Nothing
          else matters much to a consumerist society.

          It's not surprising that living, moving and having our being in such
          waters, we more or less acquire consumerist gills in order to
          breathe. However, the Gospel itself, as well as the Holy Rule, tells
          us that we must adopt a view which contradicts that of the secular
          world. Learning to do this is neither easy nor fast.

          The really hard thing here is that sometimes, even when we are right,
          we have to put up and shut up, so to speak. The Rule speaks of
          bearing injustice and false brethren. There are no qualifiers here
          that say: "You may think it is unjust, but the truth is otherwise."

          No, sometimes we must actually endure stuff that really is unjust,
          endure people that truly are false. As one very wise old monk of
          Pluscarden once said: "Some things will only be fixed by a cross in
          the cemetery." That is frighteningly true. Some people, some
          dysfunctions will go unchecked and there are only two things one can
          do about it: leave or endure.

          This may feel like denial to us. It isn't. That's not what's asked of
          us. I may feel very clearly that a person or situation is wrong,
          nearly know it, but what is asked of me is to react in a particularly
          controlled fashion, "with a silent mind."

          Non-judging also enters in here. We must have silent minds because,
          generally speaking, we cannot be sure what is going on! Someone
          we may think is at fault for giving us the silent treatment may be in such
          pain, mental or physical, that they have all they can do to bear that. It
          may have nothing to do with us at all. We are obliged to think the best of others

          Jesus did say, after all, the He is the Truth. He is not calling us
          to stupidity or denial, but to trust Him. He can well afford to call
          us to silent endurance. The briefest look at Jesus in His Passion can
          affirm His rights there. There was never a greater injustice done
          than that, nor was there ever a victim so innocent and completely
          undeserving of all that brutality.

          Why is the "silent mind" such a big deal? Because you cannot get
          anywhere spiritually without one. Your focus will be shattered. The
          messy bit here is that your focus can be shattered by things
          apparently worthwhile- the devil, after all is no fool.

          We can be tricked into spinning our wheels and expending all our
          emotional and spiritual energy on dead ends that look noble, or on
          things that truly are noble, but should not absorb all of our efforts or
          attention. We can distort our necessary caring and charity into anger
          and rage at injustice that does nothing other than perpetrate anger
          and rage in more religious attire. Big mistake there!

          Recall the last time you saw a mini-flame war, perhaps only
          a "skirmish", erupt in any setting . Probably, quite early on it stooped to
          hurling charges at people, not ideas. Whoops! Wrong way, folks. The
          holiest monks I know would not have even entered into that
          discussion. They would have smiled and maybe shrugged and gone to
          their room to read or pray.

          That's not denial, that's a fair assessment that Brother David (the
          elderly monk I have in mind,) of Saint Leo would have made correctly.
          David was a very, very holy nobody and he knew that. It was a very
          freeing knowledge, one I completely lacked when I first lived with
          him.

          At the ripe old age of 18, I thought entering into heated
          argument was the thing to do. David, quite rightly, knew that it
          would result in a night (or day) of strife and nothing would be
          changed. David knew that a nickel-dime monk in Florida was not
          going to change the Church at all by fighting with other people who
          were similarly powerless. He was humble enough to go to his room. How
          I wish I had been that smart- then or now!

          Love and prayers,

          Jerome, OSB
          http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
          jeromeleo@...
          Petersham, MA

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
          +PAX Prayers for Kathy, beginning her journey as an Oblate of St. Benedict. Prayers for Jane, worried terribly at her son s addiction, for her strength to
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 31, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            +PAX

            Prayers for Kathy, beginning her journey as an Oblate of St. Benedict.
            Prayers for Jane, worried terribly at her son's addiction, for her strength to
            trust God with all her might. Prayers, too, for Brianna Marie, a 3rd generation
            Villa Madonna student and for the two wonderful generations that preceded
            her! Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Catherine, also of Louis
            and Henry, and for all who mourn them. Prayers for all those who care for us and
            our prayer folks, whether physically, mentally or spiritually. May God guide
            and reward them richly! 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 1, June 2, October 2

            Chapter 7: On Humility

            The fourth degree of humility
            is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
            when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
            and contradictions
            and even any kind of injustice,
            enduring all without growing weary or running away.
            For the Scripture says,
            "The one who perseveres to the end,
            is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
            and again
            "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!

            And to show how those who are faithful
            ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
            the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
            "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
            we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
            8:36).
            Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
            they go on with joy to declare,
            "But in all these trials we conquer,
            through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
            Again, in another place the Scripture says,
            "You have tested us, O God;
            You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
            You have brought us into a snare;
            You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
            And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
            it goes on to say,
            "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).

            Moreover, by their patience
            those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
            in adversities and injuries:
            when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
            when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
            when forced to go a mile, they go two;
            with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
            and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

            REFLECTION

            The awful trip here is the part about holding "fast to patience with
            a silent mind." How on earth does one begin to do that? The trend in
            consumerist Western society is pretty much to form people- no, let's
            call them what consumerism does: "consumers"- in a mold that ALWAYS
            listens to very noisy minds. That, after all, is the root of desire
            and consumption (clever play on words there!) and profit. Nothing
            else matters much to a consumerist society.

            It's not surprising that living, moving and having our being in such
            waters, we more or less acquire consumerist gills in order to
            breathe. However, the Gospel itself and the Holy Rule tell
            us that we must adopt a view which contradicts that of the secular
            world. Learning to do this is neither easy nor fast.

            The really hard thing here is that sometimes, even when we are right,
            we have to put up and shut up, so to speak. The Rule speaks of
            bearing injustice and false brethren. There are no qualifiers here
            that say: "You may think it is unjust, but the truth is otherwise."

            No, sometimes we must actually endure stuff that really is unjust,
            endure people that truly are false. As one very wise old monk of
            Pluscarden once said: "Some things will only be fixed by a cross in
            the cemetery." That is frighteningly true. Some people, some
            dysfunctions will go unchecked and there are only two things one can
            do about it: leave or endure.

            This may feel like denial to us. It isn't. That's not what's asked of
            us. I may feel very clearly that a person or situation is wrong,
            nearly know it, but what is asked of me is to react in a particularly
            controlled fashion, "with a silent mind."

            Non-judging also enters in here. We must have silent minds because,
            generally speaking, we cannot be sure what is going on! Someone
            we may think is at fault for giving us the silent treatment may be in such
            pain, mental or physical, that they have all they can do to bear that. It
            may have nothing to do with us at all. We are obliged to think the best of
            others

            Jesus did say, after all, the He is the Truth. He is not calling us
            to stupidity or denial, but to trust Him. He can well afford to call
            us to silent endurance. The briefest look at Jesus in His Passion can
            affirm His rights there. There was never a greater injustice done
            than that, nor was there ever a victim so innocent and completely
            undeserving of all that brutality.

            Why is the "silent mind" such a big deal? Because you cannot get
            anywhere spiritually without one. Your focus will be shattered. The
            messy bit here is that your focus can be shattered by things
            apparently worthwhile- the devil, after all is no fool.

            We can be tricked into spinning our wheels and expending all our
            emotional and spiritual energy on dead ends that look noble, or on
            things that truly are noble, but should not absorb all of our efforts or
            attention. We can distort our necessary caring and charity into anger
            and rage at injustice that does nothing other than perpetrate anger
            and rage in more religious attire. Big mistake there!

            Recall the last time you saw a mini-flame war, perhaps only
            a "skirmish", erupt in any setting . Probably, quite early on it stooped to
            hurling charges at people, not ideas. Whoops! Wrong way, folks. The
            holiest monks I know would not have even entered into that
            discussion. They would have smiled and maybe shrugged and gone to
            their room to read or pray.

            That's not denial, that's a fair assessment that Brother David (the
            elderly monk I have in mind,) of Saint Leo would have made correctly.
            Br. David was a very, very holy nobody and he knew that. It was a very
            freeing knowledge, one I completely lacked when I first lived with
            him. In point of fact, it was that holy humility, that "nobody-ness" that
            made Br. David truly a very awesome somebody: a saint in our midst.

            At the ripe old age of 18, I thought entering into heated
            argument was the thing to do. David, quite rightly, knew that it
            would result in a night (or day) of strife and nothing would be
            changed. David knew that a nickel-dime monk in Florida was not
            going to change the Church at all by fighting with other people who
            were similarly powerless. He was humble enough to go to his room. How
            I wish I had been that smart- then or now!

            Love and prayers,

            Jerome, OSB
            _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
            _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
            Petersham, MA



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Br. Jerome Leo
            +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: Rosy, test to
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 31, 2008
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              Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

              Rosy, test to rule out cancer in her throat.
              Elaine, awaiting biopsy on a lesion on her leg.
              Deo gratias for Shauntelle, her missing stepson was found before we even got to pray for him!

              Barbara Mary, surgery to remove a cancer tumor.
              LaVerne, for whom we've been praying, has to undergo another round of chemo and radiation for colon CA. He's just finishing a bout with gout.
              Brian, 25, had a stroke on Thursday. He has a disease (AVM) that causes blood vessels to form a mass in his brain. He also has a blood clot and had to undergo emergency brain surgery on Sunday. His wife is expecting their second child in July or August and has been spotting. Brian's mom and dad are simply overwhelmed and can use all the love and support we can provide.

              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 1, June 2, October 2

              Chapter 7: On Humility

              The fourth degree of humility
              is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
              when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
              and contradictions
              and even any kind of injustice,
              enduring all without growing weary or running away.
              For the Scripture says,
              "The one who perseveres to the end,
              is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
              and again
              "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!

              And to show how those who are faithful
              ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
              the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
              "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
              we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
              8:36).
              Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
              they go on with joy to declare,
              "But in all these trials we conquer,
              through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
              Again, in another place the Scripture says,
              "You have tested us, O God;
              You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
              You have brought us into a snare;
              You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
              And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
              it goes on to say,
              "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).

              Moreover, by their patience
              those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
              in adversities and injuries:
              when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
              when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
              when forced to go a mile, they go two;
              with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
              and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

              REFLECTION

              The awful trip here is the part about holding "fast to patience with
              a silent mind." How on earth does one begin to do that? The trend in
              consumerist Western society is pretty much to form people- no, let's
              call them what consumerism does: "consumers"- in a mold that ALWAYS
              listens to very noisy minds. That, after all, is the root of desire
              and consumption (clever play on words there!) and profit. Nothing
              else matters much to a consumerist society.

              It's not surprising that living, moving and having our being in such
              waters, we more or less acquire consumerist gills in order to
              breathe. However, the Gospel itself and the Holy Rule tell
              us that we must adopt a view which contradicts that of the secular
              world. Learning to do this is neither easy nor fast.

              The really hard thing here is that sometimes, even when we are right,
              we have to put up and shut up, so to speak. The Rule speaks of
              bearing injustice and false brethren. There are no qualifiers here
              that say: "You may think it is unjust, but the truth is otherwise."

              No, sometimes we must actually endure stuff that really is unjust,
              endure people that truly are false. As one very wise old monk of
              Pluscarden once said: "Some things will only be fixed by a cross in
              the cemetery." That is frighteningly true. Some people, some
              dysfunctions will go unchecked and there are only two things one can
              do about it: leave or endure.

              This may feel like denial to us. It isn't. That's not what's asked of
              us. I may feel very clearly that a person or situation is wrong,
              nearly know it, but what is asked of me is to react in a particularly
              controlled fashion, "with a silent mind."

              Non-judging also enters in here. We must have silent minds because,
              generally speaking, we cannot be sure what is going on! Someone
              we may think is at fault for giving us the silent treatment may be in such
              pain, mental or physical, that they have all they can do to bear that. It
              may have nothing to do with us at all. We are obliged to think the best of
              others

              Jesus did say, after all, the He is the Truth. He is not calling us
              to stupidity or denial, but to trust Him. He can well afford to call
              us to silent endurance. The briefest look at Jesus in His Passion can
              affirm His rights there. There was never a greater injustice done
              than that, nor was there ever a victim so innocent and completely
              undeserving of all that brutality.

              Why is the "silent mind" such a big deal? Because you cannot get
              anywhere spiritually without one. Your focus will be shattered. The
              messy bit here is that your focus can be shattered by things
              apparently worthwhile- the devil, after all is no fool.

              We can be tricked into spinning our wheels and expending all our
              emotional and spiritual energy on dead ends that look noble, or on
              things that truly are noble, but should not absorb all of our efforts or
              attention. We can distort our necessary caring and charity into anger
              and rage at injustice that does nothing other than perpetrate anger
              and rage in more religious attire. Big mistake there!

              Recall the last time you saw a mini-flame war, perhaps only
              a "skirmish", erupt in any setting . Probably, quite early on it stooped to
              hurling charges at people, not ideas. Whoops! Wrong way, folks. The
              holiest monks I know would not have even entered into that
              discussion. They would have smiled and maybe shrugged and gone to
              their room to read or pray.

              That's not denial, that's a fair assessment that Brother David (the
              elderly monk I have in mind,) of Saint Leo would have made correctly.
              Br. David was a very, very holy nobody and he knew that. It was a very
              freeing knowledge, one I completely lacked when I first lived with
              him. In point of fact, it was that holy humility, that "nobody-ness" that
              made Br. David truly a very awesome somebody: a saint in our midst.

              At the ripe old age of 18, I thought entering into heated
              argument was the thing to do. David, quite rightly, knew that it
              would result in a night (or day) of strife and nothing would be
              changed. David knew that a nickel-dime monk in Florida was not
              going to change the Church at all by fighting with other people who
              were similarly powerless. He was humble enough to go to his room. How
              I wish I had been that smart- then or now!

              Love and prayers,

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

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