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Holy Rule for MAr. 8

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please, for a young woman seeking a solution to some heavy financial strains. God s will is best. All is mercy and grace. Thanks so much! JL
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2004

      Prayers, please, for a young woman seeking a solution to some heavy
      financial strains. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. Thanks
      so much! JL

      March 8, July 8, November 7
      Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

      As cellarer of the monastery
      let there be chosen from the community
      one who is wise, of mature character, sober,
      not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable,
      not offensive, not slow, not wasteful,
      but a God-fearing man
      who may be like a father to the whole community.

      Let him have charge of everything.
      He shall do nothing without the Abbot's orders,
      but keep to his instructions.
      Let him not vex the brethren.
      If any brother
      happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
      instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
      he should humbly give the reason
      for denying the improper request.

      Let him keep guard over his own soul,
      mindful always of the Apostle's saying
      that "he who has ministered well
      will acquire for himself a good standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).

      Let him take the greatest care
      of the sick, of children, of guests and of the poor,
      knowing without doubt
      that he will have to render an account for all these
      on the Day of Judgment.

      Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery
      and its whole property
      as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.
      Let him not think that he may neglect anything.
      He should be neither a miser
      nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance,
      but should do all things with measure
      and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.


      The Abbot is father to the family, in all respects. Some of those,
      however, are delegated to others, so that no one, not even the Abbot,
      may be overburdened. In one sense, the Abbot may be said to be the
      father in things spiritual and the cellarer in things material. It is
      interesting that St. Benedict requires very similar qualities in both.

      What lies beneath that requirement is the Benedictine view of
      property, of goods, of the earth itself. We scorn excess, in either
      direction, but we do not scorn the material world, we reverence it as
      if it were one of the vessels of the altar! This is very different
      from a Buddhist view, where all creation might be looked upon
      as "maya," illusion. We see creation for what it truly is: a
      stupendous and free gift of God to all.

      While we always place people before things, we demand that both
      people and things be the objects of downright exquisite care. We love
      both because they ARE God's gifts, because they are both the means of
      sustaining our lives for God's ends. As such, the Holy Rule's view
      does not permit that things be loved in and of themselves, for
      themselves alone. That's an attachment we have to be careful to
      avoid. That false love, however, can lead to all kinds of erroneous
      ideas about the good we administer: stinginess, hoarding,

      All of these traits translate very easily into the family sphere.
      Parents need to achieve a sane balance in regards to material things.
      They need not to be career-driven workaholics, but they must also
      avoid being poor providers through lack of concern. The key to the
      middle way is love, as usual. Love the family members more than
      anything worldly and the rest falls more or less into place. If
      children know that they come before things, they have learned a
      lesson that they will pass on for the rest of their lives.

      Face it, many a rich, spoiled child, immersed in privilege, feels
      unloved. Things are never an adequate substitute for our HEARTS,
      which is what God, St. Benedict and the Holy Rule ask us to give
      without reserve. It is the love, the genuine love, that a child (or
      anyone else, for that matter!) will remember. All the rest is dust
      and ashes.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA
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