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Holy Rule for May 16

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Jodie, who is having a hysterectomy tomorrow. Prayers, too, for all the dying and all those in prisons. God s will is best. ALl is
    Message 1 of 7 , May 16, 2004
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Jodie, who is having a hysterectomy tomorrow. Prayers, too, for all the dying and all those in prisons. God's will is best. ALl is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much! JL

      January 15, May 16, September 15
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be


      Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
      the welfare of the souls committed to her,
      in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
      but let her always bear in mind
      that she has undertaken the government of souls
      and that she will have to give an account of them.


      And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
      let her remember what is written:
      "First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
      and all these things shall be given you besides" (Ps. 33:10).
      And again:
      "Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him."


      Let her know, then,
      that she who has undertaken the government of souls
      must prepare herself to render an account of them.
      Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
      she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
      she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
      as well as of her own soul.


      Thus the constant apprehension
      about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
      concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
      and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
      make her careful of her own record.
      And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
      she herself is cleansed of her faults.


      REFLECTION

      Four times in this portion alone, St. Benedict reminds those in
      authority that theirs is a government "of souls." No wonder material
      things are not to be put first. Nothing fleeting at all must come
      before the souls of those we care for, whether abbess or parent or
      teacher or nurse. Our own souls are intricately linked with the
      welfare of those we govern or care for or serve. (BTW, ideally, in
      St. Benedict's model of authority, all three functions of ruling,
      loving and serving are present at all times. Lofty goal that!)

      It's easy to forget that this reading covers a lot more than material
      things. All things perishable, empty and earthly are included, even if more
      detailed coverage is given to the material ones. It is a sad truth
      that we often congratulate ourselves for avoiding fault while falling
      headlong into another.

      "What would people say?" is a question sometimes necessary, but all
      too often it becomes an idol on its own. That's when trouble ensues.
      As with material things, there is a certain BALANCED (getting sick of
      that word? Welcome to Benedictine values!) concern for appearances
      here. We bear a responsibility, as any parent could tell you, for the
      material welfare of the bodies those souls we govern run around in,
      and we have to be careful of some appearances that would cause
      scandal, but there it stops.

      The parent or superior who can give an example of courage in the face
      of false values to their charges has given an inestimable gift,
      indeed. A wise person can contrast the nagging question of "What
      would people think?" with "What are they entitled to think? Have we
      all not an obligation to think the best of others?"

      One can be a genuine, confessed sinner and say to the world, "I know
      what sin is." Sinners all, we may be far more likely to listen to
      such a person than we would be to one of pretended (and pretentious!)
      perfection. We like the idea of wounded healers, but I can assure you
      from the inside that wounded healers do not play terribly well with
      many in church power. "What would people think?" Such reasoning robs
      us, sinners all, of our strongest preaching points and robs those
      wounded ones around us of the needful message that there is room
      within for them.

      One time since coming here, the issue of my telling someone about my
      HIV+ status was raised in a terribly painful way for me. It fast
      imploded into one of those raging hurricanes in a teacup that
      cloistered life can sadly specialize in. I was not only horribly
      hurt, I felt I was slimy and wrong, I was embarrassed and ashamed.

      It was my wise superior, Abbot Anselm, who healed all that in two
      beautiful phrases: "We did not accept you here on any condition of
      silence. People who ask personal questions have no right to be upset
      if they are answered." WOW!!! All the heartbreak of that mess faded
      for me instantly, thanks to one very wise and loving Father.

      See what I have been getting at here? A parent or superior with a
      genuine sense of what is real can make their charges see reality,
      too. It is always a gift to see reality, because reality is truth
      and Jesus said: "I am the truth." God IS Truth, and every fragment of
      truth we garner on this strange journey of life will make Him
      instantly more familiar to us when we meet Him face to face.

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX Continued prayers for Father Maurus, that he be found, even though he is much less likely to be found alive at this point, having his body to honor with a
      Message 2 of 7 , May 16, 2005
        +PAX

        Continued prayers for Father Maurus, that he be found, even though he is much less likely to be found alive at this point, having his body to honor with a founder's funeral would be a great consolation to the monks. Prayers for someone in danger of marrying outside her faith in a civil ceremony. 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 15, May 16, September 15
        Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be


        Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
        the welfare of the souls committed to her,
        in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
        but let her always bear in mind
        that she has undertaken the government of souls
        and that she will have to give an account of them.


        And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
        let her remember what is written:
        "First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
        and all these things shall be given you besides" (Ps. 33:10).
        And again:
        "Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him."


        Let her know, then,
        that she who has undertaken the government of souls
        must prepare herself to render an account of them.
        Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
        she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
        she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
        as well as of her own soul.


        Thus the constant apprehension
        about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
        concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
        and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
        make her careful of her own record.
        And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
        she herself is cleansed of her faults.


        REFLECTION

        Four times in this portion alone, St. Benedict reminds those in
        authority that theirs is a government "of souls." No wonder material
        things are not to be put first. Nothing fleeting at all must come
        before the souls of those we care for, whether abbess or parent or
        teacher or nurse. Our own souls are intricately linked with the
        welfare of those we govern or care for or serve. (BTW, ideally, in
        St. Benedict's model of authority, all three functions of ruling,
        loving and serving are present at all times. Lofty goal that!)

        It's easy to forget that this reading covers a lot more than material
        things. All things perishable, empty and earthly are included, even if more
        detailed coverage is given to the material ones. It is a sad truth
        that we often congratulate ourselves for avoiding fault while falling
        headlong into another.

        "What would people say?" is a question sometimes necessary, but all
        too often it becomes an idol on its own. That's when trouble ensues.
        As with material things, there is a certain BALANCED (getting sick of
        that word? Welcome to Benedictine values!) concern for appearances
        here. We bear a responsibility, as any parent could tell you, for the
        material welfare of the bodies those souls we govern run around in,
        and we have to be careful of some appearances that would cause
        scandal, but there it stops.

        The parent or superior who can give an example of courage in the face
        of false values to their charges has given an inestimable gift,
        indeed. A wise person can contrast the nagging question of "What
        would people think?" with "What are they entitled to think? Have we
        all not an obligation to think the best of others?"

        One can be a genuine, confessed sinner and say to the world, "I know
        what sin is." Sinners all, we may be far more likely to listen to
        such a person than we would be to one of pretended (and pretentious!)
        perfection. We like the idea of wounded healers, but I can assure you
        from the inside that wounded healers do not play terribly well with
        many in church power. "What would people think?" Such reasoning robs
        us, sinners all, of our strongest preaching points and robs those
        wounded ones around us of the needful message that there is room
        within for them.

        One time since coming here, the issue of my telling someone about my
        HIV+ status was raised in a terribly painful way for me. It fast
        imploded into one of those raging hurricanes in a teacup that
        cloistered life can sadly specialize in. I was not only horribly
        hurt, I felt I was slimy and wrong, I was embarrassed and ashamed.

        It was my wise superior, Abbot Anselm, who healed all that in two
        beautiful phrases: "We did not accept you here on any condition of
        silence. People who ask personal questions have no right to be upset
        if they are answered." WOW!!! All the heartbreak of that mess faded
        for me instantly, thanks to one very wise and loving Father.

        See what I have been getting at here? A parent or superior with a
        genuine sense of what is real can make their charges see reality,
        too. It is always a gift to see reality, because reality is truth
        and Jesus said: "I am the truth." God IS Truth, and every fragment of
        truth we garner on this strange journey of life will make Him
        instantly more familiar to us when we meet Him face to face.

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jerry Lee
        +PAX Prayers for a monastery which has many problems, further details would be unfair to give. They badly need prayers. God knows for whom we pray! Prayers for
        Message 3 of 7 , May 16, 2006
          +PAX

          Prayers for a monastery which has many problems, further details would be unfair to give. They badly need prayers. God knows for whom we pray! Prayers for all suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Prayers for Bill, wounded in Iraq in an explosion and now in the hospital, for his parents and all his worried family. Prayers for his wife, who left him for another man, which in large part precipitated his volunteering for a second tour of duty in Iraq.

          Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Jaroslav Pelikan, (+May 13,) noted theologian at Yale University, author of many books and a convert to Orthodoxy in 1998, for his family and all who mourn him. Eternal memory! 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 15, May 16, September 15
          Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be


          Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
          the welfare of the souls committed to her,
          in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
          but let her always bear in mind
          that she has undertaken the government of souls
          and that she will have to give an account of them.


          And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
          let her remember what is written:
          "First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
          and all these things shall be given you besides" (Ps. 33:10).
          And again:
          "Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him."


          Let her know, then,
          that she who has undertaken the government of souls
          must prepare herself to render an account of them.
          Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
          she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
          she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
          as well as of her own soul.


          Thus the constant apprehension
          about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
          concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
          and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
          make her careful of her own record.
          And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
          she herself is cleansed of her faults.


          REFLECTION

          Four times in this portion alone, St. Benedict reminds those in
          authority that theirs is a government "of souls." No wonder material
          things are not to be put first. Nothing fleeting at all must come
          before the souls of those we care for, whether abbess or parent or
          teacher or nurse. Our own souls are intricately linked with the
          welfare of those we govern or care for or serve. (BTW, ideally, in
          St. Benedict's model of authority, all three functions of ruling,
          loving and serving are present at all times. Lofty goal that!)

          It's easy to forget that this reading covers a lot more than material
          things. All things perishable, empty and earthly are included, even if more
          detailed coverage is given to the material ones. It is a sad truth
          that we often congratulate ourselves for avoiding one fault while falling
          headlong into another.

          "What would people say?" is a question sometimes necessary, but all
          too often it becomes an idol on its own. That's when trouble ensues.
          As with material things, there is a certain BALANCED (getting sick of
          that word? Welcome to Benedictine values!) concern for appearances
          here. We bear a responsibility, as any parent could tell you, for the
          material welfare of the bodies those souls we govern run around in,
          and we have to be careful of some appearances that would cause
          scandal, but there it stops.

          The parent or superior who can give an example of courage in the face
          of false values to their charges has given an inestimable gift,
          indeed. A wise person can contrast the nagging question of "What
          would people think?" with "What are they entitled to think? Have we
          all not an obligation to think the best of others?"

          One can be a genuine, confessed sinner and say to the world, "I know
          what sin is." Sinners all, we may be far more likely to listen to
          such a person than we would be to one of pretended (and pretentious!)
          perfection. We like the idea of wounded healers, but I can assure you
          from the inside that wounded healers do not play terribly well with
          many in church power. "What would people think?" Such reasoning robs
          us, sinners all, of our strongest preaching points and robs those
          wounded ones around us of the needful message that there is room
          within for them.

          One time since coming here, the issue of my telling someone
          about my HIV+ status was raised in a terribly painful way for me.
          It was my wise superior, Abbot Anselm, who healed all that in two
          beautiful phrases: "We did not accept you here on any condition of
          silence. People who ask personal questions have no right to be upset
          if they are answered." WOW!!! All the heartbreak of that mess faded
          for me instantly, thanks to one very wise and loving Father.

          See what I have been getting at here? A parent or superior with a
          genuine sense of what is real can make their charges see reality,
          too. It is always a gift to see reality, because reality is truth
          and Jesus said: "I am the truth." God IS Truth, and every fragment of
          truth we garner on this strange, checkered journey of life will make Him
          instantly more familiar to us when we meet Him face to face.

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

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers, please, for Dee, stage four cancer, sent home from the hospital, for her happy death and eternal rest and for all her family. May God s peace
          Message 4 of 7 , May 15, 2007
            +PAX

            Prayers, please, for Dee, stage four cancer, sent home from the hospital, for her happy death and eternal rest and for all her family. May God's peace enfold them all.Prayers, please, for Barb, pending leg surgery, for her speedy healing. Prayers for Don, headed back to Iraq for his third time, for his wife, Melissa, and all their family. He has a fatalistic attitude that this time he will not return. May God prove him wrong, or, if He does call him this time, grant him a happy death and eternal rest. Prayers for all families and military personnel dealing with the awful reality of repeated deployments into war zones. Prayers, too, for the conversion of all radical Muslim groups to peace, true peace. Let us pray that all war waged in the name of God end. 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 15, May 16, September 15
            Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be


            Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
            the welfare of the souls committed to her,
            in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
            but let her always bear in mind
            that she has undertaken the government of souls
            and that she will have to give an account of them.


            And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
            let her remember what is written:
            "First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
            and all these things shall be given you besides" (Ps. 33:10).
            And again:
            "Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him."


            Let her know, then,
            that she who has undertaken the government of souls
            must prepare herself to render an account of them.
            Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
            she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
            she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
            as well as of her own soul.


            Thus the constant apprehension
            about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
            concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
            and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
            make her careful of her own record.
            And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
            she herself is cleansed of her faults.


            REFLECTION

            Four times in this portion alone, St. Benedict reminds those in
            authority that theirs is a government "of souls." No wonder material
            things are not to be put first. Nothing fleeting at all must come
            before the souls of those we care for, whether abbess or parent or
            teacher or nurse. Our own souls are intricately linked with the
            welfare of those we govern or care for or serve. (BTW, ideally, in
            St. Benedict's model of authority, all three functions of ruling,
            loving and serving are present at all times. Lofty goal that!)

            It's easy to forget that this reading covers a lot more than material
            things. All things perishable, empty and earthly are included, even if more
            detailed coverage is given to the material ones. It is a sad truth
            that we often congratulate ourselves for avoiding one fault while falling
            headlong into another.

            "What would people say?" is a question sometimes necessary, but all
            too often it becomes an idol on its own. That's when trouble ensues.
            As with material things, there is a certain BALANCED (getting sick of
            that word? Welcome to Benedictine values!) concern for appearances
            here. We bear a responsibility, as any parent could tell you, for the
            material welfare of the bodies those souls we govern run around in,
            and we have to be careful of some appearances that would cause
            scandal, but there it stops.

            The parent or superior who can give an example of courage in the face
            of false values to their charges has given an inestimable gift,
            indeed. A wise person can contrast the nagging question of "What
            would people think?" with "What are they entitled to think? Have we
            all not an obligation to think the best of others?"

            One can be a genuine, confessed sinner and say to the world, "I know
            what sin is." Sinners all, we may be far more likely to listen to
            such a person than we would be to one of pretended (and pretentious!)
            perfection. We like the idea of wounded healers, but I can assure you
            from the inside that wounded healers do not play terribly well with
            many in church power. "What would people think?" Such reasoning robs
            us, sinners all, of our strongest preaching points and robs those
            wounded ones around us of the needful message that there is room
            within for them.

            One time since coming here, the issue of my telling someone
            about my HIV+ status was raised in a terribly painful way for me.
            It was my wise superior, Abbot Anselm, who healed all that in two
            beautiful phrases: "We did not accept you here on any condition of
            silence. People who ask personal questions have no right to be upset
            if they are answered." WOW!!! All the heartbreak of that mess faded
            for me instantly, thanks to one very wise and loving Father.

            See what I have been getting at here? A parent or superior with a
            genuine sense of what is real can make their charges see reality,
            too. It is always a gift to see reality, because reality is truth
            and Jesus said: "I am the truth." God IS Truth, and every fragment of
            truth we garner on this strange, checkered journey of life will make Him
            instantly more familiar to us when we meet Him face to face.

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

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Br. Jerome Leo
            +PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Andy, who would have been 35 yesterday, and for all who mourn him, especially his parents.
            Message 5 of 7 , May 15, 2008
              +PAX

              Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Andy, who would have been 35 yesterday, and for all who mourn him, especially his parents.

              Prayers, too, for the happy death and eternal rest of the Bpatist minister and his son for whom we prayed. Their bodies have been found. Prayers for their family, a wife and five children, and all who mourn them.

              Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who treat or care for them:

              Mark, on retreat this weekend.

              Charlotte, 28, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago. She was operated on, now going to go through chemotherapy for a few months.

              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 15, May 16, September 15
              Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be


              Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
              the welfare of the souls committed to her,
              in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
              but let her always bear in mind
              that she has undertaken the government of souls
              and that she will have to give an account of them.


              And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
              let her remember what is written:
              "First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
              and all these things shall be given you besides" (Ps. 33:10).
              And again:
              "Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him."


              Let her know, then,
              that she who has undertaken the government of souls
              must prepare herself to render an account of them.
              Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
              she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
              she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
              as well as of her own soul.


              Thus the constant apprehension
              about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
              concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
              and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
              make her careful of her own record.
              And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
              she herself is cleansed of her faults.


              REFLECTION

              Four times in this portion alone, St. Benedict reminds those in
              authority that theirs is a government "of souls." No wonder material
              things are not to be put first. Nothing fleeting at all must come
              before the souls of those we care for, whether abbess or parent or
              teacher or nurse. Our own souls are intricately linked with the
              welfare of those we govern or care for or serve. (BTW, ideally, in
              St. Benedict's model of authority, all three functions of ruling,
              loving and serving are present at all times. Lofty goal that!)

              It's easy to forget that this reading covers a lot more than material
              things. All things perishable, empty and earthly are included, even if more
              detailed coverage is given to the material ones. It is a sad truth
              that we often congratulate ourselves for avoiding one fault while falling
              headlong into another.

              "What would people say?" is a question sometimes necessary, but all
              too often it becomes an idol on its own. That's when trouble ensues.
              As with material things, there is a certain BALANCED (getting sick of
              that word? Welcome to Benedictine values!) concern for appearances
              here. We bear a responsibility, as any parent could tell you, for the
              material welfare of the bodies those souls we govern run around in,
              and we have to be careful of some appearances that would cause
              scandal, but there it stops.

              The parent or superior who can give an example of courage in the face
              of false values to their charges has given an inestimable gift,
              indeed. A wise person can contrast the nagging question of "What
              would people think?" with "What are they entitled to think? Have we
              all not an obligation to think the best of others?"

              One can be a genuine, confessed sinner and say to the world, "I know
              what sin is." Sinners all, we may be far more likely to listen to
              such a person than we would be to one of pretended (and pretentious!)
              perfection. We like the idea of wounded healers, but I can assure you
              from the inside that wounded healers do not play terribly well with
              many in church power. "What would people think?" Such reasoning robs
              us, sinners all, of our strongest preaching points and robs those
              wounded ones around us of the needful message that there is room
              within for them.

              One time since coming here, the issue of my telling someone
              about my HIV+ status was raised in a terribly painful way for me.
              It was my wise superior, Abbot Anselm, who healed all that in two
              beautiful phrases: "We did not accept you here on any condition of
              silence. People who ask personal questions have no right to be upset
              if they are answered." WOW!!! All the heartbreak of that mess faded
              for me instantly, thanks to one very wise and loving Father.

              See what I have been getting at here? A parent or superior with a
              genuine sense of what is real can make their charges see reality,
              too. It is always a gift to see reality, because reality is truth
              and Jesus said: "I am the truth." God IS Truth, and every fragment of
              truth we garner on this strange, checkered journey of life will make Him
              instantly more familiar to us when we meet Him face to face.

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



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Br. Jerome Leo
              +PAX Prayers, please, for Vicky, on her 90th birthday, and for all her family. May she have many more years, ad multos annos! Prayers for Fr. Michael, on his
              Message 6 of 7 , May 15, 2016

                +PAX

                 

                Prayers, please, for Vicky, on her 90th birthday, and for all her family. May she have many more years, ad multos annos!

                 

                Prayers for Fr. Michael, on his birthday, many more years, ad multos annos.

                 

                Prayers for a deeply troubled marriage, the wife is threatening to leave and the husband is terribly stressed and upset.

                 

                Continued prayers for Sharon, waiting for cancer test results. May she be all clear of cancer.

                 

                Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Joseph, and for all his family and for  all who mourn him.

                 

                Prayers for Pat and her new grandbaby and all their family.

                 

                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 15, May 16, September 15
                Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be


                Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
                the welfare of the souls committed to her,
                in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
                but let her always bear in mind
                that she has undertaken the government of souls
                and that she will have to give an account of them.


                And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
                let her remember what is written:
                "First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
                and all these things shall be given you besides" (Ps. 33:10).
                And again:
                "Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him."


                Let her know, then,
                that she who has undertaken the government of souls
                must prepare herself to render an account of them.
                Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
                she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
                she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
                as well as of her own soul.


                Thus the constant apprehension
                about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
                concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
                and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
                make her careful of her own record.
                And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
                she herself is cleansed of her faults.


                REFLECTION

                Four times in this portion alone, St. Benedict reminds those in
                authority that theirs is a government "of souls." No wonder material
                things are not to be put first. Nothing fleeting at all must come
                before the souls of those we care for, whether abbess or parent or
                teacher or nurse. Our own souls are intricately linked with the
                welfare of those we govern or care for or serve. (BTW, ideally, in
                St. Benedict's model of authority, all three functions of ruling,
                loving and serving are present at all times. Lofty goal that!)

                It's easy to forget that this reading covers a lot more than material
                things. All things perishable, empty and earthly are included, even if more
                detailed coverage is given to the material ones. It is a sad truth
                that we often congratulate ourselves for avoiding one fault while falling
                headlong into another.

                "What would people say?" is a question sometimes necessary, but all
                too often it becomes an idol on its own. That's when trouble ensues.
                As with material things, there is a certain BALANCED (getting sick of
                that word? Welcome to Benedictine values!) concern for appearances
                here. We bear a responsibility, as any parent could tell you, for the
                material welfare of the bodies those souls we govern run around in,
                and we have to be careful of some appearances that would cause
                scandal, but there it stops.

                The parent or superior who can give an example of courage in the face
                of false values to their charges has given an inestimable gift,
                indeed. A wise person can contrast the nagging question of "What
                would people think?" with "What are they entitled to think? Have we
                all not an obligation to think the best of others?"

                A parent or superior with a
                genuine sense of what is real can make their charges see reality,
                too. It is always a gift to see reality, because reality is truth
                and Jesus said: "I am the truth." God IS Truth, and every fragment of
                truth we garner on this strange, checkered journey of life will make Him
                instantly more familiar to us when we meet Him face to face.

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

                 

              • Br. Jerome Leo
                +PAX Prayers for a woman and her husband who had a disagreement. He made an effort to reconcile as he left for work and she resisted it. Then he was killed in
                Message 7 of 7 , May 15

                  +PAX

                   

                  Prayers for a woman and her husband who had a disagreement. He made an effort to reconcile as he left for work and she resisted it. Then he was killed in a car wreck later that day and she is left with a lifelong regret. Prayers for his eternal rest and for her healing. Prayers for all their family and all who mourn him.

                   

                  Prayers for Fr. Michael, on his birthday, graces galore and many more. Ad multos annos!

                   

                  Prayers for D., his salary has been cut and he is in the retirement pool for next year. Prayers for grace and strength and trust for him.

                   

                  Prayers for Judy and David, neither are practicing their faith and their house may be in need of exorcism, apparently someone from the local Diocese has been consulted. Prayers, too, for their adult children who visit, one of whom is pregnant. Some very strange things are happening and David’s health is affected. Prayers for all, especially that Judy and David return to practicing their religions.

                   

                  Prayers for a man whose brain cancer has returned, and for his family.

                   

                  Prayers for some difficult boys in Kerrie’s family who still need lots of prayer for mercy. Their father has fallen away and undermines Godly authority. Much prayer need for all.

                   

                  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 15, May 16, September 15
                  Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be


                  Above all let her not neglect or undervalue
                  the welfare of the souls committed to her,
                  in a greater concern for fleeting, earthly, perishable things;
                  but let her always bear in mind
                  that she has undertaken the government of souls
                  and that she will have to give an account of them.


                  And if she be tempted to allege a lack of earthly means,
                  let her remember what is written:
                  "First seek the kingdom of God and His justice,
                  and all these things shall be given you besides" (Ps. 33:10).
                  And again:
                  "Nothing is wanting to those who fear Him."


                  Let her know, then,
                  that she who has undertaken the government of souls
                  must prepare herself to render an account of them.
                  Whatever number of sisters she knows she has under her care,
                  she may be sure beyond doubt that on Judgment Day
                  she will have to give the Lord an account of all these souls,
                  as well as of her own soul.


                  Thus the constant apprehension
                  about her coming examination as shepherd (Ezech. 34)
                  concerning the sheep entrusted to her,
                  and her anxiety over the account that must be given for others,
                  make her careful of her own record.
                  And while by her admonitions she is helping others to amend,
                  she herself is cleansed of her faults.


                  REFLECTION

                  Four times in this portion alone, St. Benedict reminds those in
                  authority that theirs is a government "of souls." No wonder material
                  things are not to be put first. Nothing fleeting at all must come
                  before the souls of those we care for, whether abbess or parent or
                  teacher or nurse. Our own souls are intricately linked with the
                  welfare of those we govern or care for or serve. (BTW, ideally, in
                  St. Benedict's model of authority, all three functions of ruling,
                  loving and serving are present at all times. Lofty goal that!)

                  It's easy to forget that this reading covers a lot more than material
                  things. All things perishable, empty and earthly are included, even if more
                  detailed coverage is given to the material ones. It is a sad truth
                  that we often congratulate ourselves for avoiding one fault while falling
                  headlong into another.

                  The parent or superior who can give an example of courage in the face
                  of false values to their charges has given an inestimable gift,
                  indeed. A wise person can contrast the nagging question of "What
                  would people think?" with "What are they entitled to think? Have we
                  all not an obligation to think the best of others?"

                  A parent or superior with a
                  genuine sense of what is real can make their charges see reality,
                  too. It is always a gift to see reality, because reality is truth
                  and Jesus said: "I am the truth." God IS Truth, and every fragment of
                  truth we garner on this strange, checkered journey of life will make Him
                  instantly more familiar to us when we meet Him face to face.

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

                   

                   

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