Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Holy Rule for June 2

Expand Messages
  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for John, home from the hospital and surgery but having a troublesome recovery. Typical of his generosity, he asked prayers for other,
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 2, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for John, home from the hospital and surgery but having a troublesome recovery. Typical of his generosity, he asked prayers for other, not himself! His niece, Deryn, just under 2, woke up Saturday and couldn't walk. A bone infection is feared and they are tough to treat at that age. Prayers, too, for Natalie and Justin, her worried parents, and for Anne, John's wife who is caring for him. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much. JL

      February 1, June 2, October 2
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The fourth degree of humility
      is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
      when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
      and contradictions
      and even any kind of injustice,
      enduring all without growing weary or running away.
      For the Scripture says,
      "The one who perseveres to the end,
      is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
      and again
      "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!


      And to show how those who are faithful
      ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
      the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
      "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
      we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
      8:36).
      Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
      they go on with joy to declare,
      "But in all these trials we conquer,
      through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
      Again, in another place the Scripture says,
      "You have tested us, O God;
      You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
      You have brought us into a snare;
      You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
      And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
      it goes on to say,
      "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).


      Moreover, by their patience
      those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
      in adversities and injuries:
      when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
      when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
      when forced to go a mile, they go two;
      with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
      and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

      REFLECTION

      Be careful how you read this fourth step of patience. It is an ideal,
      presented in its most flawless form. The danger for schleps like me
      is that it can give one an image of a perfect, 1950's sitcom Mom:
      shirt dress and pearls, cookies and milk always forthcoming in a
      kitchen as clean as a surgical suite and never a hair out of place.
      Full make-up on rising and wears hat and matching gloves to shop.
      PUHLEEEZE! Give me a break. Real patience in action
      is not at all like that.

      Patience in action is a fierce struggle. Never think it's easy for
      others and there is therefore something wrong with you: it isn't easy
      for anyone. One of the biggest flaws of the "I'm OK and you are
      not..." school of ministry is that it makes people think exactly
      this. "It's easy for her and there's something terribly wrong with
      me." Neither is true.

      Please drop that TV image of perfect models, who flit from flower to
      flower in life beamingly, fraught with about as much stress as a
      butterfly in a climate-controlled greenhouse in full bloom. That
      image will harm you. The Holy Rule and most of Scripture were not
      written for such brainless, clueless potted plants.

      The Rule and Scriptures were meant for strugglers. They were written
      for real, average people, halt and lame, battle-scarred plodders like
      you and me, for people who have weathered life, but barely. Honey,
      there may be cookies and milk, but you'll probably have to get the
      plate yourself and brush aside a LOT of blood, sweat and tears to
      find one. Oh, and please drink the milk fast and take as much as you
      can... the fridge broke today.

      Patience is surely one of the most important fuels that perseverance
      runs on, but don't be surprised if it often is not very high octane!
      Neither should it surprise you if your engine is not a slant V-8, but
      rather a very cheap lawnmower that has trouble starting. Patience
      is ENDURANCE, not ease. It may, after years of struggle, confer a
      great peace and serenity, but it rarely, if ever, feels like that in
      the middle of things.

      Brother Patrick Creamer, OSB, of Saint Leo Abbey in Florida, taught
      me patience and perseverance. He was able to do so because he was so
      transparent about his own struggles. Many others tried to tell me how
      hard it was, but their lack of candor made me dismiss their warnings
      as tokenism. It certainly didn't seem to be hard for them. I couldn't
      believe them. Patrick, my mentor, was so very different.

      Patrick entered the monastery in 1954, when he was 40, after a long
      career at sea. He missed being at sea so much (and for so long!) that
      it magnified many of the every day crosses of monastic life. Abbot
      Marion who loved brothers and had a very tender spot for them, used
      to send Patrick to the beach for a weekend now and then, in years
      when that sort of thing didn't often happen. +Marion was wise enough
      to know he'd lose Patrick if he didn't get a salt air fix now and
      then.

      Even the beach trips were not enough alone. Patrick told me he was
      tempted to leave every single day for ten years. Patrick, when I
      lived with him, literally stayed packed with a hidden suitcase for
      years and boasted of his ability to be gone in an hour. As a novice,
      my heart used to be selfishly in my throat. I wanted him to go, if
      that was what he was supposed to do, but I really didn't want to lose
      him.

      I am breaking no confidence if I also tell you that, during the worst
      of those years, Patrick joined AA and has been faithfully sober for
      decades, helping scores of alcoholics who have come to him, because a
      transparent broken person usually can. I can also tell you that
      Brother Patrick finally decided to stay: when he was 83 or so!! What a
      witness of hope that was to me, to others struggling like me.

      Please, let us all be given patience. But when we get it, however
      little at a time, let NONE of us be TV Moms. Let us all be Patricks,
      let us show others how terribly hard, yet doable it can be. Patrick
      holds forth from his infirmary room most of the time now. A steady
      stream of visitors has not waned. On the head of his bed and on the
      shaving mirror over his sink are two small notes, written in his own
      inimitable hand: "Lord, let me come to You." They broke my heart the
      first time I saw them. I still don't want to lose him. But I know how
      right he is and how richly he deserves that embrace for which he
      waits.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome LEO, OSB (again and again you'll see why I took the second
      name!)
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX Prayers, please, for the search for Father Maurus body, continuing today and tomorrow. Prayers, too, for Pluscarden s Father Giles, leaving today for our
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 2, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for the search for Father Maurus' body, continuing today and tomorrow. Prayers, too, for Pluscarden's Father Giles, leaving today for our monastery in Ghana, and for Pluscarden's new acting Prior, Br. Meinrad, acting Subprior, Fr. Benedict, and acting Cellarer, Br. Michael, as well as for Br. Cyprian, going to Japan for a month's stay in a Zen monastery as part of an inter-religious dialogue. Prayers, too, for Abbot Hugh and all the Community there. Fr. Maurus' disappearance has been so hard on everyone, and now there are so many other changes to adjust to in their daily life. I have deep faith in them, but prayer strengthens even the strong!

        Prayers, too, for Chris, a young man bravely and holily preparing for death from gall bladder cancer. He is truly edifying those around him, but we all need prayer to protect us at that time when we are most likely to be assailed by the tempter in a last ditch effort. Prayers for all his loved ones, too. Prayers for Catherine, facing an MRI for some troubling and frightening neurological symptoms, for peace in her heart and the grace to give all anxiety to God. For Mary F., unemployed for over a month now and getting into real financial straits. 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

        February 1, June 2, October 2
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The fourth degree of humility
        is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
        when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
        and contradictions
        and even any kind of injustice,
        enduring all without growing weary or running away.
        For the Scripture says,
        "The one who perseveres to the end,
        is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
        and again
        "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!


        And to show how those who are faithful
        ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
        the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
        "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
        we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
        8:36).
        Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
        they go on with joy to declare,
        "But in all these trials we conquer,
        through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
        Again, in another place the Scripture says,
        "You have tested us, O God;
        You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
        You have brought us into a snare;
        You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
        And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
        it goes on to say,
        "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).


        Moreover, by their patience
        those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
        in adversities and injuries:
        when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
        when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
        when forced to go a mile, they go two;
        with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
        and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

        REFLECTION

        [It is well worth noting that Father Maurus, for whom we have been praying, felt that this fourth step
        of humility was a tremendously important summary of the monastic struggle.]

        Be careful how you read this fourth step of patience. It is an ideal,
        presented in its most flawless form. It is not an unreachable goal, but neither
        should we expect significant progress before noon today. It is our call and
        our vocation, but it is a lifelong task.

        The danger for schleps like me is that this step can give one an image
        of a perfect, 1950's TV sitcom Mom: shirt dress, high heels and pearls as
        everyday wear, cookies and milk always forthcoming in a kitchen as clean
        as a surgical suite and never a hair out of place. Full make-up on rising
        and wears hat and matching gloves to shop. PUHLEEEZE! Give me a break.
        Real patience in action is not at all like that.

        Patience in action is a fierce struggle. Never think that it's easy for
        others and therefore something is wrong with you: it isn't easy
        for anyone. One of the biggest flaws of the "I'm OK and you are
        not..." school of ministry is that it makes people think exactly
        this. "It's easy for her and there's something terribly wrong with
        me." Neither is true.

        Please drop that TV image of perfect models, who flit from flower to
        flower in life beamingly, fraught with about as much stress as a
        butterfly in a climate-controlled greenhouse in full bloom. That
        image will harm you. The Holy Rule and Scripture were not
        written for such brainless, clueless potted plants. They were written
        for strays and plodders like ourselves.

        The Rule and Scriptures were meant for strugglers. They were written
        for real, average people, halt and lame, battle-scarred veterans like
        you and me, for people who have weathered life, but barely. Honey,
        there may be cookies and milk, but you'll probably have to get the
        plate yourself and brush aside a LOT of blood, sweat and tears to
        find one. Oh, and please drink the milk fast and take as much as you
        can... the fridge broke today.

        Patience is surely one of the most important fuels that perseverance
        runs on, but don't be surprised if it often is not very high octane!
        Neither should it surprise you if your engine is not a slant V-8, but
        rather a very cheap lawnmower that has trouble starting. Patience
        is ENDURANCE, not ease. It may, after years of struggle, confer a
        great peace and serenity, but it rarely, if ever, feels like that in
        the middle of things.

        Brother Patrick Creamer, OSB, of Saint Leo Abbey in Florida, taught
        me patience and perseverance. He was able to do so because he was so
        transparent about his own struggles. Many others tried to tell me how
        hard it was, but their lack of candor made me dismiss their warnings
        as tokenism. It certainly didn't seem to be hard for them. I couldn't
        believe them. Patrick, my late and beloved mentor, was so very different.

        Patrick entered the monastery in 1954, when he was 40, after a long
        career at sea. He missed being at sea so much (and for so long!) that
        it magnified many of the every day crosses of monastic life. Abbot
        Marion, who loved brothers and had a very tender spot for them, used
        to send Patrick to the beach for a weekend now and then, in years
        when that sort of thing didn't often happen. +Marion was wise enough
        to know he'd lose Patrick if he didn't get a salt air fix now and
        then.

        Even the beach trips were not enough alone. Patrick told me he was
        tempted to leave every single day for ten years. Patrick, when I
        lived with him, literally stayed packed with a hidden suitcase for
        years and boasted of his ability to be gone in an hour. As a novice,
        my heart used to be selfishly in my throat. I wanted him to go, if
        that was what he was supposed to do, but I really didn't want to lose
        him.

        I am breaking no confidence if I also tell you that, during the worst
        of those years, Patrick joined AA and remained faithfully sober for
        decades, helping scores of alcoholics who came to him, because a
        transparent broken person usually can. I can also tell you that
        Brother Patrick finally decided to stay: when he was 83 or so!! What a
        witness of hope that was to me, to others struggling like me.

        Please, let us all be given patience. But when we get it, however
        little at a time, let NONE of us be TV Moms. Let us all be Patricks,
        let us show others how terribly hard, yet doable it can be.

        Patrick held forth from his infirmary room until his death last year,
        at two weeks short of 90. A steady stream of visitors never waned.
        On the head of his bed and on the shaving mirror over his sink were
        two small notes, written in his own inimitable hand: "Lord, let me
        come to You." They broke my heart the first time I saw them. I still
        didn't want to lose him. But I know how right he was and how richly he
        deserves that loving embrace for which he so patiently waited.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome LEO, OSB (again and again you'll see why I took the second
        name!)
        jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery
        Petersham, MA

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jerry Lee
        +PAX Prayers, please for Barb and Willis, injured in a car accident, for the 17 year old driver who caused same and for his 10 year old passenger who is in
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 2, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          +PAX

          Prayers, please for Barb and Willis, injured in a car accident, for the 17 year old driver who caused same and for his 10 year old passenger who is in serious condition. Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Ivanna, who has gone home to God, for her happy death and eternal rest and for all who mourn her. Prayers for Peter, in his 40's, mild stroke and slowly recovering, also for his wife and sons and the doctors who treat him and all our prayer folks. Prayers for C., job search and wanting God's will, for her strength and patience in the trying time of waiting. Prayers for Joyce and family , who lost their beloved 16 year old cat. Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias: Alma, for whom we prayed, had a remarkable cessation of pain (her episodes would last for weeks,) on her final stay in the hospital. Her family thanks all who prayed! 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

          February 1, June 2, October 2
          Chapter 7: On Humility

          The fourth degree of humility
          is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
          when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
          and contradictions
          and even any kind of injustice,
          enduring all without growing weary or running away.
          For the Scripture says,
          "The one who perseveres to the end,
          is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
          and again
          "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!


          And to show how those who are faithful
          ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
          the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
          "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
          we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
          8:36).
          Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
          they go on with joy to declare,
          "But in all these trials we conquer,
          through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
          Again, in another place the Scripture says,
          "You have tested us, O God;
          You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
          You have brought us into a snare;
          You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
          And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
          it goes on to say,
          "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).


          Moreover, by their patience
          those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
          in adversities and injuries:
          when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
          when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
          when forced to go a mile, they go two;
          with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
          and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

          REFLECTION

          Be careful how you read this fourth step of patience. It is an ideal,
          presented in its most flawless form. It is not an unreachable goal, but neither
          should we expect significant progress before noon today. It is our call and
          our vocation, but it is a lifelong task.

          The danger for schleps like me is that this step can give one an image
          of a perfect, 1950's TV sitcom Mom: shirt dress, high heels and pearls as
          everyday wear, cookies and milk always forthcoming in a kitchen as clean
          as a surgical suite and never a hair out of place. Full make-up on rising
          and wears hat and matching gloves to shop. PUHLEEEZE! Give me a break.
          Real patience in action is not at all like that.

          Patience in action is a fierce struggle. Never think that it's easy for
          others and therefore something is wrong with you: it isn't easy
          for anyone. One of the biggest flaws of the "I'm OK and you are
          not..." school of ministry is that it makes people think exactly
          this. "It's easy for her and there's something terribly wrong with
          me." Neither is true.

          Please drop that TV image of perfect models, who flit from flower to
          flower in life beamingly, fraught with about as much stress as a
          butterfly in a climate-controlled greenhouse in full bloom. That
          image will harm you. The Holy Rule and Scripture were not
          written for television's perfect, clueless potted plants. They were written
          for strays and plodders like ourselves.

          The Rule and Scriptures were meant for strugglers. They were written
          for real, average people, halt and lame, battle-scarred veterans like
          you and me, for people who have weathered life, but barely. Hey,
          there may be cookies and milk, but you'll probably have to get the
          plate yourself and brush aside a LOT of blood, sweat and tears to
          find one. Oh, and please drink the milk fast and take as much as you
          can... the fridge broke today.

          Patience is surely one of the most important fuels that perseverance
          runs on, but don't be surprised if it often is not very high octane!
          Neither should it surprise you if your engine is not a slant V-8, but
          rather a very cheap lawnmower that has trouble starting. Patience
          is ENDURANCE, not ease. It may, after years of struggle, confer a
          great peace and serenity, but it rarely, if ever, feels like that in
          the middle of things.

          Brother Patrick Creamer, OSB, of Saint Leo Abbey in Florida, taught
          me patience and perseverance. He was able to do so because he was so
          transparent about his own struggles. Many others tried to tell me how
          hard it was, but their lack of candor made me dismiss their warnings
          as tokenism. It certainly didn't seem to be hard for them. I couldn't
          believe them. Patrick, my late and beloved mentor, was so very different.

          Patrick entered the monastery in 1954, when he was 40, after a long
          career at sea. He missed being at sea so much (and for so long!) that
          it magnified many of the every day crosses of monastic life. Abbot
          Marion, who loved brothers and had a very tender spot for them, used
          to send Patrick to the beach for a weekend occasionally, in years
          when that sort of thing didn't often happen. +Marion was wise enough
          to know he'd lose Patrick if he didn't get a salt air fix now and then.

          Even the beach trips were not enough alone. Patrick told me he was
          tempted to leave every single day for ten years. Patrick, when I
          lived with him, literally stayed packed with a hidden suitcase for
          years and boasted of his ability to be gone in an hour. As a novice,
          my heart used to be selfishly in my throat. I wanted him to go, if
          that was what he was supposed to do, but I really didn't want to lose
          him.

          I am breaking no confidence if I also tell you that, during the worst
          of those years, Patrick joined AA and remained faithfully sober for
          decades, helping scores of alcoholics who came to him, because a
          transparent broken person usually can. I can also tell you that
          Brother Patrick finally decided to stay: when he was 83 or so!! What a
          witness of hope that was to me, to others struggling like me.

          Please, let us all be given patience. But when we get it, however
          little at a time, let NONE of us be "perfect" TV Moms. Let us all be Patricks,
          let us show others how terribly hard, yet doable it can be.

          Patrick held forth from his infirmary room until his death
          at two weeks short of 90. A steady stream of visitors never waned.
          On the head of his bed and on the shaving mirror over his sink were
          two small notes, written in his own inimitable hand: "Lord, let me
          come to You." They broke my heart the first time I saw them. I still
          didn't want to lose him. But I know how right he was and how richly he
          deserves that loving embrace for which he so patiently waited.

          Love and prayers,
          Jerome LEO, OSB (again and again you'll see why I took the second
          name!)
          jeromeleo@...
          http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
          Petersham, MA

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers for Al, very important interview today about his retirement and future, and for his wife, C. Prayers for Theresa, who has gone to God, for her
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 1, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            +PAX

            Prayers for Al, very important interview today about his retirement and future, and for his wife, C. Prayers for Theresa, who has gone to God, for her happy death and eternal rest and for all who mourn her, especially her grandchildren and sons. Prayers for Terry, deployed to Iraq, and for her brother, Jeron, and all their family, prayers, too, for Don, going back to Iraq for the third time, and for all his family.

            Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias, Evalyn, for whom we prayed, has come through her cancer surgery well and was told is has not spread. Deo gratias, too, for Doug, whose IV antibiotics have been finished and he is cleared to go to back work. God is good! Prayers for Mary, severely broken foot, laid up for 8 weeks. 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

            February 1, June 2, October 2
            Chapter 7: On Humility

            The fourth degree of humility
            is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
            when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
            and contradictions
            and even any kind of injustice,
            enduring all without growing weary or running away.
            For the Scripture says,
            "The one who perseveres to the end,
            is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
            and again
            "Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!


            And to show how those who are faithful
            ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
            the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
            "For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
            we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
            8:36).
            Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
            they go on with joy to declare,
            "But in all these trials we conquer,
            through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
            Again, in another place the Scripture says,
            "You have tested us, O God;
            You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
            You have brought us into a snare;
            You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
            And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
            it goes on to say,
            "You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).


            Moreover, by their patience
            those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
            in adversities and injuries:
            when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
            when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
            when forced to go a mile, they go two;
            with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
            and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).

            REFLECTION

            Be careful how you read this fourth step of patience. It is an ideal,
            presented in its most flawless form. It is not an unreachable goal, but neither
            should we expect significant progress before noon today. It is our call and
            our vocation, but it is a lifelong task.

            The danger for schleps like me is that this step can give one an image
            of a perfect, 1950's TV sitcom Mom: shirt dress, high heels and pearls as
            everyday wear, cookies and milk always forthcoming in a kitchen as clean
            as a surgical suite and never a hair out of place. Full make-up on rising
            and wears hat and matching gloves to shop. PUHLEEEZE! Give me a break.
            Real patience in action is not at all like that.

            Patience in action is a fierce struggle. Never think that it's easy for
            others and therefore something is wrong with you: it isn't easy
            for anyone. One of the biggest flaws of the "I'm OK and you are
            not..." school of ministry is that it makes people think exactly
            this. "It's easy for her and there's something terribly wrong with
            me." Neither is true.

            Please drop that TV image of perfect models, who flit from flower to
            flower in life beamingly, fraught with about as much stress as a
            butterfly in a climate-controlled greenhouse in full bloom. That
            image will harm you. The Holy Rule and Scripture were not
            written for television's perfect, clueless potted plants. They were written
            for strays and plodders like ourselves.

            The Rule and Scriptures were meant for strugglers. They were written
            for real, average people, halt and lame, battle-scarred veterans like
            you and me, for people who have weathered life, but barely. Hey,
            there may be cookies and milk, but you'll probably have to get the
            plate yourself and brush aside a LOT of blood, sweat and tears to
            find one. Oh, and please drink the milk fast and take as much as you
            can... the fridge broke today.

            Patience is surely one of the most important fuels that perseverance
            runs on, but don't be surprised if it often is not very high octane!
            Neither should it surprise you if your engine is not a slant V-8, but
            rather a very cheap lawnmower that has trouble starting. Patience
            is ENDURANCE, not ease. It may, after years of struggle, confer a
            great peace and serenity, but it rarely, if ever, feels like that in
            the middle of things.

            Brother Patrick Creamer, OSB, of Saint Leo Abbey in Florida, taught
            me patience and perseverance. He was able to do so because he was so
            transparent about his own struggles. Many others tried to tell me how
            hard it was, but their lack of candor made me dismiss their warnings
            as tokenism. It certainly didn't seem to be hard for them. I couldn't
            believe them. Patrick, my late and beloved mentor, was so very different.

            Patrick entered the monastery in 1954, when he was 40, after a long
            career at sea. He missed being at sea so much (and for so long!) that
            it magnified many of the every day crosses of monastic life. Abbot
            Marion, who loved brothers and had a very tender spot for them, used
            to send Patrick to the beach for a weekend occasionally, in years
            when that sort of thing didn't often happen. +Marion was wise enough
            to know he'd lose Patrick if he didn't get a salt air fix now and then.

            Even the beach trips were not enough alone. Patrick told me he was
            tempted to leave every single day for ten years. Patrick, when I
            lived with him, literally stayed packed with a hidden suitcase for
            years and boasted of his ability to be gone in an hour. As a novice,
            my heart used to be selfishly in my throat. I wanted him to go, if
            that was what he was supposed to do, but I really didn't want to lose
            him.

            I am breaking no confidence if I also tell you that, during the worst
            of those years, Patrick joined AA and remained faithfully sober for
            decades, helping scores of alcoholics who came to him, because a
            transparently wounded person usually can. I can also tell you that
            Brother Patrick finally decided to stay: when he was 83 or so!! What a
            witness of hope that was to me, to others struggling like me.

            Please, let us all be given patience. But when we get it, however
            little at a time, let NONE of us be "perfect" TV Moms. Let us all be Patricks,
            let us show others how terribly hard, yet doable it can be.

            Patrick held forth from his infirmary room until his death
            at two weeks short of 90. A steady stream of visitors never waned.
            On the head of his bed and on the shaving mirror over his sink were
            two small notes, written in his own inimitable hand: "Lord, let me
            come to You." They broke my heart the first time I saw them. I still
            didn't want to lose him. But I know how right he was and how richly he
            deserves that loving embrace for which he so patiently waited.

            Love and prayers,
            Jerome LEO, OSB (again and again you'll see why I took the second
            name!)
            jeromeleo@...
            http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
            Petersham, MA

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.