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Holy Rule for June 17

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, Hank, 55, who died suddenly and for his wife, Pat, and sons, Nick and Chris. Prayers, too, for Johnny, prostate cancer spreading to
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 17, 2004
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      +PAX


      Prayers, please, Hank, 55, who died suddenly and for his wife, Pat, and sons, Nick and Chris. Prayers, too, for Johnny, prostate cancer spreading to bones, Linda, having her hysterectomy today and for a clergyman who is thinking of leaving his ministry and his faith. Deo gratias, prayers of thanks for Bernie, whose carotid surgery went well!

      God's will is best! All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much! JL

      February 16, June 17, October 17
      Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays

      The Morning and Evening Offices
      should never be allowed to pass
      without the Superior saying the Lord's Prayer
      in its place at the end
      so that all may hear it,
      on account of the thorns of scandal which are apt to spring up.
      Thus those who hear it,
      being warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer
      when they say, "Forgive us as we forgive,"
      may cleanse themselves of faults against that covenant.


      But at the other Offices
      let the last part only of that prayer be said aloud,
      so that all may answer, "But deliver us from evil.

      REFLECTION

      The Our Father is THE Christian covenant of peace. If St. Benedict
      insists it be said aloud twice a day, it is because he knows well the
      tempests- nay, HURRICANES- in teacups that can spring up in any
      enclosed home group, be it cloister or family. Things get magnified
      inappropriately precisely because those we live with are dear to us.
      If they weren't, they would be much less able to hurt or annoy us!

      There weren't subways in St. Benedict's time, but there was a world
      outside. Picture yourself riding a subway with any or all of these
      types: an alcoholic, an abuser, a severely disturbed mental patient,
      a tragic drug addict. These are just the ones that we might notice,
      too. All of us on the subway ride daily with liars, thieves,
      adulterers and worse, we just don't know it. Even though the subway
      can offer a bit of a challenge to Christian peace, to forgiveness,
      one usually has only to wait for one's stop, hoping meanwhile that a
      transit cop will appear. If the situation is really frightening, one
      could get off early and catch the next train.

      In family or community, sometimes even in the workplace, we may not
      change trains. Not only that, but there are often no transit cops at
      all. (Even less than in Boston, where one may safely wonder how we
      can afford all those parked MBTA cruisers with so few officers ever
      in evidence to justify the expense....) Always remember that
      Christian life, Benedictine life, is never tested when it is easy.
      Alas, it is only through testing that we grow, that our practice
      improves.

      On the subway or bus, or even in the artificially detached situation
      of world newscasts, it can be a LOT easier to forgive. It comes at
      little or no price at all. It's pretty easy to forgive even horrible
      criminals if they have not harmed our home circle, if they have not
      directly harmed us. Hate to say it, folks, but the easy stuff is not
      where it's at for us. A 50 yard dash may be the beginnings of an
      Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, but it is never the whole
      picture.

      The key to Benedictine peace is forgiveness, which is why St.
      Benedict stresses that phrase and calls it a covenant. It truly IS a
      covenant of peace. We are daily asking God, twice out loud, but
      ideally many more times than that alone, to forgive us in the measure
      that we forgive. Whoa! Risky business there! Any chain's strength is
      decided by its weakest link, so think of the person you LEAST
      forgive. There you will have the model you are suggesting to God that
      He use in forgiving you. As Fr. Hugo used to say: "You love God as
      much as the one you love least."

      Fortunately, for most of us, I don't personally think God feels
      Himself completely bound by the terms we offer Him. If He did, I
      imagine heaven would be a quite appallingly empty place, indeed.
      Nevertheless, I'll bet He will remind us of the terms we offered and
      how little mercy they would afford us. That is one very good reason
      why Roman Catholics believe in Purgatory- a chance to shower off the
      terms we offered God that were so limited they would never cut anyone
      much slack!

      Roman Catholicism and most other mainline Christian denominations
      have not been known as peace churches, historically. They have not
      made the dogmatic necessity of pacifism that the Mennonites or
      Quakers have. Still, it is very hard to look at the Gospel itself or
      at the daily Our Fathers and understand how so many wars have happened in
      Christian history, especially between allegedly Christian nations.

      The terms we have offered God as to how we would
      like to be forgiven have been far less than optimal. "OK, we will
      forgive you AFTER we have reduced your country to rubble and your
      population by say, 20-30% or more...." If God took (or takes!) us at
      our word, we shall be in deep trouble, indeed.

      If every monastery refectory, every dining room table and every
      workplace lunch room had perfect forgiveness and peace, there would
      likely be no war. Wouldn't happen, because genuine peace truly is
      contagious. Do you see why we have to start at home, to start small?
      It's the only place we have to begin.

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX Prayers of Deo gratias and thanks! Karla, for whom we prayed about her surgery, does not have ovarian cancer! Prayers for Bp. Basil, possible early signs
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 17, 2005
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        +PAX

        Prayers of Deo gratias and thanks! Karla, for whom we prayed about her surgery, does not have ovarian cancer!

        Prayers for Bp. Basil, possible early signs of serious kidney problems, as always, the uncertainty of waiting for more news is very hard. Prayers also for Peggy, who needs a second opinion on her liver biopsy and the suggested hospital is not on her insurance coverage. 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 16, June 17, October 17
        Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays

        The Morning and Evening Offices
        should never be allowed to pass
        without the Superior saying the Lord's Prayer
        in its place at the end
        so that all may hear it,
        on account of the thorns of scandal which are apt to spring up.
        Thus those who hear it,
        being warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer
        when they say, "Forgive us as we forgive,"
        may cleanse themselves of faults against that covenant.


        But at the other Offices
        let the last part only of that prayer be said aloud,
        so that all may answer, "But deliver us from evil.

        REFLECTION

        The Our Father is THE Christian covenant of peace. If St. Benedict
        insists it be said aloud twice a day, it is because he knows well the
        tempests- nay, HURRICANES- in teacups that can spring up in any
        enclosed home group, be it cloister or family. Things get magnified
        inappropriately precisely because those we live with are dear to us.
        If they weren't, they would be much less able to hurt or annoy us!

        There weren't subways in St. Benedict's time, but there was a world
        outside. Picture yourself riding a subway with any or all of these
        types: an alcoholic, an abuser, a severely disturbed mental patient,
        a tragic drug addict. These are just the ones that we might notice,
        too. All of us on the subway ride daily with liars, thieves,
        adulterers and worse, we just don't know it. Even though the subway
        can offer a bit of a challenge to Christian peace, to forgiveness,
        one usually has only to wait for one's stop, hoping meanwhile that a
        transit cop will appear. If the situation is really frightening, one
        could get off early and catch the next train.

        In family or community, sometimes even in the workplace, we may not
        change trains. Not only that, but there are often no transit cops at
        all. (Even less than in Boston, where one may safely wonder how we
        can afford all those parked MBTA cruisers with so few officers ever
        in evidence to justify the expense....) Always remember that
        Christian life, Benedictine life, is never tested when it is easy.
        Alas, it is only through testing that we grow, that our practice
        improves.

        On the subway or bus, or even in the artificially detached situation
        of world newscasts, it can be a LOT easier to forgive. It comes at
        little or no price at all. It's pretty easy to forgive even horrible
        criminals if they have not harmed our home circle, if they have not
        directly harmed us. Hate to say it, folks, but the easy stuff is not
        where it's at for us. A 50 yard dash may be the beginnings of an
        Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, but it is never the whole
        picture.

        The key to Benedictine peace is forgiveness, which is why St.
        Benedict stresses that phrase and calls it a covenant. It truly IS a
        covenant of peace. We are daily asking God, twice out loud, but
        ideally many more times than that alone, to forgive us in the measure
        that we forgive. Whoa! Risky business there! Any chain's strength is
        decided by its weakest link, so think of the person you LEAST
        forgive. There you will have the model you are suggesting to God that
        He use in forgiving you. As Fr. Hugo used to say: "You love God as
        much as the one you love least."

        Fortunately, for most of us, God's Divine Mercy is unfathomably deep.
        I don't personally think God feels Himself completely bound by the terms
        we offer Him, at least I hope he doesn't. If He did, I imagine heaven would
        be a quite appallingly empty place, indeed. It is never too late, even at
        the last fleeting instant of life, for us to repent and accept His mercy!

        Nevertheless, I'll bet He will remind us of the terms we offered and
        how little mercy they would afford us. That is one very good reason
        why Roman Catholics believe in Purgatory- a chance to shower off the
        terms we offered God that were so limited they would never cut anyone
        much slack!

        Roman Catholicism and most other mainline Christian denominations
        have not been known as peace churches, historically. They have not
        made the dogmatic necessity of pacifism that the Mennonites or
        Quakers have. Still, it is very hard to look at the Gospel itself or
        at the daily Our Fathers and understand how so many wars have happened in
        Christian history, especially between allegedly Christian nations.

        The terms we have offered God as to how we would
        like to be forgiven have been far less than optimal. "OK, we will
        forgive you AFTER we have reduced your country to rubble and your
        population by say, 20-30% or more...." If God took (or takes!) us at
        our word, we shall be in deep trouble, indeed.

        If every monastery refectory, every dining room table and every
        workplace lunch room had perfect forgiveness and peace, there would
        likely be no war. Wouldn't happen, because genuine peace truly is
        contagious. Do you see why we have to start at home, to start small?
        It's the only place we have to begin.

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jerry Lee
        +PAX Prayers, please, for Paul, who has gone to God after a long battle with diabetes, for his happy death and eternal rest and for Jody, his wife and all who
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 17, 2006
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          +PAX

          Prayers, please, for Paul, who has gone to God after a long battle with diabetes, for his happy death and eternal rest and for Jody, his wife and all who mourn him. Deo gratias for Clare, a 1 year old for whom we prayed. She had a successful echocardiogram and docs will check her again in 6 months. Prayers for Michael, terminal cancer, for his family and for the doctors who treat him and all our prayer folks. Deo gratias fro Cas, of Philadelphia, on his birthday and for Whitney, whose pregnancy we prayed for. She has delivered a healthy, preemie baby boy. Both are doing well. Their family is so grateful for the prayers. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of hector, who overdosed, losing a long battle with addiction, and for his family and all who mourn him.

          Prayers for 4 young women in injured in an accident caused by their cab driver losing his temper and driving recklessly. One was killed, one has very critical head injuries and still is in critical jeopardy, the other two have serious injuries but are recovering. prayers for them the cab driver and all their families. What a sad affair. Prayers for Barb, patiently enduring yet another round of chemo. Hopefully this one will lead to remission. Prayers for Randall, and older man trying to retain his driver's license: second test in 10 months and the tests make him terribly anxious. Prayers for Jane and her dog, Sadie, going to the vet's for surgery on fatty tumors and has a heart murmur. CM asks prayers for discernment in housing and work changes, also prayers of thanksgiving for three wonderful doctors and for some work done on her behalf in a diocesan chancery. Deo gratias for C. finding the job God seems to want, now for a solution to her housing dilemma! 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 16, June 17, October 17
          Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays

          The Morning and Evening Offices
          should never be allowed to pass
          without the Superior saying the Lord's Prayer
          in its place at the end
          so that all may hear it,
          on account of the thorns of scandal which are apt to spring up.
          Thus those who hear it,
          being warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer
          when they say, "Forgive us as we forgive,"
          may cleanse themselves of faults against that covenant.


          But at the other Offices
          let the last part only of that prayer be said aloud,
          so that all may answer, "But deliver us from evil.

          REFLECTION

          The Our Father is THE Christian covenant of peace. If St. Benedict
          insists it be said aloud twice a day, it is because he knows well the
          tempests- nay, HURRICANES- in teacups that can spring up in any
          enclosed home group, be it cloister or family. Things get magnified
          inappropriately precisely because those we live with are dear to us.
          If they weren't, they would be much less able to hurt or annoy us!

          There weren't subways in St. Benedict's time, but there was a world
          outside. Picture yourself riding a subway with any or all of these
          types: an alcoholic, an abuser, a severely disturbed mental patient,
          a tragic drug addict. These are just the ones that we might notice,
          too. All of us on the subway ride daily with liars, thieves,
          adulterers and worse, we just don't know it. Even though the subway
          can offer a bit of a challenge to Christian peace, to forgiveness,
          one usually has only to wait for one's stop, hoping meanwhile that a
          transit cop will appear. If the situation is really frightening, one
          could get off early and catch the next train.

          In family or community, sometimes even in the workplace, we may not
          be able to change trains. Not only that, but there are often no transit cops at
          all. (Even less than in Boston, where one may safely wonder how we
          can afford all those parked MBTA cruisers with so few officers ever
          in evidence to justify the expense....) Always remember that
          Christian life, Benedictine life, is never tested when it is easy.
          Alas, it is only through testing that we grow, that our practice
          improves.

          On the subway or bus, or even in the artificially detached situation
          of world newscasts, it can be a LOT easier to forgive. It comes at
          little or no price at all. It's pretty easy to forgive even horrible
          criminals if they have not harmed our home circle, if they have not
          directly harmed us. Hate to say it, folks, but the easy stuff is not
          where it's at for us. A 50 yard dash may be the beginnings of an
          Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, but it is never the whole
          picture.

          The key to Benedictine peace is forgiveness, which is why St.
          Benedict stresses that phrase and calls it a covenant. It truly IS a
          covenant of peace. We are daily asking God, twice out loud, but
          ideally many more times than that alone, to forgive us in the measure
          that we forgive.

          Whoa! Risky business there! Any chain's strength is
          decided by its weakest link, so think of the person you LEAST
          forgive. There you will have the model you are suggesting to God that
          He use in forgiving you. As Fr. Hugo used to say: "You love God as
          much as the one you love least."

          Fortunately, for most of us, God's Divine Mercy is unfathomably deep.
          I don't personally think God feels Himself completely bound by the terms
          we offer Him, at least I hope He doesn't. If He did, I imagine heaven would
          be a quite appallingly empty place, indeed. It is never too late, even at
          the last fleeting instant of life, for us to repent and accept His mercy!

          Nevertheless, I'll bet He will remind us of the terms we offered and
          how little mercy they would afford us. That is one very good reason
          why Roman Catholics believe in Purgatory- a chance to shower off the
          terms we offered God that were so limited they would never cut anyone
          much slack!

          Roman Catholicism and most other mainline Christian denominations
          have not been known as peace churches, historically. They have not
          made the dogmatic necessity of pacifism that the Mennonites or
          Quakers have. Still, it is very hard to look at the Gospel itself or
          at the daily Our Fathers and understand how so many wars have happened in
          Christian history, especially between allegedly Christian nations.

          The terms we have offered God as to how we would
          like to be forgiven have been far less than optimal. "OK, we will
          forgive you AFTER we have reduced your country to rubble and your
          population by say, 20-30% or more...." If God took (or takes!) us at
          our word, we shall be in deep trouble, indeed.

          If every monastery refectory, every dining room table and every
          workplace lunch room had perfect forgiveness and peace, there would
          likely be no war. Wouldn't happen, because genuine peace truly is
          contagious. Do you see why we have to start at home, to start small?
          It's the only place we have to begin.

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

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jerry Lee
          +PAX Prayers for all our Fathers, living and dead, on Father s Day (in the U.S., at least, but I m sure Dads in all countries will love the prayers!) Prayers,
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 18, 2006
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            +PAX

            Prayers for all our Fathers, living and dead, on Father's Day (in the U.S., at least, but I'm sure Dads in all countries will love the prayers!)

            Prayers, please, for Luis, 12, who hung himself, for his fullest embrace of the Divine Mercy offered him at that last moment and his eternal rest with God. Especially a tragedy like this one, a victim so young, should remind us to pray every single day for those who take their own lives. If you haven't begun the practice of such prayers, I urge you to, as it is rich in rewards for all concerned.

            Prayers for Sara, at a very chaotic time in her life. Prayers for Terry, knee surgery on 6/29, for the health of Rick and Michael and for a favorable outcome of a court case, and for Victoria, severe infection. Prayers for Abbess Benedicta, ill from a variety of causes and taking some time away from her Abbey to recover, also for Sister Hildegard, benign brain tumor. Prayers for Jackson, 2, and his parents and family. His recovery from bacterial meningitis last year was deemed miraculous by his docs, but kidney failure means he is still on dialysis and will need a transplant.

            Prayers for a family in terrible tragedy. Ken, who lost his wife at 46 to cancer last year, was driving an SUV with his sister, Kathy, 50, their Mom, Lena, 71, and two of Ken's 4 kids, Kelsey and Colton. He swerved to miss a deer and rolled the SUV three times, killing his Mom and sister and critically injuring his 2 kids. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Lena and Kathy and the healing of all involved. Prayers for Ken's other two kids, for Steve, Kathy's husband, and their kids, Melissa, Jason, Brooke and Cindy. Prayers, too, for Neena and Elaine, friends of Kathy, and for all who mourn in this terrible situation.

            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 17, June 18, October 18
            Chapter 14: How the Night Office Is to Be Said on the Feasts of the
            Saints

            On the feasts of Saints and on all festivals
            let the Office be performed
            as we have prescribed for Sundays,
            except that the Psalms, the antiphons and the lessons
            belonging to that particular day are to be said.
            Their number, however, shall remain as we have specified above.

            REFLECTION

            Every love life needs a bit of variety now and then, even the
            monogamous ones, even the celibate ones, and, let us face it, our
            prayer is (or ought to be!) a love life. Without marking certain days
            as special, our Office would quickly become a bland and tedious bore.
            On the other hand, mark too much as special and people soon get worn
            out. Variety itself becomes boring and a chore. What sane married
            couple would insist on spending every night in a different motel? One
            or both would quickly tire of that and it would destroy the very
            unity it was aiming to protect.

            Having lived in a monastery for part of the 1960's and 70's where the
            liturgy became the sad equivalent of a revolving door, changing often
            and not often well, I can speak from experience. It became dreadful
            to wonder what would happen next. It pulled out the necessary
            underpinnings of a certain stability (gasp!) and changelessness that
            a Benedictine life of prayer requires.

            Ah, but in the quest for simplicity carried to unfortunate extremes,
            it did, at times, become UTTERLY changeless. Same old same old, every
            single day with nothing different but the prayer at the end, if that.
            ("Oh boy, it must be Tuesday again....!") No antiphons, just psalms
            and canticles. No music other than the hymn, same seven each week for
            each hour, a few good, many bad.... No Glory be between Psalms, just
            one at the end. It was dull and gave even more of an impression
            of "let's just get this over with" than the old Office did at its
            very worst. One often wondered why we still bothered to go to choir.

            A balance between variety and stability is where the virtue truly
            lies. I have never heard anyone complain about singing or saying the
            same unchanging parts of the Mass every day, because they are set in
            the midst of elements that DO change every day. The same must be true
            of the Office to a certain extent. When SO much changes at feasts, as
            it did in former days of many octaves and tons of commemorations,
            that one longs and pines for a weekday with one book and NOTHING
            special, that balance has been missed. On the other hand, the
            changeless mundane misses the balance as well. One should never have
            to come out of a "simple" Office and think quietly: "Wow, that was
            dumb...." (But I often have.)

            St. Benedict built the necessary change right into his Office for
            monasteries. Ignore his bottom line or extend it unduly and you get
            into trouble. In this instance, as in so many, he was far wiser than
            we are, than people of any age are.

            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 A blessed Fathers Day (U.S.) to all our Fathers, spiritual and physical! Prayers, please, for Sherry, young mother of four, she was riding her bike and
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 16, 2007
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              +PAX

              A blessed Fathers' Day (U.S.) to all our Fathers, spiritual and physical!

              Prayers, please, for Sherry, young mother of four, she was riding her bike and hit by a car and has serious injuries. Prayers for her husband, children and all their family. Prayers, too, for the driver, who was charged with driving under the influence. Prayers for Bernadette, anal cancer, just diagnosed, treatment course uncertain, and for all her family. Prayers for Donna, job search and a minor fender-bender she hopes insurance will cover.

              Deo gratias for Dave: his diocesan interview went very well! Prayers for Michael, heart failure and many other ailments.

              Deo gratias update on Bill, whose bowel obstruction surgery was cancelled during prep, since the obstruction moved. Now they can concentrate on the mesothelioma treatment. Prayers for Elisa, worsening cancer, and for her son Br. Giuseppe and all their family. Prayers for Br. Giuseppe and his 8 classmates, all up for final vows this summer. Prayers, also, for Cindi, slowly recovering from her back surgery. 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 16, June 17, October 17
              Chapter 13: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said on Weekdays

              The Morning and Evening Offices
              should never be allowed to pass
              without the Superior saying the Lord's Prayer
              in its place at the end
              so that all may hear it,
              on account of the thorns of scandal which are apt to spring up.
              Thus those who hear it,
              being warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer
              when they say, "Forgive us as we forgive,"
              may cleanse themselves of faults against that covenant.


              But at the other Offices
              let the last part only of that prayer be said aloud,
              so that all may answer, "But deliver us from evil.

              REFLECTION

              The Our Father is THE Christian covenant of peace. If St. Benedict
              insists it be said aloud twice a day, it is because he knows well the
              tempests- nay, HURRICANES- in teacups that can spring up in any
              enclosed home group, be it cloister or family. Things get magnified
              inappropriately precisely because those we live with are dear to us.
              If they weren't, they would be much less able to hurt or annoy us!

              There weren't subways in St. Benedict's time, but there was a world
              outside. Picture yourself riding a subway with any or all of these
              types: an alcoholic, an abuser, a severely disturbed mental patient,
              a tragic drug addict. These are just the ones that we might notice,
              too. All of us on the subway ride daily with liars, thieves,
              adulterers and worse, we just don't know it. Even though the subway
              can offer a bit of a challenge to Christian peace, to forgiveness,
              one usually has only to wait for one's stop, hoping meanwhile that a
              transit cop will appear. If the situation is really frightening, one
              could get off early and catch the next train.

              In family or community, sometimes even in the workplace, we may not
              be able to change trains. Not only that, but there are often no transit cops at
              all. (Even less than in Boston, where one may safely wonder how we
              can afford all those parked MBTA cruisers with so few officers ever
              in evidence to justify the expense....) Always remember that
              Christian life, Benedictine life, is never tested when it is easy.
              Alas, it is only through testing that we grow, that our practice
              improves.

              On the subway or bus, or even in the artificially detached situation
              of world newscasts, it can be a LOT easier to forgive. It comes at
              little or no price at all. It's pretty easy to forgive even horrible
              criminals if they have not harmed our home circle, if they have not
              directly harmed us. Hate to say it, folks, but the easy stuff is not
              where it's at for us. A 50 yard dash may be the beginnings of an
              Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, but it is never the whole
              picture.

              The key to Benedictine peace is forgiveness, which is why St.
              Benedict stresses that phrase and calls it a covenant. It truly IS a
              covenant of peace. We are daily asking God, twice out loud, but
              ideally many more times than that alone, to forgive us in the measure
              that we forgive.

              Whoa! Risky business there! Any chain's strength is
              decided by its weakest link, so think of the person you LEAST
              forgive. There you will have the model you are suggesting to God that
              He use in forgiving you. As Fr. Hugo used to say: "You love God as
              much as the one you love least."

              Fortunately, for most of us, God's Divine Mercy is unfathomably deep.
              I don't personally think God feels Himself completely bound by the terms
              we offer Him, at least I hope He doesn't. If He did, I imagine heaven would
              be a quite appallingly empty place, indeed. It is never too late, even at
              the last fleeting instant of life, for us to repent and accept His mercy!

              Nevertheless, I'll bet He will remind us of the terms we offered and
              how little mercy they would afford us. That is one very good reason
              why Roman Catholics believe in Purgatory- a chance to shower off the
              terms we offered God that were so limited they would never cut anyone
              much slack!

              Roman Catholicism and most other mainline Christian denominations
              have not been known as peace churches, historically. They have not
              made the dogmatic necessity of pacifism that the Mennonites or
              Quakers have. Still, it is very hard to look at the Gospel itself or
              at the daily Our Fathers and understand how so many wars have happened in
              Christian history, especially between allegedly Christian nations.

              The terms we have offered God as to how we would
              like to be forgiven have been far less than optimal. "OK, we will
              forgive you AFTER we have reduced your country to rubble and your
              population by say, 20-30% or more...." If God took (or takes!) us at
              our word, we shall be in deep trouble, indeed.

              If every monastery refectory, every dining room table and every
              workplace lunch room had perfect forgiveness and peace, there would
              likely be no war. Wouldn't happen, because genuine peace truly is
              contagious. Do you see why we have to start at home, to start small?
              It's the only place we have to begin.

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

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