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Holy Rule for Sept. 28

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for P.O. , who left his faith after a severe mental breakdown. Prayers, too, for all who struggle to hang onto their faith in prisons.
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 28, 2004
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for P.O. , who left his faith after a severe mental breakdown. Prayers, too, for all who struggle to hang onto their faith in prisons. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much. JL

      January 28, May 29, September 28
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      As for self-will,
      we are forbidden to do our own will
      by the Scripture, which says to us,
      "Turn away from your own will" (Eccles. 18:30),
      and likewise by the prayer in which we ask God
      that His will be done in us.
      And rightly are we taught not to do our own will
      when we take heed to the warning of Scripture:
      "There are ways which seem right,
      but the ends of them plunge into the depths of hell" (Prov. 16:25);
      and also when we tremble at what is said of the careless:
      "They are corrupt and have become abominable in their will."

      And as for the desires of the flesh,
      let us believe with the Prophet that God is ever present to us,
      when he says to the Lord,
      "Every desire of mine is before You" (Ps. 37:10).

      REFLECTION

      Revolutions usually have several things in common: they respond to a
      need, they go too far in some areas, not far enough in others and
      they tend to brand those not agreeing with them as criminal or
      psychotic. Look at Soviet Russia for most of the 20th century and you
      will see all of these. Look further back at the French Revolution and
      you will find that 1917 in Petrograd offered nothing new, perhaps new
      names for certain aspects, but nothing else.

      The last decades of the 20th century saw a tremendous psychological
      revolution in the West. Its effect were perhaps greatest in some
      religious circles, where those once wary of psychology now embraced
      it more or less wholesale. Pieces of our psycho-spiritual world view
      definitely needed change and correction. Unfortunately, however, like
      the Bolsheviks and French before them, some ardent revolutionaries
      shot the Imperial family and guillotined a lot of otherwise very fine
      people. Their zeal went a bit too far and they were often followed
      unquestioningly.

      In those years, a close and scathing look was taken at religious
      obedience and the personal will. It certainly was necessary. Abuses
      had obtained under the accept-without-any-question syndrome.

      Sadly, but predictably, the pendulum swung in a very un-Benedictine
      fashion to the opposite extreme: question everything and accept
      nothing. Personal will, formerly maligned as a foolish, worthless and
      even dangerous entity was now elevated to lofty, noble heights that
      it frankly did not deserve. Not astoundingly, both extremes missed
      the middle road of truth.

      Human will is at once potentially noble, yet dreadfully flawed.
      Without God and grace assisting, the prognosis is not good. For
      Christians, however, God's grace and aid ARE available, but they come
      at the price of cooperation and cooperation demands a certain
      sacrifice of our own wills.

      It is perhaps harder for us to see that necessity of abandoning our
      wills than it has been for many before us. We are traipsing through
      the spiritual road with all kinds of extraneous baggage about
      autonomy and maturity and self-actualization carried to false
      extremes. Balance, always balance, always moderation in the
      Benedictine way!

      Our wills can be good and wonderful. It is, after all, with our wills
      that we answer God's call. But part of His call is to forget the self
      and forget its willful tantrums. Our wills are the natural habitat
      and environment of the false self- it thrives there!

      It is fatal to spiritual growth and to community to infer too great a
      maturity or too little. Monastics are not children, but most adults
      have not totally arrived, either! It is foolish to trust those under
      our care with nothing, but equally so to empower them to virtually
      anything. That's just not how monastic life works. St. Benedict
      bluntly says that his followers DESIRE to live under an abbot. If any
      have seriously changed their minds about this, maybe it's time to go.

      A good superior will keep one from being too easy on oneself, but
      will also protect one from being too hard on oneself. I cannot tell
      you the number of times submitting a matter to my superior has
      resulted in something FAR less gruesome than what I had obsessively
      planned for myself!

      Most of the wonderful things said about personal will are true, to a
      point, but the revolution failed to emphasize the fact that our wills
      do NOT come with gyroscopes. As such, their trustworthiness as
      compasses is far from absolute.

      The superior, the Rule, the Gospel, these are the gyroscopes that
      enable us to will true North! Without these helps, our journey could
      very easily make the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" look like a Sunday
      afternoon swan boat ride in Boston's Public Gardens.


      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 vocations to St. Mary s Monastery, to Pluscarden Abbey, our Motherhouse, and to all our reader s monasteries! Prayers, too, for Halena,
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 28, 2005
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        +PAX

        Prayers for vocations to St. Mary's Monastery, to Pluscarden Abbey, our Motherhouse, and to all our reader's monasteries!
        Prayers, too, for Halena, terminal cancer, for her happy death and eternal rest, also for Edna, who has died of breast cancer and for her husband, Al, who predeceased her. Prayers for Sam, dying of liver disease. Prayers for Jennie and Cliff, married nearly 70 years. 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

        January 28, May 29, September 28
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        As for self-will,
        we are forbidden to do our own will
        by the Scripture, which says to us,
        "Turn away from your own will" (Eccles. 18:30),
        and likewise by the prayer in which we ask God
        that His will be done in us.
        And rightly are we taught not to do our own will
        when we take heed to the warning of Scripture:
        "There are ways which seem right,
        but the ends of them plunge into the depths of hell" (Prov. 16:25);
        and also when we tremble at what is said of the careless:
        "They are corrupt and have become abominable in their will."

        And as for the desires of the flesh,
        let us believe with the Prophet that God is ever present to us,
        when he says to the Lord,
        "Every desire of mine is before You" (Ps. 37:10).

        REFLECTION

        Revolutions usually have several things in common: they respond to a
        need, they go too far in some areas, not far enough in others and
        they tend to brand those not agreeing with them as criminal or
        psychotic. Look at Soviet Russia for most of the 20th century and you
        will see all of these. Look further back at the French Revolution and
        you will find that 1917 in Petrograd offered nothing new, perhaps new
        names for certain aspects, but nothing else.

        The last decades of the 20th century saw a tremendous psychological
        revolution in the West. Its effect were perhaps greatest in some
        religious circles, where those once wary of psychology now embraced
        it more or less wholesale. Pieces of our psycho-spiritual world view
        definitely needed change and correction. Unfortunately, however, like
        the Bolsheviks and French before them, some ardent revolutionaries
        shot the Imperial family and guillotined a lot of otherwise very fine
        people. Their zeal went a bit too far and they were often followed
        unquestioningly.

        In those years, a close and scathing look was taken at religious
        obedience and the personal will. It certainly was necessary. The
        nature of modern, well-educated religious differed considerably
        from the conditions of many religious in centuries past.

        Sadly, but predictably, the pendulum swung in a very un-Benedictine
        fashion to the opposite extreme: question everything and accept
        nothing. Personal will, formerly maligned as a foolish, worthless and
        even dangerous entity was now elevated to lofty, noble heights that
        it frankly did not always deserve. Not astoundingly, both extremes missed
        the middle road of truth.

        Human will is at once potentially noble, yet dreadfully flawed.
        Without God and grace assisting, the prognosis is not good. For
        Christians, however, God's grace and aid ARE available, but they come
        at the price of cooperation and cooperation demands a certain
        sacrifice of our own wills.

        It is perhaps harder for us to see that necessity of abandoning our
        wills than it has been for many before us. We are traipsing through
        the spiritual road with all kinds of extraneous baggage about
        autonomy and maturity and self-actualization carried to false
        extremes. Balance, always balance, always moderation in the
        Benedictine way!

        Our wills can be good and wonderful. It is, after all, with our wills
        that we answer God's call. But part of His call is to forget the self
        and forget its willful tantrums. Our wills are the natural habitat
        and environment of the false self- it thrives there!

        It is fatal to spiritual growth and to community to infer too great a
        maturity or too little. Monastics are not children, but most adults
        have not totally arrived, either! It is foolish to trust those under
        our care with nothing, but equally so to empower them to virtually
        anything. That's just not how monastic life works. St. Benedict
        bluntly says that his followers DESIRE to live under an abbot. If any
        have seriously changed their minds about this, maybe it's time to go.

        A good superior will keep one from being too easy on oneself, but
        will also protect one from being too hard on oneself. I cannot tell
        you the number of times submitting a matter to my superior has
        resulted in something FAR less gruesome than what I had obsessively
        planned for myself!

        Most of the wonderful things said about personal will are true, to a
        point, but the revolution failed to emphasize the fact that our wills
        do NOT come with gyroscopes. As such, their trustworthiness as
        compasses is far from absolute.

        The superior, the Rule, the Gospel, these are the gyroscopes that
        enable us to will true North! Without these helps, our journey could
        very easily make the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" look like a Sunday
        afternoon swan boat ride in Boston's Public Gardens.


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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Brjeromeleo@aol.com
        +PAX An even better clarification on the fear of God from my dear friend, Sr. Mary Joseph, who said it much better than I did: I always thought of Fear of the
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 27, 2006
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          +PAX

          An even better clarification on the fear of God from my dear friend, Sr.
          Mary Joseph, who said it much better than I did:

          "I always thought of Fear of the Lord more as a Deep Holy Reverence rather
          than any kind of negative Fear. For example, the kind of Fear Peter had when
          he said 'Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.' He didn't want the
          Lord to leave him because he was afraid of him, but rather because he felt his
          unworthiness in the face of such Divine Holiness. The Israelites at the foot
          of the Mountain didn't want God to speak to them directly because of a Holy
          Reverence, although in their case I'm sure there was a lot of real fear too
          at the Almightiness of God. But it's the Reverence more than the negative
          fear that I think of here."

          Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias, Bob, who had been having seizures after
          his liver transplant, is doing very well now. His liver is working and he may
          soon be transferred to a hotel situation near the hospital. Continued prayers
          for his recovery, for Petrina, his wife, his three sons, Justin, Jake and
          Jesse, and for his sister, Claudia, who let us all have the chance to help. The
          family thanks all for the prayers. Prayers for Ron, investigating a possible
          vocation to St. Mary's, and for vocations to all our monasteries. 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

          January 28, May 29, September 28
          Chapter 7: On Humility

          As for self-will,
          we are forbidden to do our own will
          by the Scripture, which says to us,
          "Turn away from your own will" (Eccles. 18:30),
          and likewise by the prayer in which we ask God
          that His will be done in us.
          And rightly are we taught not to do our own will
          when we take heed to the warning of Scripture:
          "There are ways which seem right,
          but the ends of them plunge into the depths of hell" (Prov. 16:25);
          and also when we tremble at what is said of the careless:
          "They are corrupt and have become abominable in their will."

          And as for the desires of the flesh,
          let us believe with the Prophet that God is ever present to us,
          when he says to the Lord,
          "Every desire of mine is before You" (Ps. 37:10).

          REFLECTION

          Revolutions usually have several things in common: they respond to a
          need, they go too far in some areas, not far enough in others and
          they tend to brand those not agreeing with them as criminal or
          psychotic. Look at Soviet Russia for most of the 20th century and you
          will see all of these. Look further back at the French Revolution and
          you will find that 1917 in Petrograd offered nothing new, perhaps new
          names for certain aspects, but nothing else.

          The last decades of the 20th century saw a tremendous psychological
          revolution in the West. Its effect were perhaps greatest in some
          religious circles, where those once wary of psychology now embraced
          it more or less wholesale. Pieces of our psycho-spiritual world view
          definitely needed change and correction. Unfortunately, however, like
          the Bolsheviks and French before them, some ardent revolutionaries
          shot the Imperial family and guillotined a lot of otherwise very fine
          people. Their zeal went a bit too far and they were often followed
          unquestioningly.

          In those years, a close and scathing look was taken at religious
          obedience and the personal will. It certainly was necessary. The
          nature of modern, well-educated religious differed considerably
          from the conditions of many religious in centuries past.

          Sadly, but predictably, the pendulum swung in a very un-Benedictine
          fashion to the opposite extreme: question everything and accept
          nothing. Personal will, formerly maligned as a foolish, worthless and
          even dangerous entity was now elevated to lofty, noble heights that
          it frankly did not always deserve. Not astoundingly, both extremes missed
          the middle road of truth.

          Human will is at once potentially noble, yet dreadfully flawed.
          Without God and grace assisting, the prognosis is not good. For
          Christians, however, God's grace and aid ARE available, but they come
          at the price of cooperation and cooperation demands a certain
          sacrifice of our own wills.

          It is perhaps harder for us to see that necessity of abandoning our
          wills than it has been for many before us. We are traipsing through
          the spiritual road with all kinds of extraneous baggage about
          autonomy and maturity and self-actualization carried to false
          extremes. Balance, always balance, always moderation in the
          Benedictine way!

          Our wills can be good and wonderful. It is, after all, with our wills
          that we answer God's call. But part of His call is to forget the self
          and forget its willful tantrums. Our wills are the natural habitat
          and environment of the false self- it thrives there!

          It is fatal to spiritual growth and to community to infer too great a
          maturity or too little. Monastics are not children, but most adults
          have not totally arrived, either! It is foolish to trust those under
          our care with nothing, but equally so to empower them to virtually
          anything. That's just not how monastic life works. St. Benedict
          bluntly says that his followers DESIRE to live under an abbot. If any
          have seriously changed their minds about this, maybe it's time to go.

          A good superior will keep one from being too easy on oneself, but
          will also protect one from being too hard on oneself. I cannot tell
          you the number of times submitting a matter to my superior has
          resulted in something FAR less gruesome than what I had obsessively
          planned for myself!

          Most of the wonderful things said about personal will are true, to a
          point, but the revolution failed to emphasize the fact that our wills
          do NOT come with gyroscopes. As such, their trustworthiness as
          compasses is far from absolute.

          The superior, the Rule, the Gospel, these are the gyroscopes that
          enable us to will true North! Without these helps, our journey could
          very easily make the maiden voyage of the Titanic look like a Sunday
          afternoon swan boat ride in Boston's Public Gardens.


          Love and prayers,
          Jerome, OSB
          _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
          Petersham, MA



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for thier loved ones and for those who treat or care for them: Rachel,
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 27, 2007
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            +PAX

            Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for thier loved ones and for those who treat or care for them:

            Rachel, surgery for recently diagnosed aggressive cancer this Wednesday, and for her husband, Bud.

            Gerry, knee replacement surgery.

            Malorie, 18 or 19, attempted suicide by hanging, but was found in time, now hospitalized.

            Lord, help us all as You know and wll. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL

            An even better clarification on the fear of God from my dear friend, Sr.
            Mary Joseph, who said it much better than I did:

            "I always thought of Fear of the Lord more as a Deep Holy Reverence rather
            than any kind of negative Fear. For example, the kind of Fear Peter had when
            he said 'Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.' He didn't want the
            Lord to leave him because he was afraid of him, but rather because he felt his
            unworthiness in the face of such Divine Holiness. The Israelites at the foot
            of the Mountain didn't want God to speak to them directly because of a Holy
            Reverence, although in their case I'm sure there was a lot of real fear too
            at the Almightiness of God. But it's the Reverence more than the negative
            fear that I think of here."

            January 28, May 29, September 28
            Chapter 7: On Humility

            As for self-will,
            we are forbidden to do our own will
            by the Scripture, which says to us,
            "Turn away from your own will" (Eccles. 18:30),
            and likewise by the prayer in which we ask God
            that His will be done in us.
            And rightly are we taught not to do our own will
            when we take heed to the warning of Scripture:
            "There are ways which seem right,
            but the ends of them plunge into the depths of hell" (Prov. 16:25);
            and also when we tremble at what is said of the careless:
            "They are corrupt and have become abominable in their will."

            And as for the desires of the flesh,
            let us believe with the Prophet that God is ever present to us,
            when he says to the Lord,
            "Every desire of mine is before You" (Ps. 37:10).

            REFLECTION

            Revolutions usually have several things in common: they respond to a
            need, they go too far in some areas, not far enough in others and
            they tend to brand those not agreeing with them as criminal or
            psychotic. Look at Soviet Russia for most of the 20th century and you
            will see all of these. Look further back at the French Revolution and
            you will find that 1917 in Petrograd offered nothing new, perhaps new
            names for certain aspects, but nothing else.

            The last decades of the 20th century saw a tremendous psychological
            revolution in the West. Its effect were perhaps greatest in some
            religious circles, where those once wary of psychology now embraced
            it more or less wholesale. Pieces of our psycho-spiritual world view
            definitely needed change and correction. Unfortunately, however, like
            the Bolsheviks and French before them, some ardent revolutionaries
            shot the Imperial family and guillotined a lot of otherwise very fine
            people. Their zeal went a bit too far and they were often followed
            unquestioningly.

            In those years, a close and scathing look was taken at religious
            obedience and the personal will. It certainly was necessary. The
            nature of modern, well-educated religious differed considerably
            from the conditions of many religious in centuries past.

            Sadly, but predictably, the pendulum swung in a very un-Benedictine
            fashion to the opposite extreme: question everything and accept
            nothing. Personal will, formerly maligned as a foolish, worthless and
            even dangerous entity was now elevated to lofty, noble heights that
            it frankly did not always deserve. Not astoundingly, both extremes missed
            the middle road of truth.

            Human will is at once potentially noble, yet dreadfully flawed.
            Without God and grace assisting, the prognosis is not good. For
            Christians, however, God's grace and aid ARE available, but they come
            at the price of cooperation and cooperation demands a certain
            sacrifice of our own wills.

            It is perhaps harder for us to see that necessity of abandoning our
            wills than it has been for many before us. We are traipsing through
            the spiritual road with all kinds of extraneous baggage about
            autonomy and maturity and self-actualization carried to false
            extremes. Balance, always balance, always moderation in the
            Benedictine way!

            Our wills can be good and wonderful. It is, after all, with our wills
            that we answer God's call. But part of His call is to forget the self
            and forget its willful tantrums. Our wills are the natural habitat
            and environment of the false self- it thrives there!

            It is fatal to spiritual growth and to community to infer too great a
            maturity or too little. Monastics are not children, but most adults
            have not totally arrived, either! It is foolish to trust those under
            our care with nothing, but equally so to empower them to virtually
            anything. That's just not how monastic life works. St. Benedict
            bluntly says that his followers DESIRE to live under an abbot. If any
            have seriously changed their minds about this, maybe it's time to go.

            A good superior will keep one from being too easy on oneself, but
            will also protect one from being too hard on oneself. I cannot tell
            you the number of times submitting a matter to my superior has
            resulted in something FAR less gruesome than what I had obsessively
            planned for myself!

            Most of the wonderful things said about personal will are true, to a
            point, but the revolution failed to emphasize the fact that our wills
            do NOT come with gyroscopes. As such, their trustworthiness as
            compasses is far from absolute.

            The superior, the Rule, the Gospel, these are the gyroscopes that
            enable us to will true North! Without these helps, our journey could
            very easily make the maiden voyage of the Titanic look like a Sunday
            afternoon swan boat ride in Boston's Public Gardens.


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

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