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Holy Rule For Sept. 30

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Dorothy, critically ill, for all in harm s way in war zones, and for the repose of the souls my Dad (+1960) and grandfather(+1955)
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2004

      Prayers, please, for Dorothy, critically ill, for all in harm's way in war zones, and for the repose of the souls my Dad (+1960) and grandfather(+1955) God really is outside of time, so you can pray still. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much! JL

      January 30, May 31, September 30
      Chapter 7: On Humility
      The second degree of humility
      is that a person love not his own will
      nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires,
      but model his actions on the saying of the Lord,
      "I have come not to do My own will,
      but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).
      It is written also,
      "Self-will has its punishment,
      but constraint wins a crown."


      OK, who doesn't love their own will, or take pleasure in satisfying
      their desires? Who doesn't love their sexuality or some of the
      dearest things they own and treasure? For a healthy person, all of
      these are very normal loves. For some of us, one or another of these
      loves is very much part of our vocation, for example, in marriage
      one's sexuality is the very means of self-gift. The key is to keep
      them ordinate, in line and yes, balanced!

      The means to this step is neither to go overboard hunting for things
      we hate to afflict ourselves with nor to insist on our own way at all
      costs. The real meaning here is found in the statement that Christ
      came not to do His own will, but the will of His Father. We don't see
      Jesus going out His way to find things distasteful to Him, nor do we
      see Him stoically and resolutely refusing to enjoy things that please
      Him. His will is one with the Father's. He also has a human nature
      that prayed in Gethsemane to be spared from that Divine will, but, in
      Jesus, the flawed human nature, when it does not accord with the Divine,
      never wins.

      Alas, in us, that human will often DOES win: why else would we be
      struggling along the monastic way all our lives? Unlike Jesus, we are
      not sinless, we are able to sin and often do so all too gladly! We
      must daily- even from minute to minute- turn from the bad in our own
      wills. It is an ongoing fight, but that is what conversatio morum
      means, "conversion of manner of life"! As Benedictines we will-
      indeed, must- always be straining against the negative goad, always
      be seeking the place of greater light and good.

      The will of God is frequently very hard to see. For some of us, at
      some times, it is downright impossible to see. There will always be
      times when we must trundle along blindly, without our senses to
      reassure us. That is why trust is such an integral part of our
      monastic struggle. At those times, the only way haltingly forward is
      to embrace the blinding darkness before us and firmly, trustingly
      clutch the hand of Christ. Even in the darkness, we must say: "Jesus,
      I trust in You!"

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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