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Holy Rule for Nov. 13

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Barry and Bill on their birthday. Prayers, too, for the health of Amy, depression and weight loss and for the repose of the souls of
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 13, 2004
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Barry and Bill on their birthday. Prayers, too, for the health of Amy, depression and weight loss and for the repose of the souls of Levilla, Elizabeth and John. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Alleluia! Thanks so much! JL

      March 14, July 14, November 13
      Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen

      An hour before the meal
      let the weekly servers each receive a drink and some bread
      over and above the appointed allowance,
      in order that at the meal time they may serve their brethren
      without murmuring and without excessive fatigue.
      On solemn days, however, let them wait until after Mass.


      Immediately after the Morning Office on Sunday,
      the incoming and outgoing servers
      shall prostrate themselves before all the brethren in the oratory
      and ask their prayers.
      Let the server who is ending his week say this verse:
      "Blessed are You, O Lord God,
      who have helped me and consoled me."
      When this has been said three times
      and the outgoing server has received his blessing,
      then let the incoming server follow and say,
      "Incline unto my aid, O God;
      O Lord, make haste to help me."
      Let this also be repeated three times by all,
      and having received his blessing
      let him enter his service.

      REFLECTION

      Blessing readers and servers may strike the modern reader as a bit
      silly: a CEREMONY of blessing to do a no-brainer like that for a
      week? Ah, well there's the rub. Ancient monastics (and many Eastern
      Orthodox monastics even in our own day,) do NOTHING without a
      blessing. This results in all kinds of blessings for things we would
      take for granted. When the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne went as a
      group to the guillotine, at least one of the nuns approached the
      Prioress and asked; "Permission to die, Mother?" The Prioress blessed
      her to die.

      Getting a blessing, asking God's help for even seemingly trivial
      matters is a powerful reminder of our own weakness. It is a statement
      that we can do nothing without Him, that we truly are nothing that He
      has not given. There is a great humility in asking anyone for help.
      In this instance, however, humility is richest truth: we need God's
      help for everything. We do things only because He enables us, whether
      we asked Him for help or not. Our very lives would not exist without
      Him.

      We still bless readers and servers. Short ceremony, same every week.
      We all pray together for whomever is serving us. Since we are small
      (only 7,) the Superior is often reader or server. When that happens,
      he kneels like anyone else and the senior monk blesses him. It's a
      little family ritual.

      But what is its message for families in the world? For single Oblates
      living alone? The message is that there are no tasks to insignificant
      to bless with prayer. St. Benedict has earlier encouraged us to begin
      every good work with prayer, but maybe we have forgotten. Because the
      monastic is MINDFUL, careful, attuned to life, nothing is
      unimportant, nothing should be done "on automatic pilot." There is
      that healthy level of mistrust of self that will ask for Divine
      assistance in any endeavor. "Bless, Lord, yet another
      diaper." "Bless, Lord, emptying the trash." "Bless, Lord, management
      meeting!!"

      Making dinner or washing the dishes? Take a quiet moment in the midst
      of either to say "Help!" and "Thanks!" Two simple, one word prayers.
      No matter how chaotic your household, everyone will find time for at
      least that. God knows the details, knows your heart and can readily
      fill in the blanks! We may think God needs essay-length prayers, but
      He doesn't. He may enjoy hearing from us, but trust me, we NEVER tell
      Him anything that's news to Him.

      Of course, there is another side to simple things like serving table,
      picking up pins and the like. No, one could not have done anything
      without God's help, but ah, if one does them out of love and care!
      Bingo! Double coupons, so to speak! If that pin got carefully picked
      up because of a barefoot and running child, or a beloved pet who is
      prone to "tasting" whatever she can find on the floor, simplicity
      becomes a very much greater matter, indeed. Now it is very close to
      the heart of God, and that is a wonderful place to be.

      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 the eternal rest of the souls of Gloria, Ruth and Jonas. Prayers, too, for all who have died in Iraq. God s will is best. All is mercy
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 14, 2004
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please for the eternal rest of the souls of Gloria, Ruth and Jonas. Prayers, too, for all who have died in Iraq. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Alleluia! Thanks so much. JL

        + + + Feast of All Souls of the Benedictine Order + + +

        Alas, today's feast got dumped in many congregations' new calendars.
        So, while this is a bit of nostalgia for some, it is lovely nonetheless!

        A blessed feast of All Souls OSB to all! Whatever your Church's
        feelings about prayers for the dead, this is the day when we remember
        all the courageous monastics in history who have gone before us.

        What a family of richness and tradition and HUMANITY we truly have!!
        Granted, for those who do believe in prayer for the departed, a lot
        of that should be going on, but for those who do not, well, think of
        it as a kind of supernatural Veterans' Day!

        We owe deep thanks to all who kept the Order alive and thriving
        through 15 centuries or so. Without them, it would never have been
        here for us to join. We owe our deepest thanks of all to God, Who
        strengthened them with His infinite Love and Mercy!

        And please say a little prayer for Dr. Jean Ronan, whose teaching
        helped me write today's reflection.

        March 15, July 15, November 14
        Chapter 36: On the Sick

        Before all things and above all things,
        care must be taken of the sick,
        so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;
        for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" (Matt 25:36),
        and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me"
        (Matt.25:40).
        But let the sick on their part consider
        that they are being served for the honor of God,
        and let them not annoy their sisters who are serving them
        by their unnecessary demands.
        Yet they should be patiently borne with,
        because from such as these is gained a more abundant reward.
        Therefore the Abbess shall take the greatest care
        that they suffer no neglect.


        For these sick let there be assigned a special room
        and an attendant who is God-fearing, diligent and solicitous.
        Let the use of baths be afforded the sick
        as often as may be expedient;
        but to the healthy, and especially to the young,
        let them be granted more rarely.
        Moreover,
        let the use of meat be granted to the sick who are very weak,
        for the restoration of their strength;
        but when they are convalescent,
        let all abstain from meat as usual.


        The Abbess shall take the greatest care
        that the sick be not neglected by the cellarers or the attendants;
        for she also is responsible for what is done wrongly by her disciples.

        REFLECTION

        Visitors quite characteristically remark on the peace of Benedictine
        monasteries. They surely ought to be able to notice something very
        different from the world at large, something would probably be very
        wrong with the house if none could. On the other hand, no matter how
        politely we may respond to those who exclaim how peaceful things are,
        I'll bet that most monastic hearts can sinkingly say to
        themselves: "Yeah, but you don't LIVE here..."

        My dear theology professor, Dr. Jean Ronan, used to always say: "The
        mills of God grind slowly, yet exceeding fine...." She meant that in
        a karma sort of way, what goes around comes around sooner or later.
        However, today's reading and life in community have taught me to see
        an additional meaning. The mills of God truly DO turn very slowly.
        Sometimes their windmill blades are barely stirred by a hesitant
        breeze. No wonder that outsiders and first-time visitors cannot
        notice them grinding the wheat!

        Ah, denied the fall-into-the-ground-and-die brand of outright
        martyrdom, our grains of wheat must be ground into flour, a process
        of immolation no less complete, but most uncomfortably slower! St.
        Teresa of Avila said that the martyrs "bought Heaven cheaply" winning
        with one swing of the axe what we must struggle on many years to
        acquire.

        Don't make the mistake of looking only at the beauty of the ripe
        wheat swaying gently in the breeze and sunlight, the smoothness of a
        sack of pre-sifted flour and the fragrant warmth of a freshly baked
        loaf. Between and before those highlights comes a LOT of the
        grindstone! To say nothing of the sickle at first...oh, yeah, and
        that threshing and winnowing part- I almost forgot. What fun!

        What on earth does all this have to do with care of the sick? Ah, you
        have been patient and that is commendable. Take heart, the point of
        all this is at hand.

        The borders between sickness and meanness and evil are often blurred
        to indistinguishable levels. One age posited demons for epilepsy, our
        own sees exculpating psychological illness or impairment behind all
        manner of skullduggery. We have too little time, in many cases, to
        waste a lot of time with thorny and perhaps impossible diagnoses. In
        charity, we are usually obliged to assume that the meanest of people
        are simply not well. We do, after all, have to think the best of
        people.

        That can be damnably maddening. We WANT to ascribe blame when hurt or
        wronged. Every flawed human nerve in our body can begin to cry: "No
        quarter, no mercy!" Gee, in a flawed human way of speaking, wouldn't
        it be nice if we could! But we can't, we simply cannot. If we do, we
        become so unlike the mercy of Christ, the love of God, that our souls
        are in very great peril. This can sabotage our spiritual struggles in
        nothing flat.

        Hence, the care of the sick comes very much into play with the way we
        deal with those who hurt or harm us. This is a far different affair
        from doormat policy. Any who have ever worked in health care could
        readily attest that the sick must often be treated with a lot of less
        than lovely stuff: cautery, surgery, pumps and tubes and even, yes,
        at times, amputation. Having any of the procedures one has routinely
        performed on others done to oneself can be MOST enlightening!

        Hey, all of us are nice, good people in our own eyes much of the
        time. Our biggest gaffs are usually those to which we are all but
        completely blind. We must realize that this is not just true of
        ourselves, but of others as well. And, perhaps most difficult of all,
        we must see that sometimes WE are the ones who really need to be in
        the waiting room for cautery or amputation... Sigh... Ain't life and
        humility grand?

        Hence, whenever a relationship or person truly does require
        remediation, we must behave as we would like to be treated in the
        same circumstance. Compassion, love and gentle kindness, not
        patronization or scorn or abrupt roughness must rule the day. Many of
        us have experienced both the kind of nurse one loved and the kind
        that one would gladly forget if one could! Which sort of treatment do
        you wish to give?

        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 Deborah, seeking a temporary place to live, also for the happy death and eternal rest of Frank, 97, for his sister, Maureen, his
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 13, 2005
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          +PAX

          Prayers, please, for Deborah, seeking a temporary place to live, also for the happy death and eternal rest of Frank, 97, for his sister, Maureen, his niece, Anne, and all who mourn him. Maureen, 90, is alone now, having lost all of her brothers. Prayers for Barry and Bill on their birthday. Prayers for R., and all who have gone through divorce. 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 14, July 14, November 13
          Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen

          An hour before the meal
          let the weekly servers each receive a drink and some bread
          over and above the appointed allowance,
          in order that at the meal time they may serve their brethren
          without murmuring and without excessive fatigue.
          On solemn days, however, let them wait until after Mass.


          Immediately after the Morning Office on Sunday,
          the incoming and outgoing servers
          shall prostrate themselves before all the brethren in the oratory
          and ask their prayers.
          Let the server who is ending his week say this verse:
          "Blessed are You, O Lord God,
          who have helped me and consoled me."
          When this has been said three times
          and the outgoing server has received his blessing,
          then let the incoming server follow and say,
          "Incline unto my aid, O God;
          O Lord, make haste to help me."
          Let this also be repeated three times by all,
          and having received his blessing
          let him enter his service.

          REFLECTION

          Blessing readers and servers may strike the modern reader as a bit
          silly: a CEREMONY of blessing to do a no-brainer like that for a
          week? Ah, well there's the rub. Ancient monastics (and many Eastern
          Orthodox monastics even in our own day,) do NOTHING without a
          blessing. This results in all kinds of blessings for things we would
          take for granted. When the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne went as a
          group to the guillotine, at least one of the nuns approached the
          Prioress and asked; "Permission to die, Mother?" The Prioress blessed
          her to die.

          Getting a blessing, asking God's help for even seemingly trivial
          matters is a powerful reminder of our own weakness. It is a statement
          that we can do nothing without Him, that we truly are nothing that He
          has not given. There is a great humility in asking anyone for help.
          In this instance, however, humility is richest truth: we need God's
          help for everything. We do things only because He enables us, whether
          we asked Him for help or not. Our very lives would not exist without
          Him.

          We still bless readers and servers. Short ceremony, same every week.
          We all pray together for whomever is serving us. Since we are small
          (only 8,) the Superior is often reader or server. When that happens,
          he kneels like anyone else and the senior monk blesses him. It's a
          little family ritual.

          But what is its message for families in the world? For single Oblates
          living alone? The message is that there are no tasks to insignificant
          to bless with prayer. St. Benedict has earlier encouraged us to begin
          every good work with prayer, but maybe we have forgotten. Because the
          monastic is MINDFUL, careful, attuned to life, nothing is
          unimportant, nothing should be done "on automatic pilot." There is
          that healthy level of mistrust of self that will ask for Divine
          assistance in any endeavor. "Bless, Lord, yet another
          diaper." "Bless, Lord, emptying the trash." "Bless, Lord, management
          meeting!!"

          Making dinner or washing the dishes? Take a quiet moment in the midst
          of either to say "Help!" and "Thanks!" Two simple, one word prayers.
          No matter how chaotic your household, everyone will find time for at
          least that. God knows the details, knows your heart and can readily
          fill in the blanks! We may think God needs essay-length prayers, but
          He doesn't. He may enjoy hearing from us, but trust me, we NEVER tell
          Him anything that's news to Him.

          Of course, there is another side to simple things like serving table,
          picking up pins and the like. No, one could not have done anything
          without God's help, but ah, if one does them out of love and care!
          Bingo! Double coupons, so to speak! If that pin got carefully picked
          up because of a barefoot and running child, or a beloved pet who is
          prone to "tasting" whatever she can find on the floor, simplicity
          becomes a very much greater matter, indeed. Now it is very close to
          the heart of God, and that is a wonderful place to be.

          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 for Leo, 77, heart attack and having triple bypass surgery, and for his wife and all his family. He and his wife are separated from the rest of
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 12, 2006
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            +PAX

            Prayers for Leo, 77, heart attack and having triple bypass surgery, and for
            his wife and all his family. He and his wife are separated from the rest of
            their family, at their winter home in Arizona. Prayers for Ron, very serious
            bleeding ulcer, bleeding cannot seem to be stopped, for his doctors and all his
            family.
            For Ethan,4, who has severe special needs. On Wed. he will have a 2 hr.
            operation to remove his metal hip plates. He had them put in about 2 yrs ago.
            Also, for Pat, recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and for one struggling
            with sexual temptations. Marcella, for whom we prayed, has been found to have a
            staph infection in her system. Prayers for the right treatment for her.

            Prayers for Barry and Bill on their birthday. Prayers for a tragic mother
            who killed her three small 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

            March 14, July 14, November 13
            Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen

            An hour before the meal
            let the weekly servers each receive a drink and some bread
            over and above the appointed allowance,
            in order that at the meal time they may serve their brethren
            without murmuring and without excessive fatigue.
            On solemn days, however, let them wait until after Mass.


            Immediately after the Morning Office on Sunday,
            the incoming and outgoing servers
            shall prostrate themselves before all the brethren in the oratory
            and ask their prayers.
            Let the server who is ending his week say this verse:
            "Blessed are You, O Lord God,
            who have helped me and consoled me."
            When this has been said three times
            and the outgoing server has received his blessing,
            then let the incoming server follow and say,
            "Incline unto my aid, O God;
            O Lord, make haste to help me."
            Let this also be repeated three times by all,
            and having received his blessing
            let him enter his service.

            REFLECTION

            Blessing readers and servers may strike the modern reader as a bit
            silly: a CEREMONY of blessing to do a no-brainer like that for a
            week? Ah, well there's the rub. Ancient monastics (and many Eastern
            Orthodox monastics even in our own day,) do NOTHING without a
            blessing. This results in all kinds of blessings for things we would
            take for granted. When the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne went as a
            group to the guillotine, at least one of the nuns approached the
            Prioress and asked; "Permission to die, Mother?" The Prioress blessed
            her to die.

            Getting a blessing, asking God's help for even seemingly trivial
            matters is a powerful reminder of our own weakness. It is a statement
            that we can do nothing without Him, that we truly are nothing that He
            has not given. There is a great humility in asking anyone for help.
            In this instance, however, humility is richest truth: we need God's
            help for everything. We do things only because He enables us, whether
            we asked Him for help or not. Our very lives would not exist without
            Him.

            We still bless readers and servers. Short ceremony, same every week.
            We all pray together for whomever is serving us. Since we are small
            (only 8,) the Superior is often reader or server. When that happens,
            he kneels like anyone else and the senior monk blesses him. It's a
            little family ritual.

            But what is its message for families in the world? For single Oblates
            living alone? The message is that there are no tasks to insignificant
            to bless with prayer. St. Benedict has earlier encouraged us to begin
            every good work with prayer, but maybe we have forgotten. Because the
            monastic is MINDFUL, careful, attuned to life, nothing is
            unimportant, nothing should be done "on automatic pilot." There is
            that healthy level of mistrust of self that will ask for Divine
            assistance in any endeavor. "Bless, Lord, yet another
            diaper." "Bless, Lord, emptying the trash." "Bless, Lord, management
            meeting!!"

            Making dinner or washing the dishes? Take a quiet moment in the midst
            of either to say "Help!" and "Thanks!" Two simple, one word prayers.
            No matter how chaotic your household, everyone will find time for at
            least that. God knows the details, knows your heart and can readily
            fill in the blanks! We may think God needs essay-length prayers, but
            He doesn't. He may enjoy hearing from us, but trust me, we NEVER tell
            Him anything that's news to Him.

            Of course, there is another side to simple things like serving table,
            picking up pins and the like. No, one could not have done anything
            without God's help, but ah, if one does them out of love and care!
            Bingo! Double coupons, so to speak! If that pin got carefully picked
            up because of a barefoot and running child, or a beloved pet who is
            prone to "tasting" whatever she can find on the floor, simplicity
            becomes a very much greater matter, indeed. Now it is very close to
            the heart of God, and that is a wonderful place to be.

            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 for the spiritual, physical and mental health of the following, for their loved ones and all who treat or care for them: Freddie, inoperable brain
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 12, 2007
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              +PAX

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

              Freddie, inoperable brain tumor and having radiaton, had a seiure this week and has only slowly regained some of his walking and motor skills, also for his brave wife, Linda.

              Angela and Marylyn both having painful post op problems.

              Paul and his family and extended family who are in the midst of explosive relationship problems.

              Noella, bone scan to rule out return of cancer.

              Stephen, applying for a research position. 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 14, July 14, November 13
              Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen

              An hour before the meal
              let the weekly servers each receive a drink and some bread
              over and above the appointed allowance,
              in order that at the meal time they may serve their brethren
              without murmuring and without excessive fatigue.
              On solemn days, however, let them wait until after Mass.


              Immediately after the Morning Office on Sunday,
              the incoming and outgoing servers
              shall prostrate themselves before all the brethren in the oratory
              and ask their prayers.
              Let the server who is ending his week say this verse:
              "Blessed are You, O Lord God,
              who have helped me and consoled me."
              When this has been said three times
              and the outgoing server has received his blessing,
              then let the incoming server follow and say,
              "Incline unto my aid, O God;
              O Lord, make haste to help me."
              Let this also be repeated three times by all,
              and having received his blessing
              let him enter his service.

              REFLECTION

              Blessing readers and servers may strike the modern reader as a bit
              silly: a CEREMONY of blessing to do a no-brainer like that for a
              week? Ah, well there's the rub. Ancient monastics (and many Eastern
              Orthodox monastics even in our own day,) do NOTHING without a
              blessing. This results in all kinds of blessings for things we would
              take for granted. When the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne went as a
              group to the guillotine, at least one of the nuns approached the
              Prioress and asked; "Permission to die, Mother?" The Prioress blessed
              her to die.

              Getting a blessing, asking God's help for even seemingly trivial
              matters is a powerful reminder of our own weakness. It is a statement
              that we can do nothing without Him, that we truly are nothing that He
              has not given. There is a great humility in asking anyone for help.
              In this instance, however, humility is richest truth: we need God's
              help for everything. We do things only because He enables us, whether
              we asked Him for help or not. Our very lives would not exist without
              Him.

              We still bless readers and servers. Short ceremony, same every week.
              We all pray together for whomever is serving us. Since we are small
              (only 8,) the Superior is often reader or server. When that happens,
              he kneels like anyone else and the senior monk blesses him. It's a
              little family ritual.

              But what is its message for families in the world? For single Oblates
              living alone? The message is that there are no tasks to insignificant
              to bless with prayer. St. Benedict has earlier encouraged us to begin
              every good work with prayer, but maybe we have forgotten. Because the
              monastic is MINDFUL, careful, attuned to life, nothing is
              unimportant, nothing should be done "on automatic pilot." There is
              that healthy level of mistrust of self that will ask for Divine
              assistance in any endeavor. "Bless, Lord, yet another
              diaper." "Bless, Lord, emptying the trash." "Bless, Lord, management
              meeting!!"

              Making dinner or washing the dishes? Take a quiet moment in the midst
              of either to say "Help!" and "Thanks!" Two simple, one word prayers.
              No matter how chaotic your household, everyone will find time for at
              least that. God knows the details, knows your heart and can readily
              fill in the blanks! We may think God needs essay-length prayers, but
              He doesn't. He may enjoy hearing from us, but trust me, we NEVER tell
              Him anything that's news to Him.

              Of course, there is another side to simple things like serving table,
              picking up pins and the like. No, one could not have done anything
              without God's help, but ah, if one does them out of love and care!
              Bingo! Double coupons, so to speak! If that pin got carefully picked
              up because of a barefoot and running child, or a beloved pet who is
              prone to "tasting" whatever she can find on the floor, simplicity
              becomes a very much greater matter, indeed. Now it is very close to
              the heart of God, and that is a wonderful place to be.

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






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