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Jan 11

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  • russophile2002 <jeromeleo@earthlink.net>
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Henk and his wife, Maria. Henk is bedridden with paralysis and has Parkinsons, a pacemaker and many other health problems. Thanks so
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2003
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      Prayers, please, for Henk and his wife, Maria. Henk is bedridden with
      paralysis and has Parkinsons, a pacemaker and many other health
      problems. Thanks so much! NRN. JL

      January 11, May 12, September 11
      Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

      Therefore, when anyone receives the name of Abbess,
      she ought to govern her disciples with a twofold teaching.
      That is to say,
      she should show them all that is good and holy
      by her deeds even more than by her words,
      expounding the Lord's commandments in words
      to the intelligent among her disciples,
      but demonstrating the divine precepts by her actions
      for those of harder hearts and ruder minds.
      And whatever she has taught her disciples
      to be contrary to God's law,
      let her indicate by her example that it is not to be done,
      lest, while preaching to others, she herself be found reprobate (1
      Cor. 9:27),
      and lest God one day say to her in her sin,
      "Why do you declare My statutes
      and profess My covenant with your lips,
      whereas you hate discipline
      and have cast My words behind you" (Ps. 49:16-17)?
      And again,
      "You were looking at the speck in your brother's eye,
      and did not see the beam in your own" (Matt. 7:3).

      REFLECTION

      "Awwww RIIIIIGHT! Work out, St. Benedict!! See, the ABBOT can be
      wrong, too! HOOOORAY!"

      Wait a minute, hold it, folks. I have some terrible news for you.
      This chapter is for everybody, not just Abbots. Now, read it again
      calmly until that unseemly cheering subsides. It should not take more
      than once or twice at the most. ALL of us have to be careful to
      practice what we preach, to walk the talk, to avoid the trap of
      hypocrisy or two-facedness. And it is a fair guess that all of us
      fail most of those things, even all of them, at one time or another.
      The trick here is to stop, or try to stop, to keep on keeping on in
      the struggle to be better.

      Beam in one's eye? Beloveds, let us squarely and bravely face facts.
      Well beyond a beam or two, there are few of us, if any, who could not
      comfortably host a full-scale Amish barn-raising in our eyes. If, in
      fact, our barn-raising faced any lumber shortage at all, a brief trip
      to our tongues could remedy that in nothing flat. An there's plenty
      more stored in our minds and hearts. A tad depressing, right?

      Wrong! Much, much more than a tad relieving, refreshing, glorious!
      Our very nothingness that we all share is a tremendous gift. Our
      weakness is a fantastic opportunity for God's strength in us to be
      praised and glorified, for His Divine Mercy to effect marvels of
      which we dare not dream. This distressing lumberyard that we all
      harbor is exactly the human condition and it is as humans that Jesus
      seeks us and loves us. No, we are not to ever stop trying to be
      better, but the fact that we are locked in the coop with a whole
      world of other also-rans is a GREAT solace. Nobody here but us
      chickens! Nobody at all!

      Cherish our nothingness. Start from nothing- we all have to anyway-
      but REALIZE it. Then everything, absolutely everything that follows
      is grace and mercy from God. That's what's happening, really. That's
      ALL that's happening, ever. Putting ourselves in touch with that is
      so freeing, because, as Jesus promised, the Truth will set us free.
      There is much for a Dominican heart to love here- Truth, Veritas!
      Jesus said "I AM the Truth." Acknowledging that Truth first in our
      most native of native lands, our own souls, is a magnificent triumph!
      But even that triumph is God's alone. We could not even breathe
      without Him. All is gift, truly all.

      Much of what burdens us is our own delusions or illusions about
      ourselves. Dump as much of that weight of falsehood as you possibly
      can and see how much lighter your steps become! Literally, beloveds,
      for the love of God, get a grip! It makes for a much better journey!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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