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Holy Rule for May 4

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for a couple of parents having a terrible time with their 2 daughters and sons-in-law. It is Tuesday, the day traditionally devoted to
    Message 1 of 5 , May 4, 2004
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for a couple of parents having a terrible time with their 2 daughters and sons-in-law. It is Tuesday, the day traditionally devoted to honoring St. benedict, so please pray for all Benedictines, too! God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much! JL

      January 3, May 4, September 3
      Prologue (continued)

      And the Lord, seeking his laborer
      in the multitude to whom He thus cries out,
      says again,
      "Who is the one who will have life,
      and desires to see good days" (Ps. 33:13)?
      And if, hearing Him, you answer,
      "I am the one,"
      God says to you,
      "If you will have true and everlasting life,
      keep your tongue from evil
      and your lips that they speak no guile.
      Turn away from evil and do good;
      seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps. 33:14-15).
      And when you have done these things,
      My eyes shall be upon you
      and My ears open to your prayers;
      and before you call upon Me,
      I will say to you,
      'Behold, here I am'" (Ps. 33:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9).

      What can be sweeter to us, dear ones,
      than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
      Behold, in His loving kindness
      the Lord shows us the way of life.

      REFLECTION

      The tenderness of St. Benedict, as well as his tender image of God,
      is evident all through this portion, harking back to his fatherly
      affection at the beginning of the Prologue. The intensity, the
      sweetness of the last lines today is so great that it borders on too
      much. This must be St. Benedict at his nearly gushingly most
      sincere, and that is a good time to listen with extra care to him,
      since he doesn't just gush on every other page!

      In the midst of all this sweetness, look at the question he puts in
      the Lord's mouth: "Who is the one who will have life and desires to
      see good days?" Granted, it is a quote from the Psalms, but St.
      Benedict could have used something else, or written his own, or
      employed a rhetorical question. He didn't, though, he used this one
      and that is most fortunate.

      He does not have God in the teeming marketplace hollering out: "Who
      wants to be a monk? Who wants to be a nun? Who wants to be an
      Oblate?" (Chuckle: if God DID call out "Who wants to be an Oblate?",
      how many people you know would yell back: "What's an Oblate??") No
      doubt, for some on the monastic way, those may have been the first
      questions. For many others, it was not nearly that direct.

      This question allows us to ponder (if God and you will pardon the
      phrase,) the Divine sneakiness. How many of the stories we hear of
      how people came to the monastic way and were drawn to the Benedictine
      life give witness to God's loving "sneakiness." God cannot lie and
      His query here is not a lie, but He can certainly CHOOSE the truth He
      uses to draw us. Like any parent of a stubborn child, He knows that
      some approaches work better than others.

      I know Brother Bernard Aurentz, now dead, joined St. Leo because he
      liked Florida and thought the monastery was on the Gulf of Mexico!
      The picture of a palm tree by water in a vocation ad sure sold him!
      He just didn't realize they were on a large lake, 40 miles inland!
      God didn't deceive him, He just didn't make the geography evident
      until the guy arrived and stayed for the rest of his life.

      God doesn't trick us in a wrong way, but He often allows us to do the
      right thing for the wrong reason! No doubt He knows that's the only
      way He could have gotten us in the door!

      There is a lot more than sneakiness in this question, however. How
      many times, when speaking of monastic life, or married life, or any
      vocation, do we stress its harsher aspects? To some extent, monastic
      life and married life get the brunt of this: "Oh, it isn't easy,
      blah, blah, blah...It's no cinch, there's a lot of hardship." OK,
      there is, no problem there, but there is also a lot of sweetness if
      any vocation is done right.

      How many people would have gotten married if the proposal included a
      litany of night-feedings and diaper pails, much less if the proposal
      could have announced the birth of a severely handicapped child or the
      paralysis of the spouse or the tragedy of an auto accident far in the
      future? We do both marriage and monastic life a great harm when we
      emphasize only the difficult things.

      There IS joy in marriage, great joy, and there is in the monastic
      way, too. Just like any good proposal, God asks us to respond to the
      good things He is offering and they are not slight!

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX Prayers, please, for Joe, for whom we prayed, he has gone to God, and for his family and friends who mourn him. Prayers for Pat, learning the wonders of
      Message 2 of 5 , May 4, 2005
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for Joe, for whom we prayed, he has gone to God, and for his family and friends who mourn him. Prayers for Pat, learning the wonders of Benedictine stability as an Oblate, Deo gratias! Prayers for Bob, heart surgery this Friday and for his worried wife and family, prayers, too, for Richard, who died suddenly and for Norma, his wife, also for Victoria, a pastor whose bronchial infection has her on doctor's orders not to do pastoral visits to the sick. Prayers for Ruth, hospitalized with heart and breathing problems, and for Meredith, her daughter and all her family. Prayers for Jan, severe depression and spiritual problems, and for Bill and Carol, who lost their son. Prayers for Ethan, 2 1/2, a preemie having a tonsillectomy tomorrow and for Maureen, that she get the job God wants for her. Special prayers for Harry, about to begin his novitiate as an Oblate at Pluscarden, our motherhouse in Scotland. Prayers for Harry and his wife, too, as they await another great beginning: the birth of their child within three weeks or so! 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

        January 3, May 4, September 3
        Prologue (continued)

        And the Lord, seeking his laborer
        in the multitude to whom He thus cries out,
        says again,
        "Who is the one who will have life,
        and desires to see good days" (Ps. 33:13)?
        And if, hearing Him, you answer,
        "I am the one,"
        God says to you,
        "If you will have true and everlasting life,
        keep your tongue from evil
        and your lips that they speak no guile.
        Turn away from evil and do good;
        seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps. 33:14-15).
        And when you have done these things,
        My eyes shall be upon you
        and My ears open to your prayers;
        and before you call upon Me,
        I will say to you,
        'Behold, here I am'" (Ps. 33:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9).

        What can be sweeter to us, dear ones,
        than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
        Behold, in His loving kindness
        the Lord shows us the way of life.

        REFLECTION

        The tenderness of St. Benedict, as well as his tender image of God,
        is evident all through this portion, harking back to his fatherly
        affection at the beginning of the Prologue. The intensity, the
        sweetness of the last lines today is so great that it borders on too
        much. This must be St. Benedict at his all but gushingly most
        sincere, and that is a good time to listen with extra care to him,
        since he doesn't just gush on every other page!

        In the midst of all this sweetness, look at the question he puts in
        the Lord's mouth: "Who is the one who will have life and desires to
        see good days?" Granted, it is a quote from the Psalms, but St.
        Benedict could have used something else, or written his own, or
        employed a rhetorical question. He didn't, though, he used this one
        and that is most fortunate.

        He does not have God in the teeming marketplace hollering out: "Who
        wants to be a monk? Who wants to be a nun? Who wants to be an
        Oblate?" (Chuckle: if God DID call out "Who wants to be an Oblate?",
        how many people you know would yell back: "What's an Oblate??") No
        doubt, for some on the monastic way, those may have been the first
        questions. For many others, it was not nearly that direct.

        This question allows us to ponder (if God and you will pardon the
        phrase,) the Divine sneakiness. How many of the stories we hear of
        how people came to the monastic way and were drawn to the Benedictine
        life give witness to God's loving "sneakiness." God cannot lie and
        His query here is not a lie, but He can certainly CHOOSE the truth He
        uses to draw us. Like any parent of a stubborn child, He knows that
        some approaches work better than others.

        I know Brother Bernard Aurentz, now dead, joined St. Leo because he
        liked Florida and thought the monastery was on the Gulf of Mexico!
        The picture of a palm tree by water in a vocation ad sure sold him!
        He just didn't realize they were on a large lake, 40 miles inland!
        God didn't deceive him, He just didn't make the geography evident
        until the guy arrived and stayed for the rest of his life.

        God doesn't trick us in a wrong way, but He often allows us to do the
        right thing for the wrong reason! No doubt He knows that's the only
        way He could have gotten us in the door!

        There is a lot more than sneakiness in this question, however. How
        many times, when speaking of monastic life, or married life, or any
        vocation, do we stress its harsher aspects? To some extent, monastic
        life and married life get the brunt of this: "Oh, it isn't easy,
        blah, blah, blah...It's no cinch, there's a lot of hardship." OK,
        there is, no problem there, but there is also a lot of sweetness if
        any vocation is done right.

        How many people would have gotten married if the proposal included a
        litany of night-feedings and diaper pails, much less if the proposal
        could have announced the birth of a severely handicapped child or the
        paralysis of the spouse or the tragedy of an auto accident far in the
        future? We do both marriage and monastic life a great harm when we
        emphasize only the difficult things.

        There IS joy in marriage, great joy, and there is in the monastic
        way, too. Just like any good proposal, God asks us to respond to the
        good things He is offering and they are not slight!

        By the way, a traditional joke used when a monastic is writing his or her
        profession chart is to tell the person to leave a lot of space between the
        lines: so God can add things later!! He has a way of doing that, with or
        without the paces!!

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jerry Lee
        +PAX Prayers for one who has left the Church, prayers for Diana, stomach tumor and facing surgery and other possible treatments post-op, for Johnnie, diabetes,
        Message 3 of 5 , May 4, 2006
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          +PAX

          Prayers for one who has left the Church, prayers for Diana, stomach tumor and facing surgery and other possible treatments post-op, for Johnnie, diabetes, Elaina, recovering from a heart attack, and for David, depression and gambling addiction. Prayers for Gilda, facing yet another stomach surgery, so far past attempts have not helped her, and for her worried husband who feels powerless to help her. Prayers for Steve, surgery for early stage colon cancer, for his doctor (and all our doctors!) and his family. Site of the lesion makes laparoscopy impossible, so there will have to be an open abdominal surgery.

          Prayers for Mary, 86, macular degeneration and glaucoma, now having other complications in her eye, for Nicole, admitted to ER with debilitating headaches and vision problems, and for Genny, bad test results, a glandular problem seems to be leeching calcium from her bones, and for all their families, especially Michael, who asked prayers for them. Prayers for George, starting his work with inmate addicts treatment and rehab program, and for his first two inmates to join. Continued prayers for Anastasia, in a group home, hopefully making some progress. Prayers for Kim, just served with divorce papers and for her parents, Brad and Mary, who live in another state and are in deep pain, wishing they could help her more. Prayers for Mildred and Mrs. Tate, both have suffered strokes, also for the marriage of Colleen and Greg.

          Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Fr. Bob Fucheck (formerly of St. Leo,) on the 40th anniversary of his Priesthood, that he may continue serving God's people with joy and grace! Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for a successful retreat which we prayed for: many graces of the Holy Spirit abounded and healings of some broken folks. Lord, help us 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

          January 3, May 4, September 3
          Prologue (continued)

          And the Lord, seeking his laborer
          in the multitude to whom He thus cries out,
          says again,
          "Who is the one who will have life,
          and desires to see good days" (Ps. 33:13)?
          And if, hearing Him, you answer,
          "I am the one,"
          God says to you,
          "If you will have true and everlasting life,
          keep your tongue from evil
          and your lips that they speak no guile.
          Turn away from evil and do good;
          seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps. 33:14-15).
          And when you have done these things,
          My eyes shall be upon you
          and My ears open to your prayers;
          and before you call upon Me,
          I will say to you,
          'Behold, here I am'" (Ps. 33:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9).

          What can be sweeter to us, dear ones,
          than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
          Behold, in His loving kindness
          the Lord shows us the way of life.

          REFLECTION

          The tenderness of St. Benedict, as well as his tender image of God,
          is evident all through this portion, harking back to his fatherly
          affection at the beginning of the Prologue. The intensity, the
          sweetness of the last lines today is so great that it borders on too
          much. This must be St. Benedict at his all but gushingly most
          sincere, and that is a good time to listen with extra care to him,
          since he doesn't just gush on every other page!

          In the midst of all this sweetness, look at the question he puts in
          the Lord's mouth: "Who is the one who will have life and desires to
          see good days?" Granted, it is a quote from the Psalms, but St.
          Benedict could have used something else, or written his own, or
          employed a rhetorical question. He didn't, though, he used this one
          and that is most fortunate.

          He does not have God in the teeming marketplace hollering out: "Who
          wants to be a monk? Who wants to be a nun? Who wants to be an
          Oblate?" (Chuckle: if God DID call out "Who wants to be an Oblate?",
          how many people you know would yell back: "What's an Oblate??") No
          doubt, for some on the monastic way, those may have been the first
          questions. For many others, it was not nearly that direct.

          This question allows us to ponder (if God and you will pardon the
          phrase,) the Divine sneakiness. How many of the stories we hear of
          how people came to the monastic way and were drawn to the Benedictine
          life give witness to God's loving "sneakiness." God cannot lie and
          His query here is not a lie, but He can certainly CHOOSE the truth He
          uses to draw us. Like any parent of a stubborn child, He knows that
          some approaches work better than others.

          I know Brother Bernard Aurentz, now dead, joined St. Leo because he
          liked Florida and thought the monastery was on the Gulf of Mexico!
          The picture of a palm tree by water in a vocation ad sure sold him!
          He just didn't realize they were on a large lake, 40 miles inland!
          God didn't deceive him, He just didn't make the geography evident
          until the guy arrived and stayed for the rest of his life.

          God doesn't trick us in a wrong way, but He often allows us to do the
          right thing for the wrong reason! No doubt He knows that's the only
          way He could have gotten us in the door!

          There is a lot more than sneakiness in this question, however. How
          many times, when speaking of monastic life, or married life, or any
          vocation, do we stress its harsher aspects? To some extent, monastic
          life and married life get the brunt of this: "Oh, it isn't easy,
          blah, blah, blah...It's no cinch, there's a lot of hardship." OK,
          there is, no problem there, but there is also a lot of sweetness if
          any vocation is done right.

          How many people would have gotten married if the proposal included a
          litany of night-feedings and diaper pails, much less if the proposal
          could have announced the birth of a severely handicapped child or the
          paralysis of the spouse or the tragedy of an auto accident far in the
          future? We do both marriage and monastic life a great harm when we
          emphasize only the difficult things.

          There IS joy in marriage, great joy, and there is in the monastic
          way, too. Just like any good proposal, God asks us to respond to the
          good things He is offering and they are not slight!

          By the way, a traditional joke used when a monastic is writing his or her
          profession chart is to tell the person to leave a lot of space between the
          lines: so God can add things later!! He has a way of doing that, with or
          without the spaces between the lines!!

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

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
          +PAX Little Ethan, the baby with leukemia we have been praying for still has found no match for a bone marrow transplant. His Dad is going to donate stem cells
          Message 4 of 5 , May 3, 2007
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            +PAX

            Little Ethan, the baby with leukemia we have been praying for still has
            found no match for a bone marrow transplant. His Dad is going to donate stem
            cells to him to buy time. This is a very risky procedure for his Dad, whose
            spleen could rupture, causing him to bleed to death. hence, ardent prayers for
            them both and all their family. Prayers for Will, severe alcoholism, resisting
            family attempts to intervene and help. Prayers for him and all his family,
            please. Prayers for John, who suffered a stroke. His daughter is to be married
            in June and he is so hopeful of recovering enough to walk her down the aisle,
            prayers, too, for his daughter and her fiance and all their family. Prayers
            for Fr. Bob Fuchek, on his ordination anniversary.

            Prayers for Mike, 62 today and retiring after 33 years. Ad multos annos and
            many blessings. Prayers for Gianna, 3, troubling, persistent cough, being
            checked out this morning, and for Tom and Kasey, her parents and all their
            family. Prayers for Charles, making his First Communion this week, and for all of
            his family, some of whom have fallen away from their Faith. 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

            January 3, May 4, September 3
            Prologue (continued)

            And the Lord, seeking his laborer
            in the multitude to whom He thus cries out,
            says again,
            "Who is the one who will have life,
            and desires to see good days" (Ps. 33:13)?
            And if, hearing Him, you answer,
            "I am the one,"
            God says to you,
            "If you will have true and everlasting life,
            keep your tongue from evil
            and your lips that they speak no guile.
            Turn away from evil and do good;
            seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps. 33:14-15).
            And when you have done these things,
            My eyes shall be upon you
            and My ears open to your prayers;
            and before you call upon Me,
            I will say to you,
            'Behold, here I am'" (Ps. 33:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9).

            What can be sweeter to us, dear ones,
            than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
            Behold, in His loving kindness
            the Lord shows us the way of life.

            REFLECTION

            The tenderness of St. Benedict, as well as his tender image of God,
            is evident all through this portion, harking back to his fatherly
            affection at the beginning of the Prologue. The intensity, the
            sweetness of the last lines today is so great that it borders on too
            much. This must be St. Benedict at his all but gushingly most
            sincere, and that is a good time to listen with extra care to him,
            since he doesn't just gush on every other page!

            In the midst of all this sweetness, look at the question he puts in
            the Lord's mouth: "Who is the one who will have life and desires to
            see good days?" Granted, it is a quote from the Psalms, but St.
            Benedict could have used something else, or written his own, or
            employed a rhetorical question. He didn't, though, he used this one
            and that is most fortunate.

            He does not have God in the teeming marketplace hollering out: "Who
            wants to be a monk? Who wants to be a nun? Who wants to be an
            Oblate?" (Chuckle: if God DID call out "Who wants to be an Oblate?",
            how many people you know would yell back: "What's an Oblate??") No
            doubt, for some on the monastic way, those may have been the first
            questions. For many others, it was not nearly that direct.

            This question allows us to ponder (if God and you will pardon the
            phrase,) the Divine sneakiness. How many of the stories we hear of
            how people came to the monastic way and were drawn to the Benedictine
            life give witness to God's loving "sneakiness." God cannot lie and
            His query here is not a lie, but He can certainly CHOOSE the truth He
            uses to draw us. Like any parent of a stubborn child, He knows that
            some approaches work better than others.

            I know Brother Bernard Aurentz, now dead, joined St. Leo because he
            liked Florida and thought the monastery was on the Gulf of Mexico!
            The picture of a palm tree by water in a vocation ad sure sold him!
            He just didn't realize they were on a large lake, 40 miles inland!
            God didn't deceive him, He just didn't make the geography evident
            until the guy arrived and stayed for the rest of his life.

            God doesn't trick us in a wrong way, but He often allows us to do the
            right thing for the wrong reason! No doubt He knows that's the only
            way He could have gotten us in the door!

            There is a lot more than sneakiness in this question, however. How
            many times, when speaking of monastic life, or married life, or any
            vocation, do we stress its harsher aspects? To some extent, monastic
            life and married life get the brunt of this: "Oh, it isn't easy,
            blah, blah, blah...It's no cinch, there's a lot of hardship." OK,
            there is, no problem there, but there is also a lot of sweetness if
            any vocation is done right.

            How many people would have gotten married if the proposal included a
            litany of night-feedings and diaper pails, much less if the proposal
            could have announced the birth of a severely handicapped child or the
            paralysis of the spouse or the tragedy of an auto accident far in the
            future? We do both marriage and monastic life a great harm when we
            emphasize only the difficult things.

            There IS joy in marriage, great joy, and there is in the monastic
            way, too. Just like any good proposal, God asks us to respond to the
            good things He is offering and they are not slight!

            By the way, a traditional joke used when a monastic is writing his or her
            profession chart is to tell the person to leave a lot of space between the
            lines: so God can add things later!! He has a way of doing that, with or
            without the spaces between the lines!!

            Love and prayers,
            Jerome, OSB
            _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
            brjeromeleo@...
            Petersham, MA





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


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Br. Jerome Leo
            +PAX Prayers please for Annette for whom we prayed some time back when she was first found to have invasive lymphoma... chemo cut it back to size and all has
            Message 5 of 5 , May 3, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              +PAX

              Prayers please for Annette for whom we prayed some time back when she was first found to have invasive lymphoma... chemo cut it back to size and all has seemed well but now it is back growing again ... it is not possible to give her any further chemo, at least not at this time.

              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

              January 3, May 4, September 3
              Prologue (continued)

              And the Lord, seeking his laborer
              in the multitude to whom He thus cries out,
              says again,
              "Who is the one who will have life,
              and desires to see good days" (Ps. 33:13)?
              And if, hearing Him, you answer,
              "I am the one,"
              God says to you,
              "If you will have true and everlasting life,
              keep your tongue from evil
              and your lips that they speak no guile.
              Turn away from evil and do good;
              seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps. 33:14-15).
              And when you have done these things,
              My eyes shall be upon you
              and My ears open to your prayers;
              and before you call upon Me,
              I will say to you,
              'Behold, here I am'" (Ps. 33:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9).

              What can be sweeter to us, dear ones,
              than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
              Behold, in His loving kindness
              the Lord shows us the way of life.

              REFLECTION

              The tenderness of St. Benedict, as well as his tender image of God,
              is evident all through this portion, harking back to his fatherly
              affection at the beginning of the Prologue. The intensity, the
              sweetness of the last lines today is so great that it borders on too
              much. This must be St. Benedict at his all but gushingly most
              sincere, and that is a good time to listen with extra care to him,
              since he doesn't just gush on every other page!

              In the midst of all this sweetness, look at the question he puts in
              the Lord's mouth: "Who is the one who will have life and desires to
              see good days?" Granted, it is a quote from the Psalms, but St.
              Benedict could have used something else, or written his own, or
              employed a rhetorical question. He didn't, though, he used this one
              and that is most fortunate.

              He does not have God in the teeming marketplace hollering out: "Who
              wants to be a monk? Who wants to be a nun? Who wants to be an
              Oblate?" (Chuckle: if God DID call out "Who wants to be an Oblate?",
              how many people you know would yell back: "What's an Oblate??") No
              doubt, for some on the monastic way, those may have been the first
              questions. For many others, it was not nearly that direct.

              This question allows us to ponder (if God and you will pardon the
              phrase,) the Divine sneakiness. How many of the stories we hear of
              how people came to the monastic way and were drawn to the Benedictine
              life give witness to God's loving "sneakiness." God cannot lie and
              His query here is not a lie, but He can certainly CHOOSE the truth He
              uses to draw us. Like any parent of a stubborn child, He knows that
              some approaches work better than others.

              I know Brother Bernard Aurentz, now dead, joined St. Leo because he
              liked Florida and thought the monastery was on the Gulf of Mexico!
              The picture of a palm tree by water in a vocation ad sure sold him!
              He just didn't realize they were on a large lake, 40 miles inland!
              God didn't deceive him, He just didn't make the geography evident
              until the guy arrived and stayed for the rest of his life.

              God doesn't trick us in a wrong way, but He often allows us to do the
              right thing for the wrong reason! No doubt He knows that's the only
              way He could have gotten us in the door!

              There is a lot more than sneakiness in this question, however. How
              many times, when speaking of monastic life, or married life, or any
              vocation, do we stress its harsher aspects? To some extent, monastic
              life and married life get the brunt of this: "Oh, it isn't easy,
              blah, blah, blah...It's no cinch, there's a lot of hardship." OK,
              there is, no problem there, but there is also a lot of sweetness if
              any vocation is done right.

              How many people would have gotten married if the proposal included a
              litany of night-feedings and diaper pails, much less if the proposal
              could have announced the birth of a severely handicapped child or the
              paralysis of the spouse or the tragedy of an auto accident far in the
              future? We do both marriage and monastic life a great harm when we
              emphasize only the difficult things.

              There IS joy in marriage, great joy, and there is in the monastic
              way, too. Just like any good proposal, God asks us to respond to the
              good things He is offering and they are not slight!

              By the way, a traditional joke used when a monastic is writing his or her
              profession chart is to tell the person to leave a lot of space between the
              lines: so God can add things later!! He has a way of doing that, with or
              without the spaces between the lines!!

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

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