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Holy Rule for July 31

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Joe, stomach cancer surgery, now facing chemo and radiation, and for another Joe, 47, prostate cancer surgery. Prayers, too, for
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 31, 2004
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Joe, stomach cancer surgery, now facing chemo and radiation, and for another Joe, 47, prostate cancer surgery. Prayers, too, for Lauren, a 9 mos. old baby in China, newly adopted by one of our readers, Elizabeth, and her husband. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much. JL

      March 31, July 31, November 30

      Chapter 49: On the Observance of Lent

      Although the life of a monk
      ought to have about it at all times
      the character of a Lenten observance,
      yet since few have the virtue for that,
      we therefore urge that during the actual days of Lent
      the brethren keep their lives most pure
      and at the same time wash away during these holy days
      all the negligences of other times.
      And this will be worthily done
      if we restrain ourselves from all vices
      and give ourselves up to prayer with tears,
      to reading, to compunction of heart and to abstinence.

      During these days, therefore,
      let us increase somewhat the usual burden of our service,
      as by private prayers and by abstinence in food and drink.
      Thus everyone of his own will may offer God
      "with joy of the Holy Spirit" (1 Thess. 1:6)
      something above the measure required of him.
      From his body, that is
      he may withhold some food, drink, sleep, talking and jesting;
      and with the joy of spiritual desire
      he may look forward to holy Easter.

      Let each one, however, suggest to his Abbot
      what it is that he wants to offer,
      and let it be done with his blessing and approval.
      For anything done without the permission of the spiritual father
      will be imputed to presumption and vainglory
      and will merit no reward.
      Therefore let everything be done with the Abbot's approval.

      REFLECTION

      Because we read St. Benedict's 1500 year old Holy Rule with modern
      eyes, it often seems harsh. To balance our perspective, we need to
      see the radical nature of the Rule when written. Face it, folks, this
      was most definitely a gentler Rule for European wannabes who could
      never hack it in the Egyptian desert in their wildest dreams. His
      introductory paragraph points out his plan of adaptation: "...since
      few have the virtue for that..." Our founder was most certainly
      writing for the European also-rans of monasticism and he knew it.
      Keeping that uppermost in our minds can be informatively humbling.

      The Desert Fathers were not interested in mitigation in the
      slightest. The early message of the desert was: "Get Lent to the max
      or get lost!" They went FAR beyond Lenten and they did it all year,
      without a break. Any who couldn't reach that ideal were sent away as
      unsuited, not called. If we look carefully at this, perhaps we can
      better see that, from the outset, St. Benedict's fatherly heart was
      with the underdogs, the also rans, the strays and losers that others
      could not be bothered with. He must have felt at some point that
      there HAD to be a way for the spiritually challenged to become
      monastics. A millennium and a half later, we are still benefiting
      from his attempts.

      Hence, for us Benedictines, when the Evil One tempts us with his lies
      like: "You could never do that! You could never be THAT holy!" our
      response must be "Yeah, so what? Your point is...???" We have no clue
      of how holy we can be. God alone knows that and God alone will lead
      us and show us in ways we are quite unlikely to ever understand.
      Whenever the demon of discouragement tells us we are far beneath this
      Rule for beginners, we must shrug indifferently and move on, briefly
      impressed for once with the Father of Lies' firm grasp on the obvious.

      Of *COURSE* we are beneath this Rule, beneath any of the earlier
      ones. Duh?!? We're Benedictines. Our Order was founded for people
      like us. That should never, ever be a cause to stop trying, to give
      up or quit. On the contrary, that fact should be a heartening
      confirmation that we are EXACTLY where we belong, in the best
      possible remedial education program for slow learners like us, right
      where God wants us.

      Like a mother to a crying child, devoid of hope, who moans "But I
      CAN'T, I just can't!" St. Benedict is softly saying, "Well, then
      just do what you can and that will be OK." Get the picture? Great!

      Now go out and do what you can today... Don't be surprised if
      you find that God is increasing, sometimes imperceptibly, that "what
      you can" little by little to heights of great holiness, which we will
      achieve all but unawares and only with His help. Someday, we really
      SHALL "run in the way...with hearts enlarged."

      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 Jesuits and other Ignatian congregations today, on the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Continued prayers for baby Owen, 8 months, who
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 31, 2005
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        +PAX

        Prayers for all Jesuits and other Ignatian congregations today, on the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Continued prayers for baby Owen, 8 months, who seems to be doing better on his IV antibiotics, draining of the infection and biopsy planned for Monday. prayers, too, for Kelly, his Mom, who is burning the candle at both ends trying to help him keep his IV in place and for Cheryl, his grandmother. 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 31, July 31, November 30

        Chapter 49: On the Observance of Lent

        Although the life of a monk
        ought to have about it at all times
        the character of a Lenten observance,
        yet since few have the virtue for that,
        we therefore urge that during the actual days of Lent
        the brethren keep their lives most pure
        and at the same time wash away during these holy days
        all the negligences of other times.
        And this will be worthily done
        if we restrain ourselves from all vices
        and give ourselves up to prayer with tears,
        to reading, to compunction of heart and to abstinence.

        During these days, therefore,
        let us increase somewhat the usual burden of our service,
        as by private prayers and by abstinence in food and drink.
        Thus everyone of his own will may offer God
        "with joy of the Holy Spirit" (1 Thess. 1:6)
        something above the measure required of him.
        From his body, that is
        he may withhold some food, drink, sleep, talking and jesting;
        and with the joy of spiritual desire
        he may look forward to holy Easter.

        Let each one, however, suggest to his Abbot
        what it is that he wants to offer,
        and let it be done with his blessing and approval.
        For anything done without the permission of the spiritual father
        will be imputed to presumption and vainglory
        and will merit no reward.
        Therefore let everything be done with the Abbot's approval.

        REFLECTION

        Because we read St. Benedict's 1500 year old Holy Rule with modern
        eyes, it often seems harsh. To balance our perspective, we need to
        see the radical nature of the Rule when written. Face it, folks, this
        was most definitely a gentler Rule for European wannabes who could
        never hack it in the Egyptian desert in their wildest dreams. His
        introductory paragraph points out his plan of adaptation: "...since
        few have the virtue for that..." Our founder was most certainly
        writing for the European also-rans of monasticism and he knew it.
        Keeping that uppermost in our minds can be informatively humbling.

        The Desert Fathers were not interested in mitigation in the
        slightest. The early message of the desert was: "Get Lent to the max
        or get lost!" They went FAR beyond Lenten and they did it all year,
        without a break. Any who couldn't reach that ideal were sent away as
        unsuited, not called. If we look carefully at this, perhaps we can
        better see that, from the outset, St. Benedict's fatherly heart was
        with the underdogs, the also rans, the strays and losers that others
        could not be bothered with. He must have felt at some point that
        there HAD to be a way for the spiritually challenged to become
        monastics. A millennium and a half later, we are still benefiting
        from his attempts.

        St. Aelred of Rievaulx, contemporary of St. Bernard in the early days
        of the Cistercian reform, wrote of his monastery: "...all men found room for
        themselves here, like fish in the breadth of the sea, the joyous, spacious
        peace of divine love. That house is not to be accounted a place of
        religion which has been too proud to bear with the weak." As an early
        Cistercian, he was hardly the biggest fan of mitigated observance, but
        he had very clear eyes for divine love and mercy!

        Hence, for us Benedictines, when the Evil One tempts us with his lies
        like: "You could never do that! You could never be THAT holy!" our
        response must be "Yeah, so what? Your point is...???" We have no clue
        of how holy we can be. God alone knows that and God alone will lead
        us and show us in ways we are quite unlikely to ever understand.
        Whenever the demon of discouragement tells us we are far beneath this
        Rule for beginners, we must shrug indifferently and move on, briefly
        impressed for once with the Father of Lies' firm grasp on the obvious.

        Of *COURSE* we are beneath this Rule, beneath any of the earlier
        ones. Duh?!? We're Benedictines. Our Order was founded for people
        like us. That should never, ever be a cause to stop trying, to give
        up or quit. On the contrary, that fact should be a heartening
        confirmation that we are EXACTLY where we belong, in the best
        possible remedial education program for slow learners like us, right
        where God wants us.

        Like a mother to a crying child, devoid of hope, who moans "But I
        CAN'T, I just can't!" St. Benedict is softly saying, "Well, then
        just do what you can and that will be OK." Get the picture? Great!

        Now go out and do what you can today... Don't be surprised if
        you find that God is increasing, sometimes imperceptibly, that "what
        you can" little by little to heights of great holiness, which we will
        achieve all but unawares and only with His help. Someday, we really
        SHALL "run in the way...with hearts enlarged."

        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 of thanks and Deo gratias for: Kate s family, we prayed for her after her death and it seems that now they will allow a memorial service for
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 30, 2007
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          +PAX

          Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for:

          Kate's family, we prayed for her after her death and it seems that now they will allow a memorial service for friends to celebrate Kate's life, very important to a lot of folks who loved her.

          IMMENSE Deo gratias for Jenn, her husband and her unborn baby: all signs of the baby's brain cysts are gone and it looks as if the pregnancy will continue normally.

          Paige, for who we prayed after her car accident. It was thought she would remain paralyzed, but she is now walking with crutches and hopefully will regain full use of her legs. God be praised!

          Prayers for Doug and Catherine, renewing their wedding vows with friends and then leaving on their honeymoon, also for Shy Anna, their elderly cat, who has cancer, that she may be still there when they return.

          Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following and for all their families and all who mourn them:

          Eleanor, and especially for her sister, Ann, half a world away, who cannot be at her funeral.

          Mike's Mom, and especially for Mike.

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

          Aletha, 19, osteosarcoma of the jaw and cheek, and for her worried grandparents who raised her.

          Joshua, drug addiction.

          Bishop Pelotte, 62, of Gallup, New Mexico, severe head injuries after a fall.

          Sherri and Bruce, both battling cancer. 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 31, July 31, November 30

          Chapter 49: On the Observance of Lent

          Although the life of a monk
          ought to have about it at all times
          the character of a Lenten observance,
          yet since few have the virtue for that,
          we therefore urge that during the actual days of Lent
          the brethren keep their lives most pure
          and at the same time wash away during these holy days
          all the negligences of other times.
          And this will be worthily done
          if we restrain ourselves from all vices
          and give ourselves up to prayer with tears,
          to reading, to compunction of heart and to abstinence.

          During these days, therefore,
          let us increase somewhat the usual burden of our service,
          as by private prayers and by abstinence in food and drink.
          Thus everyone of his own will may offer God
          "with joy of the Holy Spirit" (1 Thess. 1:6)
          something above the measure required of him.
          From his body, that is
          he may withhold some food, drink, sleep, talking and jesting;
          and with the joy of spiritual desire
          he may look forward to holy Easter.

          Let each one, however, suggest to his Abbot
          what it is that he wants to offer,
          and let it be done with his blessing and approval.
          For anything done without the permission of the spiritual father
          will be imputed to presumption and vainglory
          and will merit no reward.
          Therefore let everything be done with the Abbot's approval.

          REFLECTION

          Because we read St. Benedict's 1500 year old Holy Rule with modern
          eyes, it often seems harsh. To balance our perspective, we need to
          see the radical nature of the Rule when written. Face it, folks, this
          was most definitely a gentler Rule for European wannabes who could
          never hack it in the Egyptian desert in their wildest dreams. His
          introductory paragraph points out his plan of adaptation: "...since
          few have the virtue for that..." Our founder was most certainly
          writing for the European also-rans of monasticism and he knew it.
          Keeping that uppermost in our minds can be informatively humbling.

          The Desert Fathers were not interested in mitigation in the
          slightest. The early message of the desert was: "Get Lent to the max
          or get lost!" They went FAR beyond Lenten and they did it all year,
          without a break. Any who couldn't reach that ideal were sent away as
          unsuited, not called. If we look carefully at this, perhaps we can
          better see that, from the outset, St. Benedict's fatherly heart was
          with the underdogs, the also rans, the strays and losers that others
          could not be bothered with. He must have felt at some point that
          there HAD to be a way for the spiritually challenged to become
          monastics. A millennium and a half later, we are still benefiting
          from his attempts.

          St. Aelred of Rievaulx, contemporary of St. Bernard in the early days
          of the Cistercian reform, wrote of his monastery: "...all men found room
          for
          themselves here, like fish in the breadth of the sea, the joyous,
          spacious
          peace of divine love. That house is not to be accounted a place of
          religion which has been too proud to bear with the weak." As an early
          Cistercian, he was hardly the biggest fan of mitigated observance, but
          he had very clear eyes for divine love and mercy!

          Hence, for us Benedictines, when the Evil One tempts us with his lies
          like: "You could never do that! You could never be THAT holy!" our
          response must be "Yeah, so what? Your point is...???" We have no clue
          of how holy we can be. God alone knows that and God alone will lead
          us and show us in ways we are quite unlikely to ever understand.
          Whenever the demon of discouragement tells us we are far beneath this
          Rule for beginners, we must shrug indifferently and move on, briefly
          impressed for once with the Father of Lies' firm grasp on the obvious.

          Of *COURSE* we are beneath this Rule, beneath any of the earlier
          ones. Duh?!? We're Benedictines. Our Order was founded for people
          like us. That should never, ever be a cause to stop trying, to give
          up or quit. On the contrary, that fact should be a heartening
          confirmation that we are EXACTLY where we belong, in the best
          possible remedial education program for slow learners like us, right
          where God wants us.

          Like a mother to a crying child, devoid of hope, who moans "But I
          CAN'T, I just can't!" St. Benedict is softly saying, "Well, then
          just do what you can and that will be OK." Get the picture? Great!

          Now go out and do what you can today... Don't be surprised if
          you find that God is increasing, sometimes imperceptibly, that "what
          you can" little by little to heights of great holiness, which we will
          achieve all but unawares and only with His help. Someday, we really
          SHALL "run in the way...with hearts enlarged."

          Love and prayers,

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










          March 31, July 31, November 30

          Chapter 49: On the Observance of Lent

          Although the life of a monk
          ought to have about it at all times
          the character of a Lenten observance,
          yet since few have the virtue for that,
          we therefore urge that during the actual days of Lent
          the brethren keep their lives most pure
          and at the same time wash away during these holy days
          all the negligences of other times.
          And this will be worthily done
          if we restrain ourselves from all vices
          and give ourselves up to prayer with tears,
          to reading, to compunction of heart and to abstinence.

          During these days, therefore,
          let us increase somewhat the usual burden of our service,
          as by private prayers and by abstinence in food and drink.
          Thus everyone of his own will may offer God
          "with joy of the Holy Spirit" (1 Thess. 1:6)
          something above the measure required of him.
          From his body, that is
          he may withhold some food, drink, sleep, talking and jesting;
          and with the joy of spiritual desire
          he may look forward to holy Easter.

          Let each one, however, suggest to his Abbot
          what it is that he wants to offer,
          and let it be done with his blessing and approval.
          For anything done without the permission of the spiritual father
          will be imputed to presumption and vainglory
          and will merit no reward.
          Therefore let everything be done with the Abbot's approval.

          REFLECTION

          Because we read St. Benedict's 1500 year old Holy Rule with modern
          eyes, it often seems harsh. To balance our perspective, we need to
          see the radical nature of the Rule when written. Face it, folks, this
          was most definitely a gentler Rule for European wannabes who could
          never hack it in the Egyptian desert in their wildest dreams. His
          introductory paragraph points out his plan of adaptation: "...since
          few have the virtue for that..." Our founder was most certainly
          writing for the European also-rans of monasticism and he knew it.
          Keeping that uppermost in our minds can be informatively humbling.

          The Desert Fathers were not interested in mitigation in the
          slightest. The early message of the desert was: "Get Lent to the max
          or get lost!" They went FAR beyond Lenten and they did it all year,
          without a break. Any who couldn't reach that ideal were sent away as
          unsuited, not called. If we look carefully at this, perhaps we can
          better see that, from the outset, St. Benedict's fatherly heart was
          with the underdogs, the also rans, the strays and losers that others
          could not be bothered with. He must have felt at some point that
          there HAD to be a way for the spiritually challenged to become
          monastics. A millennium and a half later, we are still benefiting
          from his attempts.

          St. Aelred of Rievaulx, contemporary of St. Bernard in the early days
          of the Cistercian reform, wrote of his monastery: "...all men found room
          for themselves here, like fish in the breadth of the sea, the joyous,
          spacious peace of divine love. That house is not to be accounted a place
          of religion which has been too proud to bear with the weak." As an early
          Cistercian, he was hardly the biggest fan of mitigated observance, but
          he had very clear eyes for divine love and mercy!

          Hence, for us Benedictines, when the Evil One tempts us with his lies
          like: "You could never do that! You could never be THAT holy!" our
          response must be "Yeah, so what? Your point is...???" We have no clue
          of how holy we can be. God alone knows that and God alone will lead
          us and show us in ways we are quite unlikely to ever understand.
          Whenever the demon of discouragement tells us we are far beneath this
          Rule for beginners, we must shrug indifferently and move on, briefly
          impressed for once with the Father of Lies' firm grasp on the obvious.

          Of *COURSE* we are beneath this Rule, beneath any of the earlier
          ones. Duh?!? We're Benedictines. Our Order was founded for people
          like us. That should never, ever be a cause to stop trying, to give
          up or quit. On the contrary, that fact should be a heartening
          confirmation that we are EXACTLY where we belong, in the best
          possible remedial education program for slow learners like us, right
          where God wants us.

          Like a mother to a crying child, devoid of hope, who moans "But I
          CAN'T, I just can't!" St. Benedict is softly saying, "Well, then
          just do what you can and that will be OK." Get the picture? Great!

          Now go out and do what you can today... Don't be surprised if
          you find that God is increasing, sometimes imperceptibly, that "what
          you can" little by little to heights of great holiness, which we will
          achieve all but unawares and only with His help. Someday, we really
          SHALL "run in the way...with hearts enlarged."

          Love and prayers,

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






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