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Holy Rule for May 17

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Pat, beginning a two weeks live-in with a monastery she might join, and for all discerning vocations! God s will is best. All is
    Message 1 of 8 , May 17, 2004
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Pat, beginning a two weeks live-in with a monastery she might join, and for all discerning vocations! God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much. JL


      January 16, May 17, September 16
      Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

      Whenever any important business has to be done
      in the monastery,
      let the Abbot call together the whole community
      and state the matter to be acted upon.
      Then, having heard the brethren's advice,
      let him turn the matter over in his own mind
      and do what he shall judge to be most expedient.
      The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel
      is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.

      Let the brethren give their advice
      with all the deference required by humility,
      and not presume stubbornly to defend their opinions;
      but let the decision rather depend on the Abbot's judgment,
      and all submit to whatever he shall decide for their welfare.

      However, just as it is proper
      for the disciples to obey their master,
      so also it is his function
      to dispose all things with prudence and justice.

      REFLECTION

      We elect our abbots, which may make obedience a bit easier for us
      than living under an appointed superior, but we are not a pure
      democracy. This is so hard for Americans in particular to learn, let
      alone value!! In terms of civil government comparisons, we may not be
      an absolute autocracy, but we are far from a constitutionally diluted
      monarchy! The abbot has a lot of power In fact, in most cases, he
      has, as this chapter indicates, the last word.

      St. Benedict was far too wise to leave all power to an elective
      community. That would frustrate any abbot's efforts to upgrade the
      life of his flock. Monastics tend to resist change, let alone reform.
      They'd simply vote him down and be done with it. Communities, like
      St. Peter, must sometimes be girded by another and led where they
      would not go! Pure democracy would make that impossible.

      There is a great reminder in this chapter that either the community
      or the abbot can be wrong. That is so important for both to remember.
      Indeed, if either forgets that fact, the danger to humility is
      extreme and we are nothing if not humble. There is also the lesson
      here of mutual respect. Even though the abbot actually has the
      authority to ignore the community's suggestions, he is bidden to ask
      for input and receive it with prudence and justice, neither terrified
      by every passing whim of the body nor terrifying the body with every
      passing whim of his own!

      So, if you will, the concept of mutual obedience and fraternal love
      and respect is writ large over the whole of this chapter. Letting
      anyone have that much power is scary if the group as a whole is not
      constrained to virtue, but we are. Sure, the ideal can be failed, we
      are human, but the ideal is there and it is under the conditions of
      that ideal that so much is entrusted with faith to the abbot.

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX The official search for Fr. Maurus has been called off, he is presumed to be dead. Please pray that someone will somehow find his body. Prayers, please,
      Message 2 of 8 , May 17, 2005
        +PAX

        The official search for Fr. Maurus has been called off, he is presumed to be dead. Please pray that someone will somehow find his body.

        Prayers, please, for Francis, wheelchair-bound with arthritis, for Richard, terminal cancer, for Virginia, depression and severe family problems, and Barbara, glaucoma and diabetes. Prayers, too, for all our troops in Iraq and for all in harm's way there that they be kept safe, for peace in our troubled world. Prayers for the repose of the souls of Michael Ross, executed in Connecticut last week, Walter and Fr. Daly, and for Walter's widow, Alice, and all who mourn for these folks. Prayers for Maura Kay, back surgery today, for a mother and daughter with serious problems between them, also for a couple adopting a baby, prayers for Trisha, still recovering and trying to get back to work, though it is hard for her, and for David, soon to face life in the world again. Deo gratias! Shirley's move went well and prayers really strengthened her. A further Deo gratias for the birth of Katlyn, for her proud parents and happy pastor! Two months premature, Katlyn will have to stay in the hospital for a while, but is doing well. 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 16, May 17, September 16
        Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

        Whenever any important business has to be done
        in the monastery,
        let the Abbot call together the whole community
        and state the matter to be acted upon.
        Then, having heard the brethren's advice,
        let him turn the matter over in his own mind
        and do what he shall judge to be most expedient.
        The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel
        is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.

        Let the brethren give their advice
        with all the deference required by humility,
        and not presume stubbornly to defend their opinions;
        but let the decision rather depend on the Abbot's judgment,
        and all submit to whatever he shall decide for their welfare.

        However, just as it is proper
        for the disciples to obey their master,
        so also it is his function
        to dispose all things with prudence and justice.

        REFLECTION

        This whole reflection and chapter has many, many applications to
        family life. (Except that parents are not elected!) Otherwise, it all is very apt
        to a family!

        We elect our abbots, which may make obedience a bit easier for us
        than living under an appointed superior, but we are not a pure
        democracy. This is so hard for Americans in particular to learn, let
        alone value!! In terms of civil government comparisons, we may not be
        an absolute autocracy, but we are far from a constitutionally diluted
        monarchy! The abbot has a lot of power In fact, in most cases, he
        has, as this chapter indicates, the last word.

        St. Benedict was far too wise to leave all power to an elective
        community. That would frustrate any abbot's efforts to upgrade the
        life of his flock. Monastics tend to resist change, let alone reform.
        They'd simply vote him down and be done with it. Communities, like
        St. Peter, must sometimes be girded by another and led where they
        would not go! Pure democracy would make that impossible.

        There is a great reminder in this chapter that either the community
        or the abbot can be wrong. That is so important for both to remember.
        Indeed, if either forgets that fact, the danger to humility is
        extreme and we are nothing if not humble. There is also the lesson
        here of mutual respect. Even though the abbot actually has the
        authority to ignore the community's suggestions, he is bidden to ask
        for input and receive it with prudence and justice, neither terrified
        by every passing whim of the group nor terrifying them with every
        passing whim of his own!

        So, if you will, the concept of mutual obedience and fraternal love
        and respect is writ large over the whole of this chapter. Letting
        anyone have that much power is scary if the group as a whole is not
        constrained to virtue, but we are. Sure, the ideal can be failed, we
        are human, but the ideal is there and it is under the conditions of
        that ideal that so much is entrusted with faith to the abbot.

        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, please, for Br. Paschal of Pluscarden on his feast day and all our Paschals. May grace and blessings be theirs! Prayers for Jan, on the first
        Message 3 of 8 , May 17, 2006
          +PAX

          Prayers, please, for Br. Paschal of Pluscarden on his feast day and all our Paschals. May grace and blessings be theirs!

          Prayers for Jan, on the first anniversary of her death, for her husband and children, her best friend Cheryl, and all who mourn her. May a happy death and eternal rest be hers! Prayers for Justin, 20, struggling with some personal issues, and for all his family, especially his Dad and grandmother. Prayers for Harry and his wife, expecting their second child in a couple of months.

          Prayers for the many folks in New England forced by flooding from their homes, the worst flood in nearly 70 years. We have been spared here, but many to the north and east of us are in serious trouble. 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 16, May 17, September 16
          Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

          Whenever any important business has to be done
          in the monastery,
          let the Abbot call together the whole community
          and state the matter to be acted upon.
          Then, having heard the brethren's advice,
          let him turn the matter over in his own mind
          and do what he shall judge to be most expedient.
          The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel
          is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.

          Let the brethren give their advice
          with all the deference required by humility,
          and not presume stubbornly to defend their opinions;
          but let the decision rather depend on the Abbot's judgment,
          and all submit to whatever he shall decide for their welfare.

          However, just as it is proper
          for the disciples to obey their master,
          so also it is his function
          to dispose all things with prudence and justice.

          REFLECTION

          This whole reflection and chapter has many, many applications to
          family life. (Except that parents are not elected!) Otherwise, it all is very
          appropriate for a family!

          We elect our abbots, which may make obedience a bit easier for us
          than living under an appointed superior, but we are not a pure
          democracy. This is so hard for Americans in particular to learn, let
          alone value!! In terms of civil government comparisons, we may not be
          an absolute autocracy, but we are far from a constitutionally diluted
          monarchy! The abbot has a lot of power In fact, in most cases, he
          has, as this chapter indicates, the last word.

          St. Benedict was far too wise to leave all power to an elective
          community. That would frustrate any abbot's efforts to upgrade the
          life of his flock. Monastics tend to resist change, let alone reform.
          They'd simply vote him down and be done with it. Communities, like
          St. Peter, must sometimes be girded by another and led where they
          would not go! Pure democracy would make that impossible.

          There is a great reminder in this chapter that either the community
          or the abbot can be wrong. That is so important for both to remember.
          Indeed, if either forgets that fact, the danger to humility is
          extreme and we are nothing if not humble. There is also the lesson
          here of mutual respect. Even though the abbot actually has the
          authority to ignore the community's suggestions, he is bidden to ask
          for input. He is asked to receive it with prudence and justice, neither terrified
          by every passing whim of the group nor terrifying them with every
          passing whim of his own!

          So, if you will, the concept of mutual obedience and fraternal love
          and respect is writ large over the whole of this chapter. Letting
          anyone have that much power is scary if the group as a whole is not
          constrained to virtue, but we are. Sure, the ideal can be failed, we
          are human, but the ideal is there and it is under the conditions of
          that ideal that so much is entrusted with faith to the abbot.

          Though St. Benedict states we should never obey commands against God's law,
          every other instance demands our obedience and respect. We may think the
          Abbot is wrong and, humanly speaking, he might be, but we can never lose by
          obedience. Indeed, quite the reverse: we harm ourselves terribly by obstinately
          clinging to our own will and resisting.

          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 for our Br. Paschal of Pluscarden on his feastday, and for all our Paschals. May God fill them with graces and blessings. Prayers, please, for the
          Message 4 of 8 , May 16, 2007
            +PAX

            Prayers for our Br. Paschal of Pluscarden on his feastday, and for all our Paschals. May God fill them with graces and blessings.

            Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Crispin, brother of our Fr. Giles, for Fr. Giles and all their family. Crispin will be buried on Friday. Prayers for Evan, newly confirmed, and for Pam, his Mom, and all his family. Prayers for Virginia, special intention, and for the happy death and eternal rest of Arthur and for all who mourn him. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of J.

            HUGE Deo gratias, Suzanne, 47, for whom we prayed after her heart attack has astounded her medical team: tests reveal the part of her heart thought to dead to have become alive again. They may be baffled, but we shouldn't be: praise God!

            Prayers for C., making a walk to benefit liver cancer research, and for all the walkers. For the happy death and eternal rest of Andy, 27, killed in Iraq and for his Dad, Andy, Sr., and all their family and all who mourn him. Prayers for Onowa, 3 months pregnant and suffered a brain hemorrhage, prognosis still uncertain, and for all her worried family and friends. Little Ellie, for whom we prayed, is already back in school, only 13 days after her heart surgery. Deo gratias!! Monica, whom we also prayed for, will have surgery to remove two colon masses, one of them cancerous, on Friday, prayers for her and her doctors and family. Prayers for all those who treat and care for all our prayer folks. Deo gratias for Will, who has found a new home and parish to move into. Prayers for LR, declining health, may the return of dogs to his home cheer his outlook and brighten his health. Prayers for Felicia, still having to pay off a car that died while being forced to buy another one, since driving is necessary for her work and home.
            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 16, May 17, September 16
            Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

            Whenever any important business has to be done
            in the monastery,
            let the Abbot call together the whole community
            and state the matter to be acted upon.
            Then, having heard the brethren's advice,
            let him turn the matter over in his own mind
            and do what he shall judge to be most expedient.
            The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel
            is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.

            Let the brethren give their advice
            with all the deference required by humility,
            and not presume stubbornly to defend their opinions;
            but let the decision rather depend on the Abbot's judgment,
            and all submit to whatever he shall decide for their welfare.

            However, just as it is proper
            for the disciples to obey their master,
            so also it is his function
            to dispose all things with prudence and justice.

            REFLECTION

            This whole reflection and chapter has many, many applications to
            family life. (Except that parents are not elected!) Otherwise, it all is very
            appropriate for a family!

            We elect our abbots, which may make obedience a bit easier for us
            than living under an appointed superior, but we are not a pure
            democracy. This is so hard for Americans in particular to learn, let
            alone value!! In terms of civil government comparisons, we may not be
            an absolute autocracy, but we are far from a constitutionally diluted
            monarchy! The abbot has a lot of power In fact, in most cases, he
            has, as this chapter indicates, the last word.

            St. Benedict was far too wise to leave all power to an elective
            community. That would frustrate any abbot's efforts to upgrade the
            life of his flock. Monastics tend to resist change, let alone reform.
            They'd simply vote him down and be done with it. Communities, like
            St. Peter, must sometimes be girded by another and led where they
            would not go! Pure democracy would make that impossible.

            There is a great reminder in this chapter that either the community
            or the abbot can be wrong. That is so important for both to remember.
            Indeed, if either forgets that fact, the danger to humility is
            extreme and we are nothing if not humble. There is also the lesson
            here of mutual respect. Even though the abbot actually has the
            authority to ignore the community's suggestions, he is bidden to ask
            for input. He is asked to receive it with prudence and justice, neither
            terrified by every passing whim of the group nor terrifying them with every
            passing whim of his own!

            So, if you will, the concept of mutual obedience and fraternal love
            and respect is writ large over the whole of this chapter. Letting
            anyone have that much power is scary if the group as a whole is not
            constrained to virtue, but we are. Sure, the ideal can be failed, we
            are human, but the ideal is there and it is under the conditions of
            that ideal that so much is entrusted with faith to the abbot.

            Though St. Benedict states we should never obey commands against God's law,
            every other instance demands our obedience and respect. We may think the
            Abbot is wrong and, humanly speaking, he might be, but we can never lose by
            obedience. Indeed, quite the reverse: we harm ourselves terribly by obstinately
            clinging to our own will and resisting.

            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 spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them: For a young man,
            Message 5 of 8 , May 16, 2008
              +PAX

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

              For a young man, father of two, going into drug re-hab program for third time and for his mother who is caring for the children and praying that this time he will begin recovery.

              Rod, trapped in a subway and claustrophobic, panic attacks. God is outside time: we can pray for him when he was stuck there.

              Br. Paschal, on his feastday. Ad multos annos, many more!

              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 16, May 17, September 16
              Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

              Whenever any important business has to be done
              in the monastery,
              let the Abbot call together the whole community
              and state the matter to be acted upon.
              Then, having heard the brethren's advice,
              let him turn the matter over in his own mind
              and do what he shall judge to be most expedient.
              The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel
              is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.

              Let the brethren give their advice
              with all the deference required by humility,
              and not presume stubbornly to defend their opinions;
              but let the decision rather depend on the Abbot's judgment,
              and all submit to whatever he shall decide for their welfare.

              However, just as it is proper
              for the disciples to obey their master,
              so also it is his function
              to dispose all things with prudence and justice.

              REFLECTION

              This whole reflection and chapter has many, many applications to
              family life. (Except that parents are not elected!) Otherwise, it all is very
              appropriate for a family!

              We elect our abbots, which may make obedience a bit easier for us
              than living under an appointed superior, but we are not a pure
              democracy. This is so hard for Americans in particular to learn, let
              alone value!! In terms of civil government comparisons, we may not be
              an absolute autocracy, but we are far from a constitutionally diluted
              monarchy! The abbot has a lot of power In fact, in most cases, he
              has, as this chapter indicates, the last word.

              St. Benedict was far too wise to leave all power to an elective
              community. That would frustrate any abbot's efforts to upgrade the
              life of his flock. Monastics tend to resist change, let alone reform.
              They'd simply vote him down and be done with it. Communities, like
              St. Peter, must sometimes be girded by another and led where they
              would not go! Pure democracy would make that impossible.

              There is a great reminder in this chapter that either the community
              or the abbot can be wrong. That is so important for both to remember.
              Indeed, if either forgets that fact, the danger to humility is
              extreme and we are nothing if not humble. There is also the lesson
              here of mutual respect. Even though the abbot actually has the
              authority to ignore the community's suggestions, he is bidden to ask
              for input. He is asked to receive it with prudence and justice, neither
              terrified by every passing whim of the group nor terrifying them with every
              passing whim of his own!

              So, if you will, the concept of mutual obedience and fraternal love
              and respect is writ large over the whole of this chapter. Letting
              anyone have that much power is scary if the group as a whole is not
              constrained to virtue, but we are. Sure, the ideal can be failed, we
              are human, but the ideal is there and it is under the conditions of
              that ideal that so much is entrusted with faith to the abbot.

              Though St. Benedict states we should never obey commands against God's law,
              every other instance demands our obedience and respect. We may think the
              Abbot is wrong and, humanly speaking, he might be, but we can never lose by
              obedience. Indeed, quite the reverse: we harm ourselves terribly by obstinately
              clinging to our own will and resisting.

              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 I sent May 17 yesterday by accident. This is May 16th s, to catch up. Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Fr. Vladimir, 57, history of depression, he
              Message 6 of 8 , May 16, 2014
                +PAX
                 
                I sent May 17 yesterday by accident. This is May 16th's, to catch up.
                 
                Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Fr. Vladimir, 57, history of depression, he committed suicide, and for all his family, parishiners and all who mourn him.
                 
                Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Maurus, OSB, of Pluscarden Abbey, 93. He disappeared taking a walk, nine years ago this month. His body was never found. Prayers for his Community, family and all who mourn him.
                 
                Prayers for Lisa, who  has MERRF. Her gastro system is shutting down and needs a bypass; but because of the disease label, the doctors are not doing anything. Please pray that they not give up on her.
                 
                Prayers for Martha F., very ill.
                 
                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 Pamela and for the eternal rest of her son, 21, found dead this morning, died in his sleep of unknown causes, and for his grandmother, Louise,
                Message 7 of 8 , May 17, 2014
                  +PAX
                   
                  Prayers for Pamela and for the eternal rest of her son, 21, found dead this morning, died in his sleep of unknown causes, and for his grandmother, Louise, his aunt and all his family and all who mourn him.
                   
                  Jah and his village, they need Bibles.
                   
                  Prayers for Sr. Mary Herbert, of St Scholastica Priory, Petersham MA, celebrating 81 years of her profession as a nun. Deo gratias!
                   
                  Prayers for Jan, on the 9th anniversary of her death, and for all who mourn her.
                   
                  Prayers for Brian, on the anniversary of his Oblation.
                   
                  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 17, May 18, September 17
                  Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

                  In all things, therefore, let all follow the Rule as guide,
                  and let no one be so rash as to deviate from it.
                  Let no one in the monastery follow his own heart's fancy;
                  and let no one presume to contend with his Abbot
                  in an insolent way or even outside of the monastery.
                  But if anyone should presume to do so,
                  let him undergo the discipline of the Rule.
                  At the same time,
                  the Abbot himself should do all things in the fear of God
                  and in observance of the Rule,
                  knowing that beyond a doubt
                  he will have to render an account of all his decisions
                  to God, the most just Judge.

                  But if the business to be done in the interests of the monastery
                  be of lesser importance,
                  let him take counsel with the seniors only.
                  It is written,
                  "Do everything with counsel,
                  and you will not repent when you have done it" (Eccles. 32:24).

                  REFLECTION

                  This reading completes the chapter and offers us the capstone to the
                  grace and beauty of St. Benedict's government. The Abbot "should do
                  all things in the fear of God." Give just a brief shot at applying
                  that to all Cardinals, Bishops, and Pastors, as well as parents, bosses
                  and all the laity. What a different world we would have!

                  Abbot Charles Mohr of St. Leo used to say: "Keep the Holy Rule and
                  the Rule will keep you." How true that is! If an Abbot acts in the
                  fear of God, his community can be united in pride behind him, even
                  decades later. In 1908, when Florida was still a hotbed of Ku Klux
                  Klan activity, both racist and anti-Catholic, Abbot Charles accepted
                  George Miller, a black man who had applied to enter the monastery.

                  He ignored the threat that predictably came in the mail, and stood
                  firm. Though George, of his own will, did not stay, he was welcome in
                  Abbot Charles' eyes, a brother in Christ. Abbot Charles' actions
                  preached that to any willing to listen, as well as to quite a few who
                  were not!

                  Abbot Francis, St. Leo's second Abbot, was born in Bavaria and fluent
                  in German. In World War II, when POW camps in Florida began to fill up with
                  German Catholics, Abbot Francis went calmly to minister to their sacramental
                  needs, something his facility in their language made eminently
                  sensible.

                  Abbot Francis was no doubt the saintliest man to govern
                  the Abbey thus far, and he emulated the gentle love of his patron,
                  St. Francis de Sales. That gentle kindness prompted him to invite the
                  German prisoners to come to the Abbey for Christmas Midnight Mass in
                  1944. There were German voices singing "Silent Night" in its
                  original tongue.

                  Twelve days later, arson destroyed the prep school gym. Nothing could
                  be proven, but many suspected the reason. Abbot Francis continued his
                  ministry . He invited the POW's to come back for Easter, 1945. Two
                  weeks after the Easter visit, St. Mary's Science Hall was torched.
                  Abbot Francis did not budge.

                  This was in war time, the community was hardly rolling in cash, they
                  were building a Church and they had lost two terribly important
                  components of their principal livelihood, a residential prep school
                  for boys. Not only the buildings, but how many might fear to send
                  their sons back to a campus of arson? What if it were a dormitory
                  next time? Abbot Francis held firm. He did not protect capital or
                  real estate. He protected the honor of God, period.

                  The community is still very proud of him to this day, justly so. No
                  one called for his ouster, because he protected things of God. That
                  was a gutsy courage that none but his most implacable enemies could
                  possibly hate. Do genuine, fearless good and the faithful will unite
                  behind you in a formidable host.

                  Abbot Francis died when I was 13. I had the inestimable privilege of
                  meeting him while still in grade school and his kindness over his
                  last years to me, a mere child, was touching, indeed. I was a 9 year
                  old kid and an Abbot was sending me postcards when he traveled to
                  give retreats.

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


                • Br. Jerome Leo
                  +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Peter, and for all his family, especially his Mom, Anne, who is widowed and 90, and for all who mourn him. Prayers, too,
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 16, 2016
                    +PAX



                    Prayers for the eternal rest of Peter, and for all his family, especially
                    his Mom, Anne, who is widowed and 90, and for all who mourn him. Prayers,
                    too, for the eternal rest of his Dad, Arthur, who died before him.



                    Prayers for Cecilia on her birthday, many more years, ad multos annos!
                    Extra prayers, as this is a sad time for her, she lost her sister Alice, for
                    whom we prayed, just a few days ago. Many prayers for her, and for Alice and
                    all their family.

                    Prayers that Elaine's employer accepts all documents with no questions and
                    that she is promoted to a full-time regular position.

                    Prayers for someone who badly needs employment.

                    Please pray for Linda D. She fell and broke her elbow, which in turn split
                    her humerus bone in half down to the wrist. It's been extremely painful
                    without letting up for about 2 weeks.

                    Prayers for the eternal rest of Linda, 50's, who died of lung cancer, and
                    for all her family, especially Marie and David, and for all who mourn her.



                    Prayers for the eternal rest of Ernest and for all his family and all who
                    mourn him.



                    Prayers for Stephen, a new twelve month contract that could lead to future
                    work. Prayers that he returns to the Sacraments, too.



                    Prayers for Marie, that she returns to the Catholic Church.



                    Deo gratias and prayers of thanksgiving for the nine new oblates making
                    their final oblation at St. Andrews on Pentecost. God grant them many
                    faithful years of graces.



                    Dan, for whom we prayed, who had surgery on his major aorta split and the
                    infection after surgery went back to work part time today. He is, again,
                    thanking everyone for their support and prayers! Deo gratias!



                    Michael has a progressive Mitochondrial disease caused myopathy and just
                    found out he needs a aorta valve replacement. There is a strong concern he
                    will not survive surgery or rehab due to muscular weakness. He doesn't want
                    to leave his family, yet. Please pray for him.



                    Please pray for Reni's brother In Germany. He will have surgery this week.
                    He is 84 with cancer that Has spread to his bones, and broke his disk in the
                    spine. He also has prostate cancer and a heart valve replacement .Reni lives
                    far away in the US and her health is not good enough for her to travel to be
                    with him.



                    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 16, May 17, September 16
                    Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

                    Whenever any important business has to be done
                    in the monastery,
                    let the Abbot call together the whole community
                    and state the matter to be acted upon.
                    Then, having heard the brethren's advice,
                    let him turn the matter over in his own mind
                    and do what he shall judge to be most expedient.
                    The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel
                    is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.

                    Let the brethren give their advice
                    with all the deference required by humility,
                    and not presume stubbornly to defend their opinions;
                    but let the decision rather depend on the Abbot's judgment,
                    and all submit to whatever he shall decide for their welfare.

                    However, just as it is proper
                    for the disciples to obey their master,
                    so also it is his function
                    to dispose all things with prudence and justice.

                    REFLECTION

                    This whole reflection and chapter has many, many applications to
                    family life. (Except that parents are not elected!) Otherwise, it all is
                    very
                    appropriate for a family!

                    We elect our abbots, which may make obedience a bit easier for us
                    than living under an appointed superior, but we are not a pure
                    democracy. This is so hard for Americans in particular to learn, let
                    alone value!! In terms of civil government comparisons, we may not be
                    an absolute autocracy, but we are far from a constitutionally diluted
                    monarchy! The abbot has a lot of power In fact, in most cases, he
                    has, as this chapter indicates, the last word.

                    St. Benedict was far too wise to leave all power to an elective
                    community. That would frustrate any abbot's efforts to upgrade the
                    life of his flock. Monastics tend to resist change, let alone reform.
                    They'd simply vote him down and be done with it. Communities, like
                    St. Peter, must sometimes be girded by another and led where they
                    would not go! Pure democracy would make that impossible.



                    Even though the abbot actually has the
                    authority to ignore the community's suggestions, he is bidden to ask
                    for input. He is asked to receive it with prudence and justice, neither
                    swayed by every passing whim of the group nor by every
                    passing whim of his own! The community, for their part, are to give

                    their opinions humbly and with deference.

                    So, if you will, the concept of mutual obedience and fraternal love
                    and respect is writ large over the whole of this chapter. Letting
                    anyone have that much power is scary if the group as a whole is not
                    constrained to virtue, but we are. Sure, the ideal can be failed, we
                    are human, but the ideal is there and it is under the conditions of
                    that ideal that so much is entrusted with faith to the abbot.

                    Though St. Benedict states we should never obey commands against God's law,
                    every other instance demands our obedience and respect. We may think the
                    Abbot is wrong and, humanly speaking, he might be, but we can never lose by
                    obedience. Indeed, quite the reverse: we harm ourselves terribly by
                    obstinately
                    clinging to our own will and resisting.

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











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