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Dec 7

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  • russophile2002 <jeromeleo@earthlink.net>
    +PAX Deepest thanks from my aunt, cousins and me for all who prayed for us during my uncle s death and funeral. God bless you all! Love, JL April 7, August 7,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2002
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      Deepest thanks from my aunt, cousins and me for all who prayed for us
      during my uncle's death and funeral. God bless you all! Love, JL

      April 7, August 7, December 7

      Chapter 55: On the Clothes and Shoes of the Brethren

      Let clothing be given to the brethren
      according to the nature of the place in which they dwell
      and its climate;
      for in cold regions more will be needed,
      and in warm regions less.
      This is to be taken into consideration, therefore, by the Abbot.

      We believe, however, that in ordinary places
      the following dress is sufficient for each monk:
      a tunic,
      a cowl (thick and woolly for winter, thin or worn for summer),
      a scapular for work,
      stockings and shoes to cover the feet.

      The monks should not complain
      about the color or the coarseness of any of these things,
      but be content with what can be found
      in the district where they live and
      can be purchased cheaply.

      The Abbot shall see to the size of the garments,
      that they be not too short for those who wear them,
      but of the proper fit.

      Let those who receive new clothes
      always give back the old ones at once,
      to be put away in the wardrobe for the poor.
      For it is sufficient if a monk has two tunics and two cowls,
      to allow for night wear and for the washing of these garments;
      more than that is superfluity and should be taken away.
      Let them return their stockings also and anything else that is old
      when they receive new ones.

      Those who are sent on a journey
      shall receive drawers from the wardrobe,
      which they shall wash and restore on their return.
      And let their cowls and tunics be somewhat better
      than what they usually wear.
      These they shall receive from the wardrobe
      when they set out on a journey,
      and restore when they return.

      REFLECTION

      In England, far more than in the States, one can tell a great deal
      about a person immediately by their accent. The information garnered
      is not always favorable, either! Lots of assumptions, many of them
      false, can be made. While this is true to a lesser extent in the
      U.S., here's something that runs through many, many cultures like a
      barometer of prejudgment: clothes.

      We unconsciously size up a person at once by their attire. A person's
      attire is falsely assumed to place them in this or that social and
      economic category and they are usually treated according to the
      assessor's prejudices thereafter. Never think for a moment that fine
      clothes guarantee fine treatment. They may provoke quite the opposite
      reaction in some people, scorn rather than deference may be the
      result.

      If these prejudgments are not right (where do you think we got the
      term "prejudice," anyway?) they are at least certainly human and
      virtually universal. That's why St. Benedict, while not wishing to
      surrender to such things, nevertheless did not wish his daughters and
      sons to walk into a place with clothes that said loudly: "I am a
      person of substance! Make sure you treat me nice." No, he wanted all
      of us to dress cleanly and cheaply (a key term!) and with clothes
      that fit well. He wanted us to be warm and cool as seasons demanded,
      but he did not want excess ever.

      That's where all this has a superb message for Oblates and monastics.
      What do your clothes say? What do you think they say? How much
      relation to reality does either have? Important questions all!



      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB

      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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