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Holy Rule for July 6

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for a very hard-working Mom who is in financial distress, for her serenity and the well-being of all her family! Prayers for Emilia, who
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 6, 2004
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for a very hard-working Mom who is in financial distress, for her serenity and the well-being of all her family! Prayers for Emilia, who had to put her beloved cat, Wanda, to sleep. Many of us know something of how hard that is. Prayers, too, for Linda, cancerous kidney being removed today, and for Debbie, severe Lyme disease, having her second leg amputation, also for Elaine's Mom, 85, severe osteoporosis problems and for Elaine and all her family who are trying to help her. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much. JL

      March 6, July 6, November 5
      Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be
      Received Again

      If a brother
      who through his own fault leaves the monastery
      should wish to return,
      let him first promise full reparation for his having gone away;
      and then let him be received in the lowest place,
      as a test of his humility.
      And if he should leave again,
      let him be taken back again,
      and so a third time;
      but he should understand that after this
      all way of return is denied him.

      REFLECTION

      There are variant readings of the first line of this chapter among
      manuscripts. Some authorities accept the additional phrase "or is
      expelled", though the RB1980 translation does not. As with so many
      things this ancient, it is hard to tell who is right (and sometimes,
      if that matters!) I checked in the library downstairs, but I can't
      find our autographed first edition of the Holy Rule anywhere... LOL!

      However, let's err on the side of mercy if we are to err at all.
      Since most modern translations omit the phrase, let's take a look at
      the other possibility: what if it really was what St. Benedict had in
      mind?

      If so, it reveal a mercy and love and tenderness beyond anything we
      have ever seen in the Holy Rule. If, even after all the hassle that
      can occur before one actually gets thrown out, one could STILL be
      forgiven, and up to three times, that is verging on divine mercy to
      say the least.

      Still, it is a very consistent reading with the penal
      code that precedes it. If the only reason for Benedictine punishment
      is reform and conversion, then even the ultimate punishment of
      expulsion ought to have a hook of possible conversion to it.

      From this perspective, let us look at ourselves for a moment. How do
      we "punish" people or banish them from our lives and hearts? I use
      quotes around "punish" to stress the lunacy that very often
      such "punishments" harm no one but ourselves. We decide, once and for
      all that this or that person has had it. End of story. Well, if one
      reads the Holy Rule carefully, there MAY be an "end of story" point
      for Benedictines, but it does not come as often or as early or as
      readily as some of us might think!

      Face it, a lot of us think of punishment as about US, not the
      offender. It is OUR "justice" that gets fed, that makes demands, that
      says to hell with the problem person. Whoa! If God's ideas are
      anything like that (and we daily ask Him to use our standards of
      mercy in the Our Father,) we are in deep, deep trouble. Our
      punishments must have an eye to reform, not revenge, to conversion,
      not conclusion. Permanent rifts, as even the Rule allows, may
      sometimes occur, but then our attitude should be sadness, not joy.

      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 Dick, difficult recovery from a heart attack and open heart surgery, also for Sue, personality disorder, and for Florence and Randy,
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 6, 2005
        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for Dick, difficult recovery from a heart attack and open heart surgery, also for Sue, personality disorder, and for Florence and Randy, mentally ill. 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

        March 6, July 6, November 5
        Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be
        Received Again

        If a brother
        who through his own fault leaves the monastery
        should wish to return,
        let him first promise full reparation for his having gone away;
        and then let him be received in the lowest place,
        as a test of his humility.
        And if he should leave again,
        let him be taken back again,
        and so a third time;
        but he should understand that after this
        all way of return is denied him.

        REFLECTION

        There are variant readings of the first line of this chapter among
        manuscripts. Some authorities accept the additional phrase "or is
        expelled", though the RB1980 translation does not. As with so many
        things this ancient, it is hard to tell who is right (and sometimes,
        if that matters!) I checked in the library downstairs, but I can't
        find our autographed first edition of the Holy Rule anywhere... LOL!

        However, let's err on the side of mercy if we are to err at all.
        Since most modern translations omit the phrase, let's take a look at
        the other possibility: what if it really was what St. Benedict had in
        mind?

        If so, it reveals a mercy and love and tenderness beyond anything we
        have ever seen in the Holy Rule. If, even after all the hassle that
        can occur before one actually gets thrown out, one could STILL be
        forgiven, and up to three times, that is very great mercy to say the least.

        Still, it is a very consistent reading with the penal
        code that precedes it. If the only reason for Benedictine punishment
        is reform and conversion, then even the ultimate punishment of
        expulsion could have a hook of possible conversion to it.

        From this perspective, let us look at ourselves for a moment. How do
        we "punish" people or banish them from our lives and hearts? I use
        quotes around "punish" to stress the lunacy that very often
        such "punishments" harm no one but ourselves. We decide, once and for
        all that this or that person has had it. End of story. Well, if one
        reads the Holy Rule carefully, there MAY be an "end of story" point
        for Benedictines, but it does not come as often or as early or as
        readily as some of us might think!

        Face it, a lot of us think of punishment as about US, not the
        offender. It is OUR "justice" that gets fed, that makes demands, that says
        we are totally done with the person. Whoa! If God's ideas are
        anything like that (and we daily ask Him to use our standards of
        mercy in the Our Father,) we are in deep, deep trouble.

        Our punishments must have an eye to reform, not revenge, to conversion,
        not conclusion. Permanent rifts, as even the Rule allows, may
        sometimes occur, but then our attitude should be sadness, not joy.
        Even when something becomes so toxic that separation is necessary,
        we are always bound to prayer for that person.

        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 Earlier than usual today, because of sever thunderstorms forecast for this evening. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Gigi s Mom, who died
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 5, 2007
          +PAX

          Earlier than usual today, because of sever thunderstorms forecast for this evening.

          Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Gigi's Mom, who died from complications of Lupus, and for all her family, and all who mourn her.

          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

          March 6, July 6, November 5
          Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be Received
          Again

          If a brother who through his own fault leaves the monastery
          should wish to return, let him first promise full reparation for his
          having gone away; and then let him be received in the lowest place,
          as a test of his humility. And if he should leave again, let him be
          taken back again, and so a third time; but he should understand that
          after this all way of return is denied him.

          REFLECTION

          There are variant readings of the first line of this chapter among
          manuscripts. Some authorities accept the additional phrase "or is
          expelled", though the RB1980 translation does not. As with so many
          things this ancient, it is hard to tell who is right (and sometimes, if
          that matters!) I checked in the library downstairs, but I can't find our
          autographed first edition of the Holy Rule anywhere...

          However, let's err on the side of mercy if we are to err at all.
          Since most modern translations omit the phrase, let's take a look at the
          other possibility: what if it really was what St. Benedict had in mind?

          If so, it reveals a mercy and love and tenderness beyond anything we
          have ever seen in the Holy Rule. If, even after all the hassle that can
          occur before one actually gets thrown out, one could still be forgiven,
          and up to three times, that is very great mercy to say the least.

          Still, it is a very consistent reading with the penal code that precedes
          it. If the only reason for Benedictine punishment is reform and
          conversion, then even the ultimate punishment of expulsion could have a
          hook of possible conversion to it.

          From this perspective, let us look at ourselves for a moment. How do we
          "punish" people or banish them from our lives and hearts? I use quotes
          around "punish" to stress the lunacy that very often
          such "punishments" harm no one but ourselves. We decide, once and for
          all that this or that person has had it. End of story. Well, if one
          reads the Holy Rule carefully, there may be an "end of story" point for
          Benedictines, but it does not come as often or as early or as readily as
          some of us might think!

          Face it, a lot of us think of punishment as about us, not the
          offender. It is our "justice" that gets fed, that makes demands, that
          says we are totally done with the person. Whoa! If God's ideas are
          anything like that (and we daily ask Him to use our standards of mercy
          in the Our Father,) we are in deep, deep trouble.

          Our punishments must have an eye to reform, not revenge, to conversion,
          not conclusion. Permanent rifts, as even the Rule allows, may sometimes
          occur, but then our attitude should be sadness, not joy. Even when
          something becomes so toxic that separation is necessary, we are always
          bound to prayer for that person.

          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 the happy death of Mike, 50s, who is dying of melanoma. He has a wife and two grown stepsons and his father is still alive, prayers for them
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 5, 2016
            +PAX



            Prayers for the happy death of Mike, 50s, who is dying of melanoma. He has a
            wife and two grown stepsons and his father is still alive, prayers for them
            and for all who will mourn him.



            Prayers for the 165 dead and more than 200 wounded in the terrorist attack
            in Baghdad, and for the 28 dead in the terrorist attack in Dhaka,
            Bangladesh. Prayers for the eternal rest of the dead, the recovery of the
            wounded and the families of all. Prayers for the repentance and conversion
            of the attackers.



            Prayers for the happy death of Fr. Fred, that he finds the right priest to
            hear his Confession and that he gets all the Sacraments. Prayers, too, for
            his spiritual daughter who is trying to help. There are some problems here
            that badly need our prayers.



            Prayers for Br. Jude, who made his first monastic profession in Nigeria. May
            God grant him nay years in His service.



            Prayers please for Nabil A., a young Egyptian, Coptic Catholic, very
            depressed and struggling with trying to find his vocation, especially in the
            current social and economic environment of Egypt.

            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

            March 6, July 6, November 5
            Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be
            Received Again

            If a brother
            who through his own fault leaves the monastery
            should wish to return,
            let him first promise full reparation for his having gone away;
            and then let him be received in the lowest place,
            as a test of his humility.
            And if he should leave again,
            let him be taken back again,
            and so a third time;
            but he should understand that after this
            all way of return is denied him.

            REFLECTION

            The Gospel tells us to forgive 70 times 7 times and surely, we must.
            That, however, is a command on us individually, and a command, by the
            way, that calls for forgiveness, not foolhardiness. One needn't keep
            one's hand on the same hot stove throughout all the forgiving!
            At some point, too, probably well before the end of one's forgiveness
            rope, the offender would probably have incurred at least some loss of
            privilege. Obviously, the dog that is forgiven for killing sheep
            several times will not likely tend the flock.

            The thing to remember here is that we are not dealing
            with only two individuals, but a group. Re-entry into a monastery
            can be a very tense thing. It is certainly worth doing, but may
            not be a good thing to do limitless times. It wears out the monk and
            it wears out the community. We must always love, always forgive, but
            sometimes limits to harm have to be set for the good of all.

            St. Benedict is not mean here. There is no element of surprise to the
            offender about the three-strikes- and-you're- out program: she has
            heard it ever since novitiate. It might be construed as mean if there
            were no forewarning, but there is. Anyone coming back for the third time
            knows they are on their last leg. Foul up that time, and you're history.

            The monastery is a specialized society with a specialized goal:
            seeking union with God for all its members. Because of that
            specialized nature, the monastery does not have an infinite
            commitment to anyone, except to one who truly perseveres unto death.
            This is unlike the stronger and more necessary bonds of Church or
            a family.

            Not everyone who wants to join a monastery is truly called to be a
            monastic. Perhaps, too, one is called, but not to that particular
            monastery. People can be allowed to leave, or they can be expelled,
            or they can be told they can never come back after the third time.

            This is a different situation from forgiveness. The one denied
            further entry must, no doubt at all, be forgiven, but he must also
            know that his chances to disrupt the community have come to an end.
            Monasteries need a relative level of peace to fulfill their purpose:
            creating a place in which God may be served and the monastic life
            be fostered. The limits of three times' return have that sacred purpose
            in mind.

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







            .



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • russophile2002
            +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, of Germany, and for his family and all who mourn him. Prayers that the Holy Spirit may guide the
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 5, 2017

              +PAX

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, of Germany, and for his family and all who mourn him.

               

              Prayers that the Holy Spirit may guide the monks of Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota, as they elect a new Abbot later this month.

               

              Prayers for the happy death of baby Charlie Gard, and for his parents, the London hospital will not release him to transfer to Rome or to die at home. Prayers that he is baptized, if he has not already been.

               

              Prayers for healing of Jessie’s painful back problems.

               

              Prayers for safe travels and a pleasant stay for Don and Krista.

               

              Prayers for me, routine physical appointment in Boston, for a safe and uneventful trip.

               

              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

              March 6, July 6, November 5
              Chapter 29: Whether Brethren Who Leave the Monastery Should Be
              Received Again

              If a brother
              who through his own fault leaves the monastery
              should wish to return,
              let him first promise full reparation for his having gone away;
              and then let him be received in the lowest place,
              as a test of his humility.
              And if he should leave again,
              let him be taken back again,
              and so a third time;
              but he should understand that after this
              all way of return is denied him.

              REFLECTION

              The Gospel tells us to forgive 70 times 7 times and surely, we must.
              That, however, is a command on us individually, and a command, by the
              way, that calls for forgiveness, not foolhardiness. One needn't keep
              one's hand on the same hot stove throughout all the forgiving!
              At some point, too, probably well before the end of one's forgiveness
              rope, the offender would probably have incurred at least some loss of
              privilege. Obviously, the dog that is forgiven for killing sheep
              several times will not likely tend the flock.

              The thing to remember here is that we are not dealing
              with only two individuals, but a group. Re-entry into a monastery
              can be a very tense thing. It is certainly worth doing, but may
              not be a good thing to do limitless times. It wears out the monk and
              it wears out the community. We must always love, always forgive, but
              sometimes limits to harm have to be set for the good of all.

              St. Benedict is not mean here. There is no element of surprise to the
              offender about the three-strikes- and-you're- out program: she has
              heard it ever since novitiate. It might be construed as mean if there
              were no forewarning, but there is. Anyone coming back for the third time
              knows they are on their last leg. Foul up that time, and you're history.

              The monastery is a specialized society with a specialized goal:
              seeking union with God for all its members. Because of that
              specialized nature, the monastery does not have an infinite
              commitment to anyone, except to one who truly perseveres unto death.
              This is unlike the stronger and more necessary bonds of Church or
              a family.

              Not everyone who wants to join a monastery is truly called to be a
              monastic. Perhaps, too, one is called, but not to that particular
              monastery. People can be allowed to leave, or they can be expelled,
              or they can be told they can never come back after the third time.

              This is a different situation from forgiveness. The one denied
              further entry must, no doubt at all, be forgiven, but he must also
              know that his chances to disrupt the community have come to an end.
              Monasteries need a relative level of peace to fulfill their purpose:
              creating a place in which God may be served and the monastic life
              be fostered. The limits of three times' return have that sacred purpose
              in mind.

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


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