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Holy Rule for Mar. 15

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Christie, a brilliant girl who simply freezes up on standardized tests and doesn t do well. Already through grad school, one more
    Message 1 of 386 , Mar 15, 2004
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Christie, a brilliant girl who simply freezes up on
      standardized tests and doesn't do well. Already through grad school,
      one more such exam stands between her and teaching certification and
      this is her second try. She only missed by 4 points last time. Prayers for
      her and for God's will! God's will is best. All is mercy and grace.
      Thanks so much! JL

      March 15, July 15, November 14
      Chapter 36: On the Sick

      Before all things and above all things,
      care must be taken of the sick,
      so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;
      for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" (Matt 25:36),
      and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me"
      (Matt.25:40).
      But let the sick on their part consider
      that they are being served for the honor of God,
      and let them not annoy their sisters who are serving them
      by their unnecessary demands.
      Yet they should be patiently borne with,
      because from such as these is gained a more abundant reward.
      Therefore the Abbess shall take the greatest care
      that they suffer no neglect.


      For these sick let there be assigned a special room
      and an attendant who is God-fearing, diligent and solicitous.
      Let the use of baths be afforded the sick
      as often as may be expedient;
      but to the healthy, and especially to the young,
      let them be granted more rarely.
      Moreover,
      let the use of meat be granted to the sick who are very weak,
      for the restoration of their strength;
      but when they are convalescent,
      let all abstain from meat as usual.


      The Abbess shall take the greatest care
      that the sick be not neglected by the cellarers or the attendants;
      for she also is responsible for what is done wrongly by her disciples.

      REFLECTION

      Visitors quite characteristically remark on the peace of Benedictine
      monasteries. They surely ought to be able to notice something very
      different from the world at large, something would probably be very
      wrong with the house if none could. On the other hand, no matter how
      politely we may respond to those who exclaim how peaceful things are,
      I'll bet that most monastic hearts- and maybe all- sinkingly
      say: "Yeah, but you don't LIVE here..."

      My dear theology professor, Dr. Jean Ronan, used to always say: "The
      mills of God grind slowly, yet exceeding fine...." She meant that in
      a karma sort of way, what goes around comes around sooner or later.
      However, today's reading and life in community have taught me to see
      an additional meaning. The mills of God truly DO turn very slowly.
      Sometimes their windmill blades are barely stirred by a hesitant
      breeze. No wonder that outsiders and first-time visitors cannot
      notice them grinding the wheat!

      Ah, denied the fall-into-the-ground-and-die brand of outright
      martyrdom, our grains of wheat must be ground into flour, a process
      of immolation no less complete, but most uncomfortably slower! (St.
      Teresa of Avila said that the martyrs "bought Heaven cheaply" winning
      with one swing of the axe what we must struggle on many years to
      acquire.) Don't make the mistake of looking only at the beauty of the
      ripe wheat swaying gently in the breeze and sunlight and the
      smoothness of a sack of pre-sifted flour. Between those two comes a
      LOT of the grindstone! To say nothing of the sickle at first...oh,
      yeah, and that winnowing part- I almost forgot.

      What on earth does all this have to do with care of the sick? Ah, you
      have been patient and that is commendable. Take heart, the point of
      all this is at hand.

      The borders between sickness and meanness and evil are often blurred
      to indistinguishable levels. One age posited demons for epilepsy, our
      own sees exculpating psychological illness or impairment behind all
      manner of skullduggery. We have too little time, in many cases, to
      waste a lot of time with thorny and perhaps impossible diagnoses. In
      charity, we are usually obliged to assume that the meanest of people
      are simply not well. We do, after all, have to think the best of
      people.

      That can be damnably maddening. We WANT to ascribe blame when hurt or
      wronged. Every flawed human nerve in our body can begin to cry: "No
      quarter, no mercy!" Gee, in a flawed human way of speaking, wouldn't
      it be nice if we could! But we can't, we simply cannot. If we do, we
      become so unlike the mercy of Christ, the love of God, that our souls
      are in very great peril. This can sabotage our spiritual struggles in
      nothing flat.

      Hence, the care of the sick comes very much into play with the way we
      deal with those who hurt or harm us. This is a far different affair
      from doormat policy. Any who have ever worked in health care could
      readily attest that the sick must often be treated with a lot of less
      than lovely stuff: cautery, surgery, pumps and tubes and even, yes,
      at times, amputation. (I had catheterized probably hundreds of people
      before I was ever catheterized myself. It was most informative. How I
      wish my training had started with that procedure being done to me. I
      never did it to a patient the same way again.)

      Hey, all of us are nice, good people in our own eyes much of the
      time. Our biggest gaffs are usually those to which we are all but
      completely blind. We must realize that this is not just true of
      ourselves, but of others as well. And, perhaps most difficult of all,
      we must see that sometimes WE are the ones who really need to be in
      the waiting room for cautery or amputation... Sigh... Ain't life and
      humility grand?

      Hence, whenever a relationship or person truly does require
      remediation, we must behave as we would like to be treated in the
      same circumstance. Compassion, love and gentle kindness, not
      patronization or scorn or abrupt roughness must rule the day. Many of
      us have experienced both the kind of nurse one loved and the kind
      that one would gladly forget if one could! Which sort of treatment do
      you wish to give?

      Love and prayers,

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • russophile2002
      +PAX Prayers, please, for Bishop Hugh Gilbert, OSB, on his birthday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! Prayers for Genny LoPiccolo, Michael’s
      Message 386 of 386 , Mar 14

        +PAX

         

        Prayers, please, for Bishop Hugh Gilbert, OSB, on his birthday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

         

        Prayers for Genny LoPiccolo, Michael’s wife, on her 77th birthday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

         

        Prayers for our Sr. Mary Angela, recovering from a knee replacement.

         

        Healing prayers for Dana, for whom we prayed. His surgery went well, but unfortunately he has a grade IV glioblastoma. He will begin chemotherapy and radiation after the staples are removed next week unless he decides to undergo a clinical trial. Prayers for his Mom, Patty, and all their family. They are praying for a miracle. Thanks to all for their prayers.

         

        Please, urgent prayers for Lotta, in her forties, suffering from incurable cancer. For a happy death and better pain management as her end draws nearer. Prayers, also, for her husband Martin, that he can manage his great loss whenever it will happen. The couple have no children. Prayers for Martin's sister, Anna, who also has health issues with depression and she is of course very concerned over all thi

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Steve, and for his wife, Terri, and all their family and all who mourn him.

         

        Prayers for Ken, in a hospice with cancer. He is not religious, so ardent prayers for his happy death. Please pray for Chris, his wife and his daughters and family.

         

        Prayers for Trefor, he has a neurological illness and was in hospital for 8 days and is very weak. Prayers, too,  for Kate, his wife.

         

        Prayers for Len, many problems and for Anne, his wife, and for his family.

         

        Deo gratias and prayers of thanks, Karl, for whom we prayed, has made a good recovery from cancer.

         

        Prayers for Tessa, as she  continues to recover.

         

        Prayers for Keith, for the gift of faith, a seed has been planted, may it grow.

         

        Prayers for Logan, special intention.

         

        Prayers for Andrew, special intention.

         

        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

        March 15, July 15, November 14
        Chapter 36: On the Sick

        Before all things and above all things, care must be taken of the
        sick, so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;
        for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" (Matt 25:36),
        and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me"
        (Matt.25:40).

        But let the sick on their part consider that they are being served
        for the honor of God, and let them not annoy their sisters who are
        serving them by their unnecessary demands. Yet they should be
        patiently borne with, because from such as these is gained a more
        abundant reward. Therefore the Abbess shall take the greatest care
        that they suffer no neglect.

        For these sick let there be assigned a special room and an
        attendant who is God-fearing, diligent and solicitous. Let the use
        of baths be afforded the sick as often as may be expedient; but to
        the healthy, and especially to the young, let them be granted more
        rarely.
        Moreover, let the use of meat be granted to the sick who are very
        weak, for the restoration of their strength; but when they are
        convalescent, let all abstain from meat as usual.

        The Abbess shall take the greatest care that the sick be not
        neglected by the cellarers or the attendants; for she also is
        responsible for what is done wrongly by her disciples.


        REFLECTION

        We serve the sick "for the honor of God." That is important to remember,
        both for ourselves and for the sick. We serve Christ in the sick,
        it is Him we visit. That, too, must be held in view by both patient
        and caregiver.

        In monasteries and in the world, one can get too used to always having
        people come to one under their own steam. When the sick can no longer
        do this, it is treacherously easy to forget them, to write them off. Some
        folks just stay out of the way of sick people, for whatever reason, but
        that must not be our way.

        Oblates in the world can find ample opportunities to visit the sick. A
        caregiver who is overwrought may welcome a respite, even of a few
        hours in the day, to tend to things not easily done otherwise, or even
        just for rest and recovery. Why not offer? Why not volunteer at a
        nursing home or adult day care center? Visiting friends in the hospital
        is another way, and one we should not omit. "I was sick and you
        visited Me."

        We are to care for the sick "before all things and above all things."
        That means that a Benedictine should be known as much for care of the
        sick as we are for hospitality or liturgy. It should be one of the things
        that stand out in a Benedictine.

        An interesting aside here is the last word on the Abbess: she is responsible
        for what her disciples do (or don't do.) That is an awesome responsibility,
        but it is very real. With the Benedictine Abbot or Abbess, the buck really
        does stop there, as the Rule frequently reminds us. That is yet another
        reason we should pray for our superiors every day.

        Love and prayers,
        Br. Jerome Leo, OSB
        <http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/> http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA




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