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Holy Rule for July 19

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, for a change, for me, preparing today for a routine colonoscopy tomorrow, which has been preceded by three weeks of particularly bad mental and
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 19, 2004
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      +PAX

      Prayers, for a change, for me, preparing today for a routine colonoscopy tomorrow, which has been preceded by three weeks of particularly bad mental and physical health. Didn't want to talk about it, but very, very tough time. Prayers, too, for Colleen, engaged to be married and having an exploratory laparoscopy and D&C, also for John, liver cancer which is spreading, for Evalyne, is wife, and all his family, also for Margaret, terminal motor neurone disease, and for her family. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much. JL

      March 19, July 19, November 18
      Chapter 40: On the Measure of Drink

      "Everyone has her own gift from God,
      one in this way and another in that" (1 Cor. 7:7).
      It is therefore with some misgiving
      that we regulate the measure of others' sustenance.
      Nevertheless, keeping in view the needs of the weak,
      we believe that a hemina of wine a day is sufficient for each.
      But those to whom God gives the strength to abstain
      should know that they will receive a special reward.


      If the circumstances of the place,
      or the work
      or the heat of summer
      require a greater measure,
      the superior shall use her judgment in the matter,
      taking care always
      that there be no occasion for surfeit or drunkenness.
      We read
      it is true,
      that wine is by no means a drink for monastics;
      but since the monastics of our day cannot be persuaded of this
      let us at least agree to drink sparingly and not to satiety,
      because "wine makes even the wise fall away" (Eccles. 19:2).


      But where the circumstances of the place are such
      that not even the measure prescribed above can be supplied,
      but much less or none at all,
      let those who live there bless God and not murmur.
      Above all things do we give this admonition,
      that they abstain from murmuring.

      REFLECTION

      "Above all...abstain from murmuring." The murmuring here (and
      everywhere it is mentioned in the Holy Rule,) is mean-spirited
      griping about people or conditions. Never for an instant think that
      Benedictine standards require one to be blind to real problems.
      Abbots can be removed and have been. The process is neither simple
      nor a great deal of fun, but it has been done. Real evils ought to be
      addressed and usually are.

      It's hard to write about this, because a certain unwritten law (well,
      written in the hearts of monastics!) governs what is and isn't
      murmuring. It's an intuitive sort of principle that one learns by
      living among and observing other monastics. All I can say is that the
      Benedictines I have known and know today do NOT blindly accept
      nonsense at any price.

      There are healthy levels of opposition and resistance in a
      healthy community, but their boundaries must not be violated. In
      fact, any superior or community which mercilessly destroys ALL
      disagreement or opposition is in serious danger. Part of community's
      efficacy is that vastly different people live together in peace.

      Maybe peace is the key to assessing a lot of murmuring. The meanest,
      most hateful monk I ever knew- now dead and buried some years in the
      Florida hills- had a life of nearly non-stop murmuring. Everything
      was wrong, everyone was wrong and he reported such things with an eye
      to harm. I heard another monk refer to this guy as "diabolical" and
      that was not an adjective he used lightly.

      Virtually nothing and no one measured up to Br. X's standards.
      He was hell to live with and I feared him when I was a novice. But
      there is the catch: he was hell to live with, even for himself. His
      self-hatred was masked by murmuring, by putting forth to the world
      high standards which he himself could in no way match and frankly,
      didn't. He was filled with anger and pain and sought to make the
      world around him match. What a convoluted mess!

      Listen up, m'dears, I cannot know what another's pain is or how they
      should seek help for it, but I do know that the Benedictine way is
      NOT to pass that on and not to stand idly by and watch another do so.
      Horrible to say, it took me years to get over Br. X's meanness. When
      I came here it took me years to learn that I no longer had to cover
      my flanks or look over my shoulder: we have no one that mean, nor
      would we accept someone who was.

      Poor Br. X, I often pray for his tortured soul. Nearly 30 years later, I still
      recall him with a shudder. However, it was not his fault alone. There was
      an Abbot who listened, there were monks who did, too. A united refusal
      to listen to such poison might have helped him, or it might have actually
      driven him out, but in fact that didn't happen. We all bear a two-sided
      obligation to mean murmuring: don't start it, and don't listen to it. Venom
      doesn't have any effect if it doesn't get in the bloodstream. See to it that you
      never help it on it's way.



      Love and prayers,

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jerry Lee
      +PAX Continued prayers, please, for Sr. Gertrude Whalton, OSB, of Holy Name Monastery, who was laid to rest yesterday, for Sister Jerome and all of the other
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 19, 2005
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        +PAX

        Continued prayers, please, for Sr. Gertrude Whalton, OSB, of Holy Name Monastery, who was laid to rest yesterday, for Sister Jerome and all of the other novices Sister Gertrude formed when she was novice mistress, and for all who gave her such a lovely funeral.

        Prayers for Sr. Lany Jo, surgery this week and terribly overworked. May God take care of the rest she needs!!! She is supposed to sing at a funeral this morning and fears she will need a lot of divine help to do so. May God also help her to learn to say no.

        Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Richard, 66, who died this morning, and for Mary, his wife and Richard, their son. He died 33 years to the day after his diagnosis with MS, so he had suffered a long while. Prayers, too, for Sr. Catherine, his sister-in-law, and for all the family. Prayers for the happy death of Maura, who died from alcoholism. 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 19, July 19, November 18
        Chapter 40: On the Measure of Drink

        "Everyone has her own gift from God,
        one in this way and another in that" (1 Cor. 7:7).
        It is therefore with some misgiving
        that we regulate the measure of others' sustenance.
        Nevertheless, keeping in view the needs of the weak,
        we believe that a hemina of wine a day is sufficient for each.
        But those to whom God gives the strength to abstain
        should know that they will receive a special reward.


        If the circumstances of the place,
        or the work
        or the heat of summer
        require a greater measure,
        the superior shall use her judgment in the matter,
        taking care always
        that there be no occasion for surfeit or drunkenness.
        We read
        it is true,
        that wine is by no means a drink for monastics;
        but since the monastics of our day cannot be persuaded of this
        let us at least agree to drink sparingly and not to satiety,
        because "wine makes even the wise fall away" (Eccles. 19:2).


        But where the circumstances of the place are such
        that not even the measure prescribed above can be supplied,
        but much less or none at all,
        let those who live there bless God and not murmur.
        Above all things do we give this admonition,
        that they abstain from murmuring.

        REFLECTION

        It would a terrible wasted opportunity not to briefly mention alcoholism
        and twelve step programs with this reading. So many in ALL walks of
        life, our own Benedictine families included, suffer from alcoholism. May
        all who abstain because they must offer the hardships of that road to recovery
        for all those who suffer still. May we all remember that addiction is an illness,
        not a moral scourge to whip people who suffer from it.

        "Above all...abstain from murmuring." The murmuring here (and
        everywhere it is mentioned in the Holy Rule,) is mean-spirited
        griping about people or conditions. Never for an instant think that
        Benedictine standards require one to be blind to real problems.
        Abbots can be removed and have been. The process is neither simple
        nor a great deal of fun, but it has been done. Real evils ought to be
        addressed and usually are.

        It's hard to write about this, because a certain unwritten law (well,
        written in the hearts of monastics!) governs what is and isn't
        murmuring. It's an intuitive sort of principle that one learns by
        living among and observing other monastics. All I can say is that the
        Benedictines I have known and know today do NOT blindly accept
        nonsense at any price.

        There are healthy levels of opposition and resistance in a
        healthy community, but their boundaries must not be violated. In
        fact, any superior or community which mercilessly destroys ALL
        disagreement or opposition is in serious danger. Part of community's
        efficacy is that vastly different people live together in peace.

        Maybe peace is the key to assessing a lot of murmuring. The meanest,
        most hateful monk I ever knew- now dead and buried some years in the
        Florida hills- had a life of nearly non-stop murmuring. Everything
        was wrong, everyone was wrong and he reported such things with an eye
        to harm. I heard Bro. Patrick refer to this guy as "diabolical" and
        that was not an adjective he used lightly.

        Virtually nothing and no one measured up to Br. X's standards.
        He was hell to live with and I feared him when I was a novice. But
        there is the catch: he WAS hell to live with, even for himself. His
        self-hatred was masked by murmuring, by putting forth to the world
        high standards which he himself could in no way match and frankly,
        didn't. He was filled with anger and pain and sought to make the
        world around him match. What a convoluted mess!

        Listen up, m'dears, I cannot know what another's pain is or how they
        should seek help for it, but I do know that the Benedictine way is
        NOT to pass that on and not to stand idly by and watch another do so.
        Horrible to say, it took me years to get over Br. X's meanness. When
        I came here it took me years to learn that I no longer had to cover
        my flanks or look over my shoulder: we have no one that mean, nor
        would we accept someone who was.

        Poor Br. X, I often pray for his tortured soul. Nearly 30 years later, I still
        recall him with a shudder. However, it was not his fault alone. There was
        an Abbot who listened, there were monks who did, too. A united refusal
        to listen to such poison might have helped him, or it might have actually
        driven him out, but in fact that did not happen. We all bear a two-sided
        obligation to mean murmuring: don't start it, and don't listen to it. Venom
        doesn't have any effect if it doesn't get in the bloodstream. See to it that you
        never help it on it's way.



        Love and prayers,

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • jeromeleo@earthlink.net
        +PAX Prayers, please, for Jean, in ICU, now a possible suicide attempt is feared, for her worried roommate and all who love her, as well as for all those
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 19, 2006
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          +PAX

          Prayers, please, for Jean, in ICU, now a possible suicide attempt is feared, for her worried roommate and all who love her, as well as for all those health care workers who treat her and all our folks.
          Prayers for Barb, recurrent lymphoma and now undergoing a fiercely aggressive new round of chemo, Prayers for Ted and 12 Nez perce parishoners, traveling to Seattle today. Prayers for Pat and her companions, still in Israel, for their safe return home. Prayers for a severely troubled marriage. Prayers for an Oblate (and for all Oblates in this condition!) who is currently a bit disillusioned with the state of affairs at the monastery of affliation. Prayers for a family who lost a infant, Mary Rose, to sudden infant death synddrome a few weeks ago, now her twin sister, 1 month old, is hospitalized with pneumona. Ardent prayers here! 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 19, July 19, November 18
          Chapter 40: On the Measure of Drink

          "Everyone has her own gift from God,
          one in this way and another in that" (1 Cor. 7:7).
          It is therefore with some misgiving
          that we regulate the measure of others' sustenance.
          Nevertheless, keeping in view the needs of the weak,
          we believe that a hemina of wine a day is sufficient for each.
          But those to whom God gives the strength to abstain
          should know that they will receive a special reward.


          If the circumstances of the place,
          or the work
          or the heat of summer
          require a greater measure,
          the superior shall use her judgment in the matter,
          taking care always
          that there be no occasion for surfeit or drunkenness.
          We read
          it is true,
          that wine is by no means a drink for monastics;
          but since the monastics of our day cannot be persuaded of this
          let us at least agree to drink sparingly and not to satiety,
          because "wine makes even the wise fall away" (Eccles. 19:2).


          But where the circumstances of the place are such
          that not even the measure prescribed above can be supplied,
          but much less or none at all,
          let those who live there bless God and not murmur.
          Above all things do we give this admonition,
          that they abstain from murmuring.

          REFLECTION

          It would a terrible wasted opportunity not to briefly mention alcoholism
          and other twelve step programs with this reading. So many in ALL walks of
          life, our own Benedictine families included, suffer from addictions. May
          all who abstain because they must offer the hardships of that road to recovery
          for all those who suffer still. May we all remember that addiction is an
          illness, not a moral scourge to whip people who suffer from it.

          "Above all...abstain from murmuring." The murmuring here (and
          everywhere it is mentioned in the Holy Rule,) is mean-spirited
          griping about people or conditions. Never for an instant think that
          Benedictine standards require one to be blind to real problems.
          Abbots can be removed and have been. The process is neither simple
          nor a great deal of fun, but it has been done. Real evils ought to be
          addressed and usually are.

          It's hard to write about this, because a certain unwritten law (well,
          written in the hearts of monastics!) governs what is and isn't
          murmuring. It's an intuitive sort of principle that one learns by
          living among and observing other monastics. All I can say is that the
          Benedictines I have known and know today do NOT blindly accept
          nonsense at any price.

          There are healthy levels of opposition and resistance in a
          healthy community, but their boundaries must not be violated. In
          fact, any superior or community which mercilessly destroys ALL
          disagreement or opposition is in serious danger. Part of community's
          efficacy is that vastly different people live together in peace.

          Maybe peace is the key to assessing a lot of murmuring. The meanest,
          most hateful monk I ever knew- now dead and buried some years in the
          Florida hills- had a life of nearly non-stop murmuring. Everything
          was wrong, everyone was wrong and he reported such things with an eye
          to harm. I once heard Bro. Patrick refer to this guy as "diabolical" and
          that was not an adjective he used lightly.

          Virtually nothing and no one measured up to Br. X's standards.
          He was hell to live with and I feared him when I was a novice. But
          there is the catch: he WAS hell to live with, even for himself. His
          self-hatred was masked by murmuring, by putting forth to the world
          high standards which he himself could in no way match and frankly,
          didn't. He was filled with anger and pain and sought to make the
          world around him match. What a convoluted mess!

          Listen up, m'dears, I cannot know what another's pain is or how they
          should seek help for it, but I do know that the Benedictine way is
          NOT to pass that on and not to stand idly by and watch another do so.
          Horrible to say, it took me years to get over Br. X's meanness. When
          I came here it took me years to learn that I no longer had to cover
          my flanks or look over my shoulder: we have no one that mean, nor
          would we accept someone who was.

          Poor Br. X, I often pray for his tortured soul. Nearly 30 years later, I still
          recall him with a shudder. However, it was not his fault alone. There was
          an Abbot who listened, there were monks who did, too. A united refusal
          to listen to such poison might have helped him, or it might have actually
          driven him out, but in fact that did not happen. We all bear a two-sided
          obligation to mean murmuring: don't start it, and don't listen to it. Venom
          doesn't have any effect if it doesn't get in the bloodstream. See to it that you
          never help it on it's way.

          Love and prayers,

          Jerome, OSB
          http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
          jeromeleo@...
          Petersham, MA
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers for Father Joe, just made a pastor for the first time, and for all those he serves. May God bless his ministry richly! Prayers of thanks and Deo
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 18, 2007
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            +PAX

            Prayers for Father Joe, just made a pastor for the first time, and for all those he serves. May God bless his ministry richly!

            Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for:

            Baby Gavin, the preemie we have prayed for, coming along well and further prayers for his continued growth.

            Aaron, whose leukemia we prayed for, has had a change in his biopsy, indicating a less aggressive form of leukemia. He still needs chemo and a bone marrow transplant, but he and Aliki, his fiancée, are attributing it all to prayer. They have not been particularly religious, so prayers for their deepened faith, too.

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

            Ken, suffering badly after a bout of radiation therapy.

            Anna and her daughter, wrestling with some very painful emotions discussing things difficult for both of them.

            Shirley, lengthy physical therapy after her shoulder surgery, often painful for her.

            For two daughters of a couple accused of a serious crime, efforts are being made to force the girls to testify against their parents, and one girl is diabetic and seriously affected by all this stress.

            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 19, July 19, November 18
            Chapter 40: On the Measure of Drink

            "Everyone has her own gift from God,
            one in this way and another in that" (1 Cor. 7:7).
            It is therefore with some misgiving
            that we regulate the measure of others' sustenance.
            Nevertheless, keeping in view the needs of the weak,
            we believe that a hemina of wine a day is sufficient for each.
            But those to whom God gives the strength to abstain
            should know that they will receive a special reward.


            If the circumstances of the place,
            or the work
            or the heat of summer
            require a greater measure,
            the superior shall use her judgment in the matter,
            taking care always
            that there be no occasion for surfeit or drunkenness.
            We read
            it is true,
            that wine is by no means a drink for monastics;
            but since the monastics of our day cannot be persuaded of this
            let us at least agree to drink sparingly and not to satiety,
            because "wine makes even the wise fall away" (Eccles. 19:2).


            But where the circumstances of the place are such
            that not even the measure prescribed above can be supplied,
            but much less or none at all,
            let those who live there bless God and not murmur.
            Above all things do we give this admonition,
            that they abstain from murmuring.

            REFLECTION

            It would a terrible wasted opportunity not to briefly mention alcoholism
            and other twelve step programs with this reading. So many in ALL walks of
            life, our own Benedictine families included, suffer from addictions. May
            all who abstain because they must offer the hardships of that road to recovery
            for all those who suffer still. May we all remember that addiction is an
            illness, not a moral scourge to whip people who suffer from it.

            "Above all...abstain from murmuring." The murmuring here (and
            everywhere it is mentioned in the Holy Rule,) is mean-spirited
            griping about people or conditions. Never for an instant think that
            Benedictine standards require one to be blind to real problems.
            Abbots can be removed and have been. The process is neither simple
            nor a great deal of fun, but it has been done. Real evils ought to be
            addressed and usually are.

            It's hard to write about this, because a certain unwritten law (well,
            written in the hearts of monastics!) governs what is and isn't
            murmuring. It's an intuitive sort of principle that one learns by
            living among and observing other monastics. All I can say is that the
            Benedictines I have known and know today do NOT blindly accept
            nonsense at any price.

            There are healthy levels of opposition and resistance in a
            healthy community, but their boundaries must not be violated. In
            fact, any superior or community which mercilessly destroys ALL
            disagreement or opposition is in serious danger. Part of community's
            efficacy is that vastly different people live together in peace.

            Maybe peace is the key to assessing a lot of murmuring. The meanest,
            most hateful monk I ever knew- now dead and buried some years in the
            Florida hills- had a life of nearly non-stop murmuring. Everything
            was wrong, everyone was wrong and he reported such things with an eye
            to harm. I once heard Bro. Patrick refer to this guy as "diabolical" and
            that was not an adjective he used lightly.

            Virtually nothing and no one measured up to Br. X's standards.
            He was hell to live with and I feared him when I was a novice. But
            there is the catch: he WAS hell to live with, even for himself. His
            self-hatred was masked by murmuring, by putting forth to the world
            high standards which he himself could in no way match and frankly,
            didn't. He was filled with anger and pain and sought to make the
            world around him match. What a convoluted mess!

            Listen up, m'dears, I cannot know what another's pain is or how they
            should seek help for it, but I do know that the Benedictine way is
            NOT to pass that on and not to stand idly by and watch another do so.
            Horrible to say, it took me years to get over Br. X's meanness. When
            I came here it took me years to learn that I no longer had to cover
            my flanks or look over my shoulder: we have no one that mean, nor
            would we accept someone who was.

            Poor Br. X, I often pray for his tortured soul. Nearly 30 years later, I still
            recall him with a shudder. However, it was not his fault alone. There was
            an Abbot who listened, there were monks who did, too. A united refusal
            to listen to such poison might have helped him, or it might have actually
            driven him out, but in fact that did not happen. We all bear a two-sided
            obligation to mean murmuring: don't start it, and don't listen to it. Venom
            doesn't have any effect if it doesn't get in the bloodstream. See to it that you
            never help it on it's way.

            Love and prayers,

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

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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