Long drives to NY for my uncle's funeral today, and back home late
tomorrow, so please pray for Uncle Bill, his family and me- that I
don't drowse off on the road! There will be no posting tomorrow. See
you all Saturday, God willing! JL
April 5, August 5, December 5
Chapter 53: On the Reception of Guests
Let there be a separate kitchen for the Abbot and guests,
that the brethren may not be disturbed when guests,
who are never lacking in a monastery,
arrive at irregular hours.
Let two brethren capable of filling the office well
be appointed for a year to have charge of this kitchen.
Let them be given such help as they need,
that they may serve without murmuring.
And on the other hand,
when they have less to occupy them,
let them go out to whatever work is assigned them.
And not only in their case
but in all the offices of the monastery
let this arrangement be observed,
that when help is needed it be supplied,
and again when the workers are unoccupied
they do whatever they are bidden.
The guest house also shall be assigned to a brother
whose soul is possessed by the fear of God.
Let there be a sufficient number of beds made up in it;
and let the house of God be managed by prudent men
and in a prudent manner.
On no account shall anyone who is not so ordered
associate or converse with guests.
But if he should meet them or see them,
let him greet them humbly, as we have said,
ask their blessing and pass on,
saying that he is not allowed to converse with a guest.
Helping out when needed, ain't community great? Really, it's no joke,
folks. Father Gregory is away burying his uncle, and I have been
doing a couple of his duties. Now my uncle dies, and no one says a
thing about what it will cost this small community already short-
handed, just "Go, brother, go, don't worry." Never mind that this
leaves us with one less driver and only one car till I get back. They
tell me to go and not worry. The superior will pick up Fr. Gregory in
CT, since I will be gone. "No problem, go, brother, don't worry."
Every monastery and family and workplace can and should be like this.
This kindness is the fruit of selflessness, an orchard all of us
ought to propagate. With very little difficulty, each of us can find
myriad opportunities to be like my brothers for someone else. It
often costs so little and it means so much!
"Go, brother, go." Well, I'm going full of gratitude for a loving
brotherhood. See you all Saturday, I hope!
Love and prayers,
jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA