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Holy Rule for Oct. 4

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Blessed feast of St. Francis to all his friends out there! Pax et bonum! Prayers, please, for Dorlyn, who turns 83 today. An active church member, he fell
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 4, 2004
      +PAX

      Blessed feast of St. Francis to all his friends out there! Pax et bonum!

      Prayers, please, for Dorlyn, who turns 83 today. An active church member, he fell and hit his head on a retreat and now has a blood clot on his brain that is causing him all kinds of problems. He sees a neurologist this afternoon. Prayers, too, for his worried wife and daughter and all his family. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much. JL

      February 3, June 4, October 4
      Chapter 7: On Humility

      The sixth degree of humility
      is that a monk be content
      with the poorest and worst of everything,
      and that in every occupation assigned him
      he consider himself a bad and worthless workman,
      saying with the Prophet,
      "I am brought to nothing and I am without understanding;
      I have become as a beast of burden before You,
      and I am always with You" (Ps:22-23).

      REFLECTION

      It is easy to miss the hardest word in this reading. Our eyes fly
      right away to the ones we want to argue with- and these days many
      want to argue with them! Slyly stuck into the first line is the
      demand that the monastic "be CONTENT with the poorest and worst of
      everything." The connection this time is not to obedience, but to
      other virtues in humility's service: simplicity and stability.

      Contentedness does not bide its time for a jump to something better,
      does not merely undergo, but accepts rather matter-of-factly.
      Contented monastics aren't hunting for or wondering about something
      else, usually it doesn't even occur to them. Truly contented people,
      in monasteries or in marriage or in the world do not spend a lot of
      time on "what if?" or "what next?". In the 70's a lot of people loved
      the popular phrase on posters: "Bloom where you are planted." Quite
      possibly they never stopped to think exactly what that meant: being
      contented enough to blossom in any circumstance. Whoops! A little
      more teeth to that version!

      I know from personal experience: stability with divided attention,
      with tons of Plans B, C, and D, simply is not very effective. It is
      better than nothing, to be sure, but it is nearly nothing when
      compared with its power once all those distractions are dropped. We
      cannot drop them all at once, but we must try to stay rooted, ever
      more and more rooted. I know one great monk who told me, at 83, that
      he had finally decided to stay! There was not even a hint of irony of
      twinkle in his voice. On the other hand, I have known monks who were
      happy as clams and completely contented in their forties. It is a
      different struggle for each of us.

      Truly contented simplicity and stability are powerful, counter-
      cultural witnesses to offer this age. Materialism, consumerism and
      the short attention span rule. A consumerist society is actually
      fueled by provoking discontent: how else can superfluous consumption
      imposed? Every time one person, family or monastery gets even
      partially free of those constraints it is a powerful witness to those
      still bound. Most of us truly do not "need" more. The Holy Rule can
      teach us that, but not if we look at it through the lenses we have
      hauled along with us from the 21st century world. Those lenses are
      completely invested in our reaching the opposite- and false-
      conclusion.

      Two cautions here. Good ole Gulf coast Florida boy that I am, I can
      tell you that when one goes crabbing with a big floating washtub full
      of blue crabs tied to your belt, you never have to put a lid on it.
      Why? Because whenever one crab gets close to crawling out, the others
      will pull it down. Don't be surprised if this happens to you! Lots of
      people LOVE consumerist enslavement, or at least think they do! The
      other, equally important consideration is that simplicity is NOT just
      a way to save money- though it will free up plenty. The goal is not
      to hoard what you have saved, but to spread it around or, as St.
      Elizabeth Seton said: "Let us live simply, so that others may simply
      live."

      As to the "bad and worthless workman" line, where I expect there'll
      be a lot of dissent, well, that isn't St. Benedict or me. You'll have
      to argue with Jesus Himself on that one. He said that after we have
      done ALL that was commanded us, we should say we are nothing but
      unprofitable servants. Being God, I don't imagine He was mistaken.

      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 our Franciscan friends on the feast of St. Francis. Happy feast to them all and to all who share their love of the Poverello!! Prayers for
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 4, 2005
        +PAX

        Prayers for all our Franciscan friends on the feast of St. Francis. Happy feast to them all and to all who share their love of the Poverello!!

        Prayers for Anastasia and her Mom, both very troubled of late, and for George, the Dad who is trying to help them both. Also for George's work as a union steward in a very trying situation, and for his spiritual peace and his college studies. 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

        February 3, June 4, October 4
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The sixth degree of humility
        is that a monk be content
        with the poorest and worst of everything,
        and that in every occupation assigned him
        he consider himself a bad and worthless workman,
        saying with the Prophet,
        "I am brought to nothing and I am without understanding;
        I have become as a beast of burden before You,
        and I am always with You" (Ps:22-23).

        REFLECTION

        It is easy to miss the hardest word in this reading. Our eyes fly
        right away to the ones we want to argue with- and these days many
        want to argue with them! Slyly stuck into the first line is the
        demand that the monastic "be CONTENT with the poorest and worst of
        everything." The connection this time is not to obedience, but to
        other virtues in humility's service: simplicity and stability.

        Contentedness does not bide its time for a jump to something better,
        does not merely undergo, but accepts rather matter-of-factly.
        Contented monastics aren't hunting for or wondering about something
        else, usually it doesn't even occur to them. Truly contented people,
        in monasteries or in marriage or in the world do not spend a lot of
        time on "what if?" or "what next?". In the 70's a lot of people loved
        the popular phrase on posters: "Bloom where you are planted." Quite
        possibly they never stopped to think exactly what that meant: being
        contented enough to blossom in any circumstance. Whoops! A little
        more teeth to that version!

        I know from personal experience: stability with divided attention,
        with tons of Plans B, C, and D, simply is not very effective. It is
        better than nothing, to be sure, but it is nearly nothing when
        compared with its power once all those distractions are dropped. We
        cannot drop them all at once, but we must try to stay rooted, ever
        more and more rooted.

        I know one great monk who told me, at 83, that
        he had finally decided to stay! There was not even a hint of irony of
        twinkle in his voice. On the other hand, I have known monks who were
        happy as clams and completely contented in their forties. It is a
        different struggle for each of us.

        Truly contented simplicity and stability are powerful, counter-
        cultural witnesses to offer this age. Materialism, consumerism and
        the short attention span rule. A consumerist society is actually
        fueled by provoking discontent: how else can superfluous consumption
        imposed?

        Every time one person, family or monastery gets even
        partially free of those constraints it is a powerful witness to those
        still bound. Most of us truly do not "need" more. The Holy Rule can
        teach us that, but not if we look at it through the lenses we have
        hauled along with us from the 21st century world. Those lenses are
        completely invested in our reaching the opposite- and false-
        conclusion.

        Two cautions here. Good ole Gulf coast Florida boy that I am, I can
        tell you that when one goes crabbing with a big floating washtub full
        of blue crabs tied to your belt, you never have to put a lid on it.
        Why? Because whenever one crab gets close to crawling out, the others
        will pull it down. Don't be surprised if this happens to you!
        Lots of people LOVE consumerist enslavement, or at least think they do!

        The other, equally important consideration is that simplicity is NOT just
        a way to save money- though it will free up plenty. The goal is not
        to hoard what you have saved, but to spread it around or, as St.
        Elizabeth Seton said: "Let us live simply, so that others may simply
        live."

        As to the "bad and worthless workman" line, where I expect there'll
        be a lot of dissent, well, that isn't St. Benedict or me. You'll have
        to argue with Jesus Himself on that one. He said that after we have
        done ALL that was commanded us, we should say we are nothing but
        unprofitable servants. Being God, I don't imagine He was mistaken.

        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 Prayers, please, for Charlie, who has gone to God, for his happy death and eternal rest and for his wife, Dorothy and all who mourn him. Prayers for
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 3, 2006
          +PAX

          Prayers, please, for Charlie, who has gone to God, for his happy death and
          eternal rest and for his wife, Dorothy and all who mourn him. Prayers for
          Dorothy, mother of Br. Felix of St. Leo, who fell and may have broken her hip.
          Prayers, too, for Br. Felix and all their family. Prayers for Ralph, battling
          colon cancer for 5 years and now seeming to take a turn for the worse, for
          the perfect will of God for him. Prayers for Jean, a lumpectomy and some cancer
          cells found in one lymph node, further assessments necessary now, and for
          Ed, her husband and all their family.

          Prayers for all involved in the terrible shootings and suicide in the Amish
          school in Pennsylvania. So far 5 girls, 13 and under have died, two of them
          were sisters, and the gunman, 32, shot himself to death. Such a terrible
          tragedy in a community of peace-loving plain folk, the last place on earth one
          would have expected such horror. Prayers for the families of all the victims,
          including the gunman, who left a wife and two young children. 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

          February 3, June 4, October 4
          Chapter 7: On Humility

          The sixth degree of humility
          is that a monk be content
          with the poorest and worst of everything,
          and that in every occupation assigned him
          he consider himself a bad and worthless workman,
          saying with the Prophet,
          "I am brought to nothing and I am without understanding;
          I have become as a beast of burden before You,
          and I am always with You" (Ps:22-23).

          REFLECTION

          It is easy to miss the hardest word in this reading. Our eyes fly
          right away to the ones we want to argue with- and these days many
          want to argue with them! Slyly stuck into the first line is the
          demand that the monastic "be CONTENT with the poorest and worst of
          everything." The connection this time is not to obedience, but to
          other virtues in humility's service: simplicity and stability.

          Contentedness does not bide its time for a jump to something better,
          does not merely undergo, but accepts rather matter-of-factly.
          Contented monastics aren't hunting for or wondering about something
          else, usually it doesn't even occur to them. Truly contented people,
          in monasteries or in marriage or in the world do not spend a lot of
          time on "what if?" or "what next?". In the 70's a lot of people loved
          the popular phrase on posters: "Bloom where you are planted." Quite
          possibly they never stopped to think exactly what that meant: being
          contented enough to blossom in any circumstance. Whoops! A little
          more teeth to that version!

          I know from personal experience: stability with divided attention,
          with tons of Plans B, C, and D, simply is not very effective. It is
          better than nothing, to be sure, but it is nearly nothing when
          compared with its power once all those distractions are dropped. We
          often cannot drop them all at once, but we must try to stay rooted,
          ever more and more rooted.

          I know one great monk who told me, at 83, that
          he had finally decided to stay! There was not even a hint of irony of
          twinkle in his voice. On the other hand, I have known monks who were
          happy as clams and completely contented in their forties. It is a
          different struggle for each of us.

          Truly contented simplicity and stability are powerful, counter-
          cultural witnesses to offer this age. Materialism, consumerism and
          the short attention span rule. A consumerist society is actually
          fueled by provoking discontent: how else can superfluous consumption
          imposed?

          Every time one person, family or monastery gets even
          partially free of those constraints it is a powerful witness to those
          still bound. Most of us truly do not "need" more. The Holy Rule can
          teach us that, but not if we look at it through the lenses we have
          hauled along with us from the 21st century world. Those lenses are
          completely invested in our reaching the opposite- and false-
          conclusion.

          Two cautions here. Good ole Gulf coast Florida boy that I am, I can
          tell you that when one goes crabbing with a big floating washtub full
          of blue crabs tied to your belt, you never have to put a lid on it.
          Why? Because whenever one crab gets close to crawling out, the others
          will pull it down. Don't be surprised if this happens to you!
          Lots of people LOVE consumerist enslavement, or at least think they do!

          The other, equally important consideration is that simplicity is NOT just
          a way to save money- though it will free up plenty. The goal is not
          to hoard what you have saved, but to spread it around or, as St.
          Elizabeth Seton said: "Let us live simply, so that others may simply
          live."

          As to the "bad and worthless workman" line, where I expect there'll
          be a lot of dissent, well, that isn't St. Benedict or me. You'll have
          to argue with Jesus Himself on that one. He said that after we have
          done ALL that was commanded us, we should say we are nothing but
          unprofitable servants. Being God, I don't imagine He was mistaken.

          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 of thanks and Deo gratias for: Brie, on her 26th birthday. Ad multos annos, many years and many graces! Fr. Brendan and Bp. Basil, who have found
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 3, 2007
            +PAX

            Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for:

            Brie, on her 26th birthday. Ad multos annos, many years and many graces!

            Fr. Brendan and Bp. Basil, who have found a way to get to their retreat.

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

            Mary, who died yesterday.

            Russ, who died on Tuesday.

            The aunt and mother of Maggie, the young mother who took her own life, also both died from suicide some time ago, bit it is never to late to pray for their happy death.

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

            Ann, two serious accidents in 3 days, now has two broken legs, a broken neck and is comatose. She may not live, her prognosis is uncertain.

            Glenn, diagnosed with spots on his brain, seeing neurosurgeon this week, and for Verna, his Mom, whose motor home blew up on top of all her other worries. Fortunately no one was in it, Deo gratias.

            Haley, surgery to remove a blood clot in her leg after a car wreck, and especially for her brother, Br. Gabriel.

            Corrine, who went to the police about her abusive husband, for safety and courage, and for their 6 year old daughter, Caroline, also for the conversion and repentance of the husband.

            Kim, desperately needing a friend, and for her estranged daughter, Janet, heavily in debt and other troubles, badly needing conversion, and for her friend, Mary.

            A young man, 42, whose life support has been discontinued, his family is praying for a miracle.

            A young couple with two children, serious marital problems linked to the wife's long-standing emotional problems, husband fearing he may have to leave. 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

            February 3, June 4, October 4
            Chapter 7: On Humility

            The sixth degree of humility
            is that a monk be content
            with the poorest and worst of everything,
            and that in every occupation assigned him
            he consider himself a bad and worthless workman,
            saying with the Prophet,
            "I am brought to nothing and I am without understanding;
            I have become as a beast of burden before You,
            and I am always with You" (Ps:22-23).

            REFLECTION

            It is easy to miss the hardest word in this reading. Our eyes fly
            right away to the ones we want to argue with- and these days many
            want to argue with them! Slyly stuck into the first line is the
            demand that the monastic "be CONTENT with the poorest and worst of
            everything." The connection this time is not to obedience, but to
            other virtues in humility's service: simplicity and stability.

            Contentedness does not bide its time for a jump to something better,
            does not merely undergo, but accepts rather matter-of-factly.
            Contented monastics aren't hunting for or wondering about something
            else, usually it doesn't even occur to them. Truly contented people,
            in monasteries or in marriage or in the world do not spend a lot of
            time on "what if?" or "what next?". In the 70's a lot of people loved
            the popular phrase on posters: "Bloom where you are planted." Quite
            possibly they never stopped to think exactly what that meant: being
            contented enough to blossom in any circumstance. Whoops! A little
            more teeth to that version!

            I know from personal experience: stability with divided attention,
            with tons of Plans B, C, and D, simply is not very effective. It is
            better than nothing, to be sure, but it is nearly nothing when
            compared with its power once all those distractions are dropped. We
            often cannot drop them all at once, but we must try to stay rooted,
            ever more and more rooted.

            I know one great monk who told me, at 83, that
            he had finally decided to stay! There was not even a hint of irony of
            twinkle in his voice. On the other hand, I have known monks who were
            happy as clams and completely contented in their forties. It is a
            different struggle for each of us.

            Truly contented simplicity and stability are powerful, counter-
            cultural witnesses to offer this age. Materialism, consumerism and
            the short attention span rule. A consumerist society is actually
            fueled by provoking discontent: how else can superfluous consumption
            imposed?

            Every time one person, family or monastery gets even
            partially free of those constraints it is a powerful witness to those
            still bound. Most of us truly do not "need" more. The Holy Rule can
            teach us that, but not if we look at it through the lenses we have
            hauled along with us from the 21st century world. Those lenses are
            completely invested in our reaching the opposite- and false-
            conclusion.

            Two cautions here. Good ole Gulf coast Florida boy that I am, I can
            tell you that when one goes crabbing with a big floating washtub full
            of blue crabs tied to your belt, you never have to put a lid on it.
            Why? Because whenever one crab gets close to crawling out, the others
            will pull it down. Don't be surprised if this happens to you!
            Lots of people LOVE consumerist enslavement, or at least think they do!

            The other, equally important consideration is that simplicity is NOT just
            a way to save money- though it will free up plenty. The goal is not
            to hoard what you have saved, but to spread it around or, as St.
            Elizabeth Seton said: "Let us live simply, so that others may simply
            live."

            As to the "bad and worthless workman" line, where I expect there'll
            be a lot of dissent, well, that isn't St. Benedict or me. You'll have
            to argue with Jesus Himself on that one. He said that after we have
            done ALL that was commanded us, we should say we are nothing but
            unprofitable servants. Being God, I don't imagine He was mistaken.

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





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Br. Jerome Leo
            +PAX Prayers for all who bear the name of St.Francis, on their patronal feast, and for all Franciscans. Graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! Special
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 3, 2016

              +PAX

               

              Prayers for all who bear the name of St.Francis, on their patronal feast, and for all Franciscans. Graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! Special prayers for the former Eric Knott, who became Br. Francis on Oct. 3rd. This is his first feastday with his new name! Special prayers, too, for the Allegany Franciscan Sisters who touched my life in my Florida years. Prayers for Abbot Francis of Prinknash Abbey and for the eternal rest of Abbot Francis of St. Leo Abbey.

               

              Prayers for Sr. Connie Ruth, OSB, having surgery on Wednesday, for a successful operation and a speedy, complete recovery.

               

              Continued prayers for Tom, ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease, he also has two daughters I forgot to add to the list, prayers for them and all his family.

               

              Please pray for Patrick, who is suspected of being involved in the death of his long time girl friend. Amy, after finding her dead. He is in shock, to say the least. Please lift him up in prayer for protection and for his own safety and state of mind. Prayers, too, for both families, please.


              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


              February 3, June 4, October 4
              Chapter 7: On Humility

              The sixth degree of humility
              is that a monk be content
              with the poorest and worst of everything,
              and that in every occupation assigned him
              he consider himself a bad and worthless workman,
              saying with the Prophet,
              "I am brought to nothing and I am without understanding;
              I have become as a beast of burden before You,
              and I am always with You" (Ps:22-23).

              REFLECTION

              While it may be true that some people have self-esteems
              which are far too low, I think that many people, from my generation onward,
              have "worked through all that" with more than enough success. Relax,
              I think that often we have compensated for any imbalance and then some! With
              ears attuned to such 21st century self-affirmation, it is hard for us to hear
              lines like "worthless workman", "brought to nothing" and "a beast of
              burden before You."

              Understandably, we may listen through our filtered ears and wonder
              how on earth the Psalmist could say such things. Mechanisms to
              explain them away and denial defenses spring right up: " Must have
              been his primitive society, must have been some neurotic notion of
              religion in those days! Boy, that David REALLY needed to work on his
              self-image, so sad in a King, too!"

              I don't think any of those things are true in more than the most
              minimal sense, if that. David COULD say those things with honesty,
              because he was saintly.Let me hasten to console all concerned with
              that news that he was also very human. Face it, he had a lusty eye
              for Uriah's wife and conveniently arranged Uriah's death in battle
              to "legitimate" things. Nathan the prophet confronted David with the facts
              and the child born of his dalliance with Bathsheba died.

              Because this terribly human David had known so much of
              God, at least in the depths of his soul, he could easily make
              truthful remarks like these about himself! Once we know even a bit of
              God, scales begin to fall from our eyes and we can easily see how the Prophet
              could say such things: they are true!

              I sure know I am nothing, nothing at ALL without
              God. If I have done a good job here and there, make no mistake
              that I can tell you from an inside perspective that successes were
              just that: here and there. Not one of them would (or could!) have ever
              happened without God's grace. Nada. Zilch! The total workman profile
              has a LOT of gaps and stuff undone, deliberately and otherwise. The merit
              review will probably NOT recommend a raise at this time!

              We need the truth of humility because we take ourselves- and the
              falsehoods about ourselves - far, far too seriously. Yes, we
              sometimes need to know we really did "OK", but we also need to often
              remind ourselves that we are not so hot as we thought!

              "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give the glory!" Yet another of
              David's pithy assessments of self-worth. We are, of ourselves, less than
              nothing. It is only because of Christ that we can truly become the "immortal
              diamond" of which Hopkins wrote!

              Love and prayers,
              Jerome, OSB

              www.stmarysmonastery
              Petersham, MA

               

               

               

               

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