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Holy Rule for July 20

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for M. and E., severely troubled marriage, and for their daughter and her husband. E. is manic depressive and alcoholic and his condition
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 20, 2004
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for M. and E., severely troubled marriage, and for their daughter and her husband. E. is manic depressive and alcoholic and his condition is fast unraveling. Time for an intervention, but this will not likely be easy. Prayers, too, for Joey, depressive, with a lot of added stresses at work, and for his wife and family. Prayers of deep thanks from Carol, who has rented the house that worried her on the first day the sign was out, to people she loves!! Deo gratias! God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much! JL

      March 20, July 20, November 19
      Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken

      From holy Easter until Pentecost
      let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
      and supper in the evening.


      From Pentecost throughout the summer,
      unless the monks have work in the fields
      let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
      on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
      This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
      if they have work in the fields
      or the heat of summer is extreme;
      the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.


      Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
      in such a way that souls may be saved
      and that the brethren may do their work
      without just cause for murmuring.


      From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
      let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.


      In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
      But this evening hour shall be so determined
      that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
      Indeed at all seasons
      let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
      that everything will be done by daylight.

      REFLECTION

      Something like one third of the United States population is said to
      be medically overweight. We don't notice it so much, because we are
      used to it, but go to another country and you will see far less
      obesity than at home. No doubt our affluence and unhealthy diet is
      largely to blame here. Think of the last news clip you saw from
      Japan: most of the people are of average weight for their height.

      It's a fair guess that this attitude to food in the US has influenced
      our attitude to fasting negatively. Now we look on the least thing as
      a dreadful privation, when those of us Roman Catholics over fifty can
      clearly recall meatless Fridays every week, all year and fasting from
      midnight for Communion, even if you were only 7 years old!!

      When the US Bishops addressed the issue of Friday abstinence, they
      did not abolish it. They merely said some other form of penance might
      be substituted. Whoops! That got lost in a big hurry. How many of us-
      me included- do something extra on Friday because we do not abstain
      from meat? Might be time to take a really hard look at that.

      As always, Oblates in the world must find ways that they can fast or
      abstain without imposing monastic ways on their non-monastic
      families. However, it is worthy of note that Friday abstinence is of
      the Church, not the Holy Rule and might be safely re-instituted, with
      careful explanation as to WHY we do it, for whole families.

      The meatless idea might be easiest for many, but what if something
      else was done to really set Friday apart? Skip one, just one half-
      hour TV show and you have a slot for a devotional family practice
      like the Scripture sharing or the Rosary. Could we imagine just 30
      minutes once a week of TV gone? What if (horrors!) you chose to skip
      a show you like, but the kids don't? Find something that works for
      you and then be faithful to it.

      Our spirits are like our bodies in many respects. If we get soft, we
      get weak, if we get lazy, our energy actually diminishes while our
      total lives suffer from that inactivity. That's why Christian life
      itself, not just monastic life, is a life requiring a fair amount of
      discipline, of pushing oneself, of self-denial. Those values still
      exist in the secular world, but are usually only invoked for profit,
      power, athletics or sex. See what I mean? We need badly to get our
      acts together in affluent, developed nations.

      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 Kathie, just diagnosed with breast cancer and now weighing her surgical options, and for all her family and her kind friend, Linda,
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 20, 2005
        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for Kathie, just diagnosed with breast cancer and now weighing her surgical options, and for all her family and her kind friend, Linda, who asked for prayers for her, prayers for Linda's continued happy remission. Prayers for Sr. Catherine, driving today to NY to attend the funeral of her brother-in-law, Richard, for whom we prayed yesterday, for his eternal rest and for all his family. 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 20, July 20, November 19
        Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken

        From holy Easter until Pentecost
        let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
        and supper in the evening.


        From Pentecost throughout the summer,
        unless the monks have work in the fields
        let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
        on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
        This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
        if they have work in the fields
        or the heat of summer is extreme;
        the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.


        Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
        in such a way that souls may be saved
        and that the brethren may do their work
        without just cause for murmuring.


        From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
        let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.


        In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
        But this evening hour shall be so determined
        that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
        Indeed at all seasons
        let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
        that everything will be done by daylight.

        REFLECTION

        Something like one third of the United States population is said to
        be medically overweight. We don't notice it so much, because we are
        used to it, but go to another country and you will see far less
        obesity than at home. No doubt our affluence and unhealthy diet is
        largely to blame here. Think of the last news clip you saw from
        Japan: most of the people are of average weight for their height.

        It's a fair guess that this attitude to food in the US has influenced
        our attitude to fasting negatively. Now we look on the least thing as
        a dreadful privation, when those of us Roman Catholics over fifty can
        clearly recall meatless Fridays every week, all year and fasting from
        midnight for Communion, even if you were only 7 years old!!

        When the US Bishops addressed the issue of Friday abstinence, they
        did not abolish it. They merely said some other form of penance might
        be substituted. Whoops! That got lost in a big hurry. How many of us-
        me included- do something extra on Friday because we do not abstain
        from meat? Might be time to take a really hard look at that.

        As always, Oblates in the world must find ways that they can fast or
        abstain without imposing monastic ways on their non-monastic
        families. However, it is worthy of note that Friday abstinence is of
        the Church, not the Holy Rule and might be safely re-instituted, with
        careful explanation as to WHY we do it, for whole families.

        The meatless idea might be easiest for many, but what if something
        else was done to really set Friday apart? Skip one, just one half-
        hour TV show and you have a slot for a devotional family practice
        like the Scripture sharing or the Rosary. Could we imagine just 30
        minutes once a week of TV gone? What if (horrors!) you chose to skip
        a show you like, but the kids don't? Find something that works for
        you and then be faithful to it.

        Our spirits are like our bodies in many respects. If we get soft, we
        get weak, if we get lazy, our energy actually diminishes while our
        total lives suffer from that inactivity. That's why Christian life
        itself, not just monastic life, is a life requiring a fair amount of
        discipline, of pushing oneself, of self-denial. Those values still
        exist in the secular world, but are usually only invoked for profit,
        power, athletics or sex. See what I mean? We need badly to get our
        acts together in affluent, developed nations.

        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 Please note that I am still unable to respond to most folks indiviudally, though I post their requests. Am not totally out of the woods yet, and have some
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 20, 2006
          +PAX

          Please note that I am still unable to respond to most folks indiviudally, though I post their requests. Am not totally out of the woods yet, and have some stuff to address before I get back to 100%.

          Prayers please, for Ed, hospitalized with a blood infection, and for Ron, his brother and all their family, prayers for all the health care folks treating us and our folks. Prayers for Ali, severe depression. Prayers for Robert, a homeless man dying of cancer in a respite center, for his happy death and for Sandy, who is trying to get him visited by a priest for the Sacraments. Prayers for Bernadette and her two sons. One is deployed in Iraq now, the other son is going to be deployed on Aug. 4, prayers for all of them and their family. Prayers for a young man who attempted suicide and now has promised to get help. May he follow through and thrive. Prayers for Amy, sudden premature delivery, and for the safety of her baby, for her husband and all their family.

          Harriet, for whom we prayed, has gone to God. For her happy death and for her husband, Warren, and all who mourn her. Prayers for another Warren, stage 4 cancer in lungs, bladder, pelvis and shoulder. Prayers for a happy and holy death for him and prayers for his wife, Helene, daughter Ann, and all their family. Prayers for Nicholas, recurrent court dates for a drug matter and a difficult judge, unwilling to hear Nicholas' side, next hearing in September. Pray for justice AND mercy for Nicholas, and for all facing a sometimes biased system.
          Prayers for E., a trip involving work and family and social matters, that it may be safe and successful and for K., who suffers from a phone phobia.

          Lastly, a HUGE Deo gratias: the troubled Oblate for whom we prayed had a speedy (dare one say miraculous?)
          change in attitude and fears allayed. Stability- for any of us- is so easy when things are going well. When they aren't, we could ALL use a little help, so prayers for all whose stability is tested. 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 20, July 20, November 19
          Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken

          From holy Easter until Pentecost
          let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
          and supper in the evening.


          From Pentecost throughout the summer,
          unless the monks have work in the fields
          let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
          on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
          This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
          if they have work in the fields
          or the heat of summer is extreme;
          the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.


          Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
          in such a way that souls may be saved
          and that the brethren may do their work
          without just cause for murmuring.


          From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
          let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.


          In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
          But this evening hour shall be so determined
          that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
          Indeed at all seasons
          let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
          that everything will be done by daylight.

          REFLECTION

          Something like one third of the United States population is said to
          be medically overweight. We don't notice it so much, because we are
          used to it, but go to another country and you will see far less
          obesity than at home. No doubt our affluence and unhealthy diet is
          largely to blame here. Think of the last news clip you saw from
          Japan: most of the people are of average weight for their height.

          It's a fair guess that this attitude to food in the US has influenced
          our attitude to fasting negatively. Now we look on the least thing as
          a dreadful privation, when those of us Roman Catholics over fifty can
          clearly recall meatless Fridays every week, all year and fasting from
          midnight for Communion, even if you were only 7 years old!!

          When the US Bishops addressed the issue of Friday abstinence, they
          did not abolish it. They merely said some other form of penance might
          be substituted. Whoops! That got lost in a big hurry. How many of us-
          me included- do something extra on Friday because we do not abstain
          from meat? Might be time to take a really hard look at that.

          As always, Oblates in the world must find ways that they can fast or
          abstain without imposing monastic ways on their non-monastic
          families. However, it is worthy of note that Friday abstinence is of
          the Church, not the Holy Rule and might be safely re-instituted, with
          careful explanation as to WHY we do it, for whole families.

          The meatless idea might be easiest for many, but what if something
          else was done to really set Friday apart? Skip one, just one half-
          hour TV show and you have a slot for a devotional family practice
          like the Scripture sharing or the Rosary. Could we imagine just 30
          minutes once a week of TV gone? What if (horrors!) you chose to skip
          a show you like, but the kids don't? Find something that works for
          you and then be faithful to it.

          Our spirits are like our bodies in many respects. If we get soft, we
          get weak, if we get lazy, our energy actually diminishes while our
          total lives suffer from that inactivity. That's why Christian life
          itself, not just monastic life, is a life requiring a fair amount of
          discipline, of pushing oneself, of self-denial. Those values still
          exist in the secular world, but are usually only invoked for profit,
          power, athletics or sex. See what I mean? We need badly to get our
          acts together in affluent, developed nations.

          Love and prayers,
          Jerome, OSB
          http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
          jeromeleo@...
          Petersham, MA
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers, please, for the success of our Oblate Day on Saturday, July 21. May all of us be filled with God s graces. There will be a first this time: all
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 19, 2007
            +PAX

            Prayers, please, for the success of our Oblate Day on Saturday, July 21. May all of us be filled with God's graces. There will be a first this time: all the monks and nuns and oblates will eat together in the monks' refectory. Quite an exceptional event!

            Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Margaret, nearing the end of her struggle with cancer, and for all her family and all who will mourn her.

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

            Kevin, medications failed to correct his heart condition, a controversial procedure will be tried now. He is a young husband and father, so special prayers for his wife, Hilda, and their children, 2 and 7 years old.

            Amy, recurrent osteosarcoma.

            Lynn, on-going cardiac testing after some disturbing results.

            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 20, July 20, November 19
            Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken

            From holy Easter until Pentecost
            let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
            and supper in the evening.


            From Pentecost throughout the summer,
            unless the monks have work in the fields
            let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
            on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
            This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
            if they have work in the fields
            or the heat of summer is extreme;
            the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.


            Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
            in such a way that souls may be saved
            and that the brethren may do their work
            without just cause for murmuring.


            From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
            let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.


            In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
            But this evening hour shall be so determined
            that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
            Indeed at all seasons
            let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
            that everything will be done by daylight.

            REFLECTION

            Something like one third of the United States population is said to
            be medically overweight. We don't notice it so much, because we are
            used to it, but go to another country and you will see far less
            obesity than at home. No doubt our affluence and unhealthy diet is
            largely to blame here. Think of the last news clip you saw from
            Japan: most of the people are of average weight for their height.

            It's a fair guess that this attitude to food in the US has influenced
            our attitude to fasting negatively. Now we look on the least thing as
            a dreadful privation, when those of us Roman Catholics over fifty can
            clearly recall meatless Fridays every week, all year and fasting from
            midnight for Communion, even if you were only 7 years old!!

            When the US Bishops addressed the issue of Friday abstinence, they
            did not abolish it. They merely said some other form of penance might
            be substituted. Whoops! That got lost in a big hurry. How many of us-
            me included- do something extra on Friday because we do not abstain
            from meat? Might be time to take a really hard look at that.

            As always, Oblates in the world must find ways that they can fast or
            abstain without imposing monastic ways on their non-monastic
            families. However, it is worthy of note that Friday abstinence is of
            the Church, not the Holy Rule and might be safely re-instituted, with
            careful explanation as to WHY we do it, for whole families.

            The meatless idea might be easiest for many, but what if something
            else was done to really set Friday apart? Skip one, just one half-
            hour TV show and you have a slot for a devotional family practice
            like the Scripture sharing or the Rosary. Could we imagine just 30
            minutes once a week of TV gone? What if (horrors!) you chose to skip
            a show you like, but the kids don't? Find something that works for
            you and then be faithful to it.

            Our spirits are like our bodies in many respects. If we get soft, we
            get weak, if we get lazy, our energy actually diminishes while our
            total lives suffer from that inactivity. That's why Christian life
            itself, not just monastic life, is a life requiring a fair amount of
            discipline, of pushing oneself, of self-denial. Those values still
            exist in the secular world, but are usually only invoked for profit,
            power, athletics or sex. See what I mean? We need badly to get our
            acts together in affluent, developed nations.

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

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Br. Jerome Leo
            +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Lucille, on her birthday, and for her son, Allen, her nephew, and all her family and all who mourn her. Prayers
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 19, 2016
              +PAX



              Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Lucille, on her birthday, and for
              her son, Allen, her nephew, and all her family and all who mourn her.



              Prayers for a speedy recovery from surgery for Sharon and that her biopsy is
              benign.



              Prayers for Raven's baby, due in January, a spot has been found on her
              heart. Prayers for the health and safety of both mother and baby, and for a
              safe delivery.



              Prayers for Fr. Constantine, OSB, of St. Vincent's Archabbey, having
              cataract surgery.



              Prayers for Tim H., entering probation to be an Oblate in the UK.



              Prayers for Fr. Michael Peterson, OSB, and for the students he is leading on
              a pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Poland, for safe travels and a holy trip
              of many blessings for all.

              Prayers for Jimmy, on death row in Pennsylvania since 1992. Awaiting
              judgment after his latest appeal. He is innocent, so he gets very depressed
              at times.

              Prayers for Liz, aged 94, who may be entering a new phase of her dementia.
              Prayers too for all her excellent Care Home staff and for her son, Kevan and
              all her family.

              Prayers or Paul, that he continues to improve, and for his loving and faith
              filled Parents.

              Prayers for Stuart, in hospital with pneumonia and heart failure. He and
              Diana his Wife were on a well earned holiday after Stuart's retirement. The
              hospital is in Wales and at some point, he will be transferred to Norwich.
              That God's Holy Angels will guard and guide this.

              Prayers for independence for K., and for a job or means of support that God
              wills.

              Prayers for John, in a difficult position at work. He's fixing the mistakes
              of others and working from about 5 am until 7 pm each day, and feeling
              pretty exhausted. Prayers that God aids him however He sees fit.



              Prayers for Natalie, preparing for big exams in September which she has to
              pass in order to go on to the next stage of her PhD.



              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, BJL



              March 20, July 20, November 19
              Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken

              From holy Easter until Pentecost
              let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
              and supper in the evening.


              From Pentecost throughout the summer,
              unless the monks have work in the fields
              let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
              on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
              This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
              if they have work in the fields
              or the heat of summer is extreme;
              the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.


              Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
              in such a way that souls may be saved
              and that the brethren may do their work
              without just cause for murmuring.


              From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
              let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.


              In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
              But this evening hour shall be so determined
              that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
              Indeed at all seasons
              let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
              that everything will be done by daylight.

              REFLECTION

              It's a fair guess that our attitude to food in the US has influenced
              our attitude to fasting negatively. Now we look on the least thing as
              a dreadful privation, when those of us Roman Catholics over fifty can
              clearly recall meatless Fridays every week, all year and fasting from
              midnight for Communion, even if you were only 7 years old!!

              When the US Bishops addressed the issue of Friday abstinence, they
              did not abolish it. They merely said some other form of penance might
              be substituted. Whoops! That got lost in a big hurry. How many of us-
              me included- do something extra on Friday because we do not abstain
              from meat? Might be time to take a really hard look at that.

              As always, Oblates in the world must find ways that they can fast or
              abstain without imposing monastic ways on their non-monastic
              families. However, it is worthy of note that Friday abstinence is of
              the Church, not the Holy Rule and might be safely re-instituted, with
              careful explanation as to WHY we do it, for whole families.

              The meatless idea might be easiest for many, but what if something
              else was done to really set Friday apart? Skip one, just one half-
              hour TV show and you have a slot for a devotional family practice
              like the Scripture sharing or the Rosary. Could we imagine just 30
              minutes once a week of TV gone? What if (horrors!) you chose to skip
              a show you like? Find something that works for
              you and then be faithful to it.

              Our spirits are like our bodies in many respects. If we get soft, we
              get weak, if we get lazy, our energy actually diminishes while our
              total lives suffer from that inactivity. That's why Christian life
              itself, not just monastic life, is a life requiring a fair amount of
              discipline, of pushing oneself, of self-denial. Those values still
              exist in the secular world, but are usually only invoked for profit,
              power, athletics or sex. See what I mean? We need badly to get our
              acts together in affluent, developed nations.

              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 release of two priests, Fr. Charles and Fr. Jean-Pierre, abducted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and prayers for three other
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 19

                +PAX

                 

                Prayers for the release of two priests, Fr. Charles and Fr. Jean-Pierre,  abducted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and prayers for three other priests abducted in 2012 and not seen since. Prayers for all who have died  in the violence there and for their families and all who mourn them. Prayers for the conversion of those responsible for the killings and violence.

                 

                Prayers for George H., 54, in the hospital in critical condition with colon cancer. Prayers for his healing or, if God chooses to call him now, for his happy death. Prayers, too, for his father, Dennis, and all their family.

                 

                Prayers for Clare’s husband’s two brothers, both have cancer and one, Charlie, is not doing well.

                 

                Prayers for Anne, having her second cataract operation today. Please pray that it will be successful and that her other eye will focus properly again. Prayers for John, her husband, too.

                 

                The sisters we have been praying for are doing well. Leah is due to be taken off the ventilator Thursday, but is still in ICU. Rebecca is much better, just on oxygen now. Continued prayers for both, and for their mother and families.

                Prayers that some deleted Catholic pages on social media may be restored.

                 

                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, BJL

                March 20, July 20, November 19
                Chapter 41: At What Hours the Meals Should Be Taken

                From holy Easter until Pentecost
                let the brothers take dinner at the sixth hour
                and supper in the evening.


                From Pentecost throughout the summer,
                unless the monks have work in the fields
                let them fast on Wednesdays and Fridays until the ninth hour;
                on the other days let them dine at the sixth hour.
                This dinner at the sixth hour shall be the daily schedule
                if they have work in the fields
                or the heat of summer is extreme;
                the Abbot's foresight shall decide on this.


                Thus it is that he should adapt and arrange everything
                in such a way that souls may be saved
                and that the brethren may do their work
                without just cause for murmuring.


                From the Ides of September until the beginning of Lent
                let them always take their dinner at the ninth hour.


                In Lent until Easter let them dine in the evening.
                But this evening hour shall be so determined
                that they will not need the light of a lamp while eating,
                Indeed at all seasons
                let the hour, whether for supper or for dinner, be so arranged
                that everything will be done by daylight.

                REFLECTION

                It's a fair guess that our attitude to food in the US has influenced
                our attitude to fasting negatively. Now we look on the least thing as
                a dreadful privation, when those of us Roman Catholics over fifty can
                clearly recall meatless Fridays every week, all year and fasting from
                midnight for Communion, even if you were only 7 years old!!

                When the US Bishops addressed the issue of Friday abstinence, they
                did not abolish it. They merely said some other form of penance might
                be substituted. Whoops! That got lost in a big hurry. How many of us-
                me included- do something extra on Friday because we do not abstain
                from meat? Might be time to take a really hard look at that.

                As always, Oblates in the world must find ways that they can fast or
                abstain without imposing monastic ways on their non-monastic
                families. However, it is worthy of note that Friday abstinence is of
                the Church, not the Holy Rule and might be safely re-instituted, with
                careful explanation as to WHY we do it, for whole families.

                The meatless idea might be easiest for many, but what if something
                else was done to really set Friday apart? Skip one, just one half-hour

                TV show and you have a slot for a devotional family practice
                like the Scripture sharing or the Rosary. Could we imagine just 30
                minutes once a week of TV gone? What if (horrors!) you chose to skip
                a show you like? Find something that works for
                you and then be faithful to it.

                Our spirits are like our bodies in many respects. If we get soft, we
                get weak, if we get lazy, our energy actually diminishes while our
                total lives suffer from that inactivity. That's why Christian life
                itself, not just monastic life, is a life requiring a fair amount of
                discipline, of pushing oneself, of self-denial. Those values still
                exist in the secular world, but are usually only invoked for profit,
                power, athletics or sex. See what I mean? We need badly to get our
                acts together in affluent, developed nations.

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

                 

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