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Holy Rule for Apr. 15

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for a happy death for Susan, prayers too for her family and John and Kat and their family, and all who are trying to help her. Please
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 15, 2004
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for a happy death for Susan, prayers too for her family and John and Kat and their family, and all who are trying to help her. Please also pray for M., who suffers from food addiction. She had a slip and is struggling to maintain her recovery. She also suffers from debt compulsion and neither of these are easy. Prayers for Debbie, a Mom over-extended by her teen daughter's illness, trying to balance her parish ministry and motherhood. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Never! Thanks so much! JL

      April 15, August 15, December 15
      Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received

      If a pilgrim monastic coming from a distant region
      wants to live as a guest of the monastery,
      let her be received for as long a time as she desires,
      provided she is content
      with the customs of the place as she finds them
      and does not disturb the monastery by superfluous demands,
      but is simply content with what she finds.
      If, however, she censures or points out anything reasonably
      and with the humility of charity,
      let the Abbess consider prudently
      whether perhaps it was for that very purpose
      that the Lord sent her.

      If afterwards she should want to bind herself to stability,
      her wish should not be denied her,
      especially since there has been opportunity
      during her stay as a guest
      to discover her character.

      REFLECTION

      We can get so used to our lives that we are blind to areas that could
      be improved. We can get so used to doing things one way that anything
      better is beyond us. Our routines which become sacrosanct are often
      not at all that holy!

      An outsider's objective view can let us see a good deal about
      ourselves. Some things we may want to change, some we may realize are
      fine as they are. Either way, the visitor can be a reality check of
      great worth.

      One of the Desert Fathers (forgive me for not recalling which one,)
      said that there is nothing so careful as a monk not living in his
      native land. That's very true for most of us, though part two of this
      chapter makes it clear that it's not true for everyone. When we
      visit, we want people to think the best of the home, the family, the
      land from which we came. It is this nobility of striving, this
      mindful courtesy that the Desert Father wished to praise. In fact, if
      I read it correctly, the implication was that it might even be better
      to be a monastic AWAY from one's native land for just those reasons.

      There is something striking here. Remember how badly the gyrovagues
      and Sarabaites were painted in the types of monks? Well, these were
      the wandering ones, and St. Benedict knew very well that a pilgrim
      monk at the door could be one of these sorts. He doesn't even mention
      it. He wants them to have a chance to do better, to be healed by
      community. If they blow it, fine, he's not going to lose a lot of
      sleep over it, but he does insist they be given a chance to improve.
      Given what the monastic world thought of gyrovagues and the like,
      that says a LOT for St. Benedict's tolerance and clemency.

      Not all of us are in cloisters, but all of us have doors. The people
      who come to those doors may be gyrovagues and Sarabaites, but they
      may not, too. We have to give them a chance to prove or reveal
      themselves. This is true of anyone we encounter. Snap judgments are
      not wise, they cheat us out of many gifts. Being too much or too
      little on the side of caution are both traps. Tread the middle way,
      always the middle way.

      This doesn't mean we have to dupe ourselves into perpetual
      vulnerability, but it does mean we have to be open, mindful and
      listening, really listening to all comers. Listen first, sift later.
      Do both, always both.

      Love and prayers and the occasional laugh,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@...
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX Prayers, please, for Hesston, a teenager troubled with a lot of bad influences, that he return to God, for Janie, x-ray work-up for a spot on her lung,
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 15, 2005
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for Hesston, a teenager troubled with a lot of bad influences, that he return to God, for Janie, x-ray work-up for a spot on her lung, also for Lucille, struggling with prescription med addiction. Prayers for Paul and his wife, numerous trials in buying a home, and for John, brain hemorrhage and now in a nursing home, very depressed, and for Margaret, his wife, who is trying to cheer him. Lori, for whom we prayed, had a breast malignancy found, now prayers for her and her doctor as she investigates surgery and treatment. For the repose of the soul of Gerald May, MD, author of many fine books that have helped so many people, and for his family. Prayers for M., a small stroke and a host of serious neurological problems. Prayers for the recovery of Marialyce after her surgery. Prayers, especially, for the upcoming Papal election, that the Holy Spirit's loving guidance be firmly followed in the choice. Lord, help them 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

        April 15, August 15, December 15
        Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received

        If a pilgrim monastic coming from a distant region
        wants to live as a guest of the monastery,
        let her be received for as long a time as she desires,
        provided she is content
        with the customs of the place as she finds them
        and does not disturb the monastery by superfluous demands,
        but is simply content with what she finds.
        If, however, she censures or points out anything reasonably
        and with the humility of charity,
        let the Abbess consider prudently
        whether perhaps it was for that very purpose
        that the Lord sent her.

        If afterwards she should want to bind herself to stability,
        her wish should not be denied her,
        especially since there has been opportunity
        during her stay as a guest
        to discover her character.

        REFLECTION

        We can get so used to our lives that we are blind to areas that could
        be improved. We can get so used to doing things one way that anything
        better is beyond us. Our routines which become sacrosanct are often
        not at all that holy!

        An outsider's objective view can let us see a good deal about
        ourselves. Some things we may want to change, some we may realize are
        fine as they are. Either way, the visitor can be a reality check of
        great worth.

        One of the Desert Fathers (forgive me for not recalling which one,)
        said that there is nothing so careful as a monk not living in his
        native land. That's very true for most of us, though part two of this
        chapter makes it clear that it's not true for everyone. When we
        visit, we want people to think the best of the home, the family, the
        land from which we came. It is this nobility of striving, this
        mindful courtesy that the Desert Father wished to praise. In fact, if
        I read it correctly, the implication was that it might even be better
        to be a monastic AWAY from one's native land for just those reasons.

        There is something striking here. Remember how badly the gyrovagues
        and Sarabaites were painted in the types of monks? Well, these were
        the wandering ones, and St. Benedict knew very well that a pilgrim
        monk at the door could be one of these sorts. He doesn't even mention
        it. He wants them to have a chance to do better, to be healed by
        community. If they blow it, fine, he's not going to lose a lot of
        sleep over it, but he does insist they be given a chance to improve.
        Given what the monastic world thought of gyrovagues and the like,
        that says a LOT for St. Benedict's tolerance and clemency.

        Not all of us are in cloisters, but all of us have doors. The people
        who come to those doors may be gyrovagues and Sarabaites, but they
        may not, too. We have to give them a chance to prove or reveal
        themselves. This is true of anyone we encounter. Snap judgments are
        not wise, they cheat us out of many gifts. Being too much or too
        little on the side of caution are both traps. Tread the middle way,
        always the middle way.

        This doesn't mean we have to dupe ourselves into perpetual
        vulnerability, but it does mean we have to be open, mindful and
        listening, really listening to all comers. Listen first, sift later.
        Do both, always both.

        Love and prayers and the occasional laugh,
        Jerome, OSB
        jeromeleo@...
        Petersham, MA

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jerry Lee
        +PAX Prayers, please, for all who will be received into the Church at tonight s Easter Vigil, especially for the 2,500 or so being received in Hong Kong, a
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 15, 2006
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          +PAX

          Prayers, please, for all who will be received into the Church at tonight's Easter Vigil, especially for the 2,500 or so being received in Hong Kong, a brave step to take in Communist China. Prayers, too, for all who happily celebrate the anniversary of their reception on this holy night, especially for Mary F., who celebrates ten years this Easter! Deo gratias!! Ad multos annos, many years!

          God has infinite treasures of grace for each of us in these holy days, and not only now, but at every turn in our lives. Please pray that we gather all of those graces and mercies we can carry and that we spread them to others around us!

          Prayers for a woman in her fifties, fighting cancer for three years, she has declined further treatment and is very angry at God. For her reconciliation with Him, her happy death and eternal rest. Our prayers today can win her a very grace-filled end, a chance for her to embrace the infinite Love and Divine Mercy of God. 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

          April 15, August 15, December 15
          Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received

          If a pilgrim monastic coming from a distant region
          wants to live as a guest of the monastery,
          let her be received for as long a time as she desires,
          provided she is content
          with the customs of the place as she finds them
          and does not disturb the monastery by superfluous demands,
          but is simply content with what she finds.
          If, however, she censures or points out anything reasonably
          and with the humility of charity,
          let the Abbess consider prudently
          whether perhaps it was for that very purpose
          that the Lord sent her.

          If afterwards she should want to bind herself to stability,
          her wish should not be denied her,
          especially since there has been opportunity
          during her stay as a guest
          to discover her character.

          REFLECTION

          We can get so used to our lives that we are blind to areas that could
          be improved. We can get so used to doing things one way that anything
          better is beyond us. Our routines which become sacrosanct are often
          not at all that holy!

          An outsider's objective view can let us see a good deal about
          ourselves. Some things we may want to change, some we may realize are
          fine as they are. Either way, the visitor can be a reality check of
          great worth.

          One of the Desert Fathers (forgive me for not recalling which one,)
          said that there is nothing so careful as a monk not living in his
          native land. That's very true for most of us, though part two of this
          chapter makes it clear that it's not true for everyone. When we
          visit, we want people to think the best of the home, the family, the
          land from which we came. It is this nobility of striving, this
          mindful courtesy that the Desert Father wished to praise. In fact, if
          I read it correctly, the implication was that it might even be better
          to be a monastic AWAY from one's native land for just those reasons.

          There is something striking here. Remember how badly the gyrovagues
          and Sarabaites were painted in the types of monks? Well, these were
          the wandering ones, and St. Benedict knew very well that a pilgrim
          monk at the door could be one of these sorts. He doesn't even mention
          it. He wants them to have a chance to do better, to be healed by
          community. If they blow it, fine, he's not going to lose a lot of
          sleep over it, but he does insist they be given a chance to improve.
          Given what the monastic world thought of gyrovagues and the like,
          that says a LOT for St. Benedict's tolerance and clemency.

          Not all of us are in cloisters, but all of us have doors. The people
          who come to those doors may be gyrovagues and Sarabaites, but they
          may not, too. We have to give them a chance to prove or reveal
          themselves. This is true of anyone we encounter. Snap judgments are
          not wise, they cheat us out of many gifts. Being too much or too
          little on the side of caution are both traps. Tread the middle way,
          always the middle way.

          Another thing to watch is the fact that we often may take any suggestions
          as criticism and bristle at the very mention of them. Often, criticism may
          have been the last thing the speaker intended, genuine charity may have
          been the only concern. There may be times when God intends the use
          of a person as His instrument in a critique He deems worthy. All of
          these things must be considered. The person we regard as a meddling
          annoyance could sometimes be God's tender and loving gift to us!

          This doesn't mean we have to dupe ourselves into perpetual
          vulnerability, but it does mean we have to be open, mindful and
          listening, really listening to all comers. Listen first, sift later.
          Do both, always both.

          Love and prayers and the occasional laugh,
          Jerome, OSB
          jeromeleo@...
          Petersham, MA

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
          +PAX Prayers, please, for the marriage of David and Hannah and for David s Mom, Janet. Prayers, please, for Keith, rushed into hospital with a massive
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 14, 2007
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            +PAX

            Prayers, please, for the marriage of David and Hannah and for David's Mom,
            Janet. Prayers, please, for Keith, rushed into hospital with a massive stroke,
            and had to have a major operation yesterday, prognosis seems poor.

            We gave thanksgiving for Caitlyn's successful back surgery yesterday, today
            has brought tremendous, unrelenting pain. She is only 17, and this is such a
            sad situation to be dealing with back pain / surgery at such a young age.
            Continued prayers, please. Prayers for a tragic couple who committed suicide
            together, for their happy deaths and eternal rest. Especially on this Divine
            Mercy Sunday, let us pray that they were able to embrace Christ and His Mercy at
            their last moments.

            A reader told me that not only did Johnette Benkovic loose her husband, but
            her son Simon, who had just returned from a tour in Iraq, was killed in a
            car accident in 2004, so prayers for father and son, and for Johnette. She is a
            woman of great faith, but such losses are so terribly hard. OLord, 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

            April 15, August 15, December 15
            Chapter 61: How Pilgrim Monks Are To Be Received

            If a pilgrim monastic coming from a distant region
            wants to live as a guest of the monastery,
            let her be received for as long a time as she desires,
            provided she is content
            with the customs of the place as she finds them
            and does not disturb the monastery by superfluous demands,
            but is simply content with what she finds.
            If, however, she censures or points out anything reasonably
            and with the humility of charity,
            let the Abbess consider prudently
            whether perhaps it was for that very purpose
            that the Lord sent her.

            If afterwards she should want to bind herself to stability,
            her wish should not be denied her,
            especially since there has been opportunity
            during her stay as a guest
            to discover her character.

            REFLECTION

            We can get so used to our lives that we are blind to areas that could
            be improved. We can get so used to doing things one way that anything
            better is beyond us. Our routines which become sacrosanct are often
            not at all that holy!

            An outsider's objective view can let us see a good deal about
            ourselves. Some things we may want to change, some we may realize are
            fine as they are. Either way, the visitor can be a reality check of
            great worth.

            One of the Desert Fathers (forgive me for not recalling which one,)
            said that there is nothing so careful as a monk not living in his
            native land. That's very true for most of us, though part two of this
            chapter makes it clear that it's not true for everyone. When we
            visit, we want people to think the best of the home, the family, the
            land from which we came. It is this nobility of striving, this
            mindful courtesy that the Desert Father wished to praise. In fact, if
            I read it correctly, the implication was that it might even be better
            to be a monastic AWAY from one's native land for just those reasons.

            There is something striking here. Remember how badly the gyrovagues
            and Sarabaites were painted in the types of monks? Well, these were
            the wandering ones, and St. Benedict knew very well that a pilgrim
            monk at the door could be one of these sorts. He doesn't even mention
            it. He wants them to have a chance to do better, to be healed by
            community. If they blow it, fine, he's not going to lose a lot of
            sleep over it, but he does insist they be given a chance to improve.
            Given what the monastic world thought of gyrovagues and the like,
            that says a LOT for St. Benedict's tolerance and clemency.

            Not all of us are in cloisters, but all of us have doors. The people
            who come to those doors may be gyrovagues and Sarabaites, but they
            may not, too. We have to give them a chance to prove or reveal
            themselves. This is true of anyone we encounter. Snap judgments are
            not wise, they cheat us out of many gifts. Being too much or too
            little on the side of caution are both traps. Tread the middle way,
            always the middle way.

            Another thing to watch is the fact that we often may take any suggestions
            as criticism and bristle at the very mention of them. Often, criticism may
            have been the last thing the speaker intended, genuine charity may have
            been the only concern. There may be times when God intends the use
            of a person as His instrument in a critique He deems worthy. All of
            these things must be considered. The person we regard as a meddling
            annoyance could sometimes be God's tender and loving gift to us!

            This doesn't mean we have to dupe ourselves into perpetual
            vulnerability, but it does mean we have to be open, mindful and
            listening, really listening to all comers. Listen first, sift later.
            Do both, always both.

            Love and prayers and the occasional laugh,
            Jerome, OSB
            _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
            Petersham, MA









            ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • jeromeleo@stmarysmonastery.org
            +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of Jenny, blood clot, now complications with bleeding and had to have a transfusion, back
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 13, 2008
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              +PAX

              Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of Jenny, blood clot, now complications with bleeding and had to have a transfusion, back in a special care unit, and prayers for all her loved ones and those who take care of her.

              Prayers for Bobby on his Oblate discernment searching.

              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

              April 14, August 14, December 14
              Chapter 60: On Priests Who May Wish to Live in the Monastery

              If any ordained priest
              should ask to be received into the monastery,
              permission shall not be granted too readily.
              But if he is quite persistent in his request,
              let him know
              that he will have to observe the whole discipline of the Rule
              and that nothing will be relaxed in his favor,
              that it may be as it is written:
              "Friend, for what have you come (Matt. 26:50)?"

              It shall be granted him, however, to stand next after the Abbot
              and to give blessings and to celebrate Mass,
              but only by order of the Abbot.
              Without such order let him not make any exceptions for himself,
              knowing that he is subject to the discipline of the Rule;
              but rather let him give an example of humility to all.

              If there happens to be question of an appointment
              or of some business in the monastery,
              let him expect the rank due him
              according to the date of his entrance into the monastery,
              and not the place granted him
              out of reverence for the priesthood.

              If any clerics, moved by the same desire,
              should wish to join the monastery,
              let them be placed in a middle rank.
              But they too are to be admitted only if they promise
              observance of the Rule and stability.

              REFLECTION

              One of the quintessential questions of the Holy Rule is that of
              Jesus: "Friend, for what have you come?" This question is not just
              for priests, but for each of us, for all Christians and all monastics.
              The only acceptable answer to the question is: "To seek
              God." That might be rephrased in any of a number of ways, but that's
              the main event, the only game in town, the end all and be all of
              Benedictine monastic life.

              It is very necessary, in stating that we seek God, to admit that we
              haven't altogether found Him yet, nor will we ever do so before
              death. Even in the beatific vision of heaven itself, we creatures
              will never, ever get to the root of our Creator, to the "ground zero"
              of God. Ain't gonna happen. We will just keep going deeper and
              loving more for eternity. The more we know, the more we will love,
              but we shall never know all!

              Another way of saying this is that we need to come to the Holy Rule
              and to the Gospel and to Christ admitting how frighteningly little we
              DO know. If we think holy orders or an MDiv or an MD or a BS have
              corrected that problem, even slightly, well, maybe the sacrament or
              that degree is just about all we've gotten from the experience.

              For heaven's sake, after spending so many years of my life trying to
              become clever, or thinking I was, what a tremendous relief it is to
              be dumb: pluperfectly, fallibly, humanly, screamingly, shriekingly
              DUMB! Boy, I love it! Ignorance truly *IS* bliss, just like they told
              ya! Truly, with Socrates, we ought to know enough to know that we
              know nothing! Realizing that the very best of us has nothing but the
              barest tip of the iceberg is a great and tender mercy, indeed!

              In one sense, I heartily recommend it. It is the only position from
              which one may learn anything at all. Get too smart (or think you
              have!) and you will never listen, failing yet another Benedictine
              hallmark. You won't learn because all your energy will go into
              composing your rejoinder or response. Such people do not learn. They
              merely joust. Life is more than that, much more. Tons more.

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




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