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Holy Rule for Jan. 24

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Evelyn, 90. She had to put her cat companion of 19 years to sleep and is so heartbroken she has lost the will to live. Prayers, too,
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 24 5:24 AM
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Evelyn, 90. She had to put her cat companion of 19 years to sleep and is so heartbroken she has lost the will to live. Prayers, too, for Nancy, and all other pet-lovers who have suffered similar loses and can at least partially understand the pain. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Alleluia! Thanks so much. JL

      January 24, May 25, September 24
      Chapter 6: On the Spirit of Silence

      Let us do what the Prophet says:
      "I said, 'I will guard my ways,
      that I may not sin with my tongue.
      I have set a guard to my mouth.'
      I was mute and was humbled,
      and kept silence even from good things" (Ps. 38:2-3).
      Here the Prophet shows
      that if the spirit of silence ought to lead us at times
      to refrain even from good speech,
      so much the more ought the punishment for sin
      make us avoid evil words.


      Therefore, since the spirit of silence is so important,
      permission to speak should rarely be granted
      even to perfect disciples,
      even though it be for good, holy edifying conversation;
      for it is written,
      "In much speaking you will not escape sin" (Prov. 10:19),
      and in another place,
      "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21).


      For speaking and teaching belong to the mistress;
      the disciple's part is to be silent and to listen.
      And for that reason
      if anything has to be asked of the Superior,
      it should be asked
      with all the humility and submission inspired by reverence.


      But as for coarse jests and idle words
      or words that move to laughter,
      these we condemn everywhere with a perpetual ban,
      and for such conversation
      we do not permit a disciple to open her mouth.

      REFLECTION

      Ever wonder why speech is considered so dangerous? Because it can
      build up the false self, the very false self that we are trying to
      tear down with our other hand. I have, to my shame, reveled in a
      flame war or two. I got JUST the right zinger and aimed it
      mercilessly. Once an astute list member commented that I had shot the
      olive branch of peace with a crossbow! Ouch! He was so right!

      I don't know about everyone, but I can be terribly pleased with
      myself over such things, things of which I should in fact be ashamed.
      Our arms can easily reach to the shoulders of that false self,
      patting it on the back and congratulating it for hours afterwards.
      Wrong, wrong, wrong. The false self will grow and thrive badly enough
      on our own. Why on earth would we wish to offer it any unwitting
      assistance?

      Let me speak for myself, here. Probably 90% of what comes out of my
      mouth other than prayer is unnecessary. A further per centage I am
      afraid to even stab at is downright harmful to me. I don't imagine I
      am terribly far from average in this respect. And talk about damage
      from second-hand speech. There are LOTS of things I wish I had never,
      ever heard. Wow, if only we would guard silence as zealously as smoke-
      free zones. Wouldn't that be right in line with fearing that which
      can destroy the soul more than that which kills the body alone? I
      seem to recall some Guy having something to say along those lines.

      We aren't Trappists in the world. We cannot control our spaces as if
      they were monasteries, but we can and must control our own mouths.
      Total silence would likely be read as uncaring rudeness, but what
      about some alternative forms of silence? What if one resolved to
      speak not at all, all day, except in words of kindness, mercy or
      support, to never open one's mouth except to affirm.

      Now there's a thought. Could I have a seat in the no-griping section,
      please? Pursue that line of thinking, be creative. Fast for a week
      from contention and see what happens. Try a day of not talking at all
      about yourself. Try a whole day of asking others about themselves!
      One way or another, increase the levels of good one can do with
      speech and diminish those of harm.

      "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21)"

      Not just the tongue, folks, but the keyboard and any other writing
      instrument, too! Serenity cannot coexist with meanness of thought,
      word or deed. Doesn't happen. Serenity can be held only in a field of
      gentleness.

      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 of thanks and Deo gratias, the two young boys in Africa we prayed for have been settled in schools and the gentleman who asked prayers was
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 24 5:31 AM
        +PAX

        Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias, the two young boys in Africa we prayed for have been settled in schools and the gentleman who asked prayers was astounded by the help he received. Continued prayers that both young men find the grace to stay on the right path now, and when they are ready to be on their own, and for Dietrich, who helped care for them. Prayers for Martina, in her 70's, multiple health problems and trying to decide whether or not to retire from her job. Prayers of Deo gratias for three we prayed for: Jude now has a date set for her hysterectomy and Sandra is doing much better with the stress, also one depressed is doing much better. All three thank God and all who prayed. Prayers for two men suffering depression and their families. Prayers for the vocation searches of Sinisar, Chris and Andy. Lord, helps us 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 24, May 25, September 24
        Chapter 6: On the Spirit of Silence

        Let us do what the Prophet says:
        "I said, 'I will guard my ways,
        that I may not sin with my tongue.
        I have set a guard to my mouth.'
        I was mute and was humbled,
        and kept silence even from good things" (Ps. 38:2-3).
        Here the Prophet shows
        that if the spirit of silence ought to lead us at times
        to refrain even from good speech,
        so much the more ought the punishment for sin
        make us avoid evil words.


        Therefore, since the spirit of silence is so important,
        permission to speak should rarely be granted
        even to perfect disciples,
        even though it be for good, holy edifying conversation;
        for it is written,
        "In much speaking you will not escape sin" (Prov. 10:19),
        and in another place,
        "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21).


        For speaking and teaching belong to the mistress;
        the disciple's part is to be silent and to listen.
        And for that reason
        if anything has to be asked of the Superior,
        it should be asked
        with all the humility and submission inspired by reverence.


        But as for coarse jests and idle words
        or words that move to laughter,
        these we condemn everywhere with a perpetual ban,
        and for such conversation
        we do not permit a disciple to open her mouth.

        REFLECTION

        Ever wonder why speech is considered so dangerous? Because it can
        build up the false self, the very false self that we are trying to
        tear down with our other hand. I have, to my shame, reveled in a
        flame war or two. Once I got JUST the right zinger and aimed it
        mercilessly- in an apology yet!! Once an astute list member commented
        that I had shot the olive branch of peace with a crossbow! Ouch!
        He was so right!

        I don't know about everyone, but I can be terribly pleased with
        myself over such things, things of which I should in fact be ashamed.
        Our arms can easily reach to the shoulders of that false self,
        patting it on the back and congratulating it for hours afterwards.
        Wrong, wrong, wrong. The false self will grow and thrive badly enough
        on our own. Why on earth would we wish to offer it any mindless
        assistance?

        Let me speak for myself, here. Probably 90% of what comes out of my
        mouth other than prayer is unnecessary. A further per centage I am
        afraid to even stab at is downright harmful to me. I don't imagine I
        am terribly far from average in this respect. And talk about damage
        from second-hand speech. There are LOTS of things I wish I had never,
        ever heard. Wow, if only we would guard silence as zealously as smoke-
        free zones. Wouldn't that be right in line with fearing that which
        can destroy the soul more than that which kills the body alone? I
        seem to recall some Guy having something to say along those lines.

        We aren't Trappists in the world. We cannot control our spaces as if
        they were monasteries, but we can and must control our own mouths.
        Total silence would likely be read as uncaring rudeness, but what
        about some alternative forms of silence? What if one resolved to
        speak not at all, all day, except in words of kindness, mercy or
        support, to never open one's mouth except to affirm.

        Now there's a thought. Could I have a seat in the no-griping section,
        please? Pursue that line of thinking, be creative. Fast for a week
        from contention and see what happens. Try a day of not talking at all
        about yourself. Try a whole day of asking others about themselves!
        One way or another, increase the levels of good one can do with
        speech and diminish those of harm.

        "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21)"

        Not just the tongue, folks, but the keyboard and any other writing
        instrument, too! Serenity cannot coexist with meanness of thought,
        word or deed. Doesn't happen. Serenity can be held only in a field of
        gentleness and deep, tender mercy!

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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Br. Jerome Leo
        +PAX SINCE I ACCIDENTALLY SENT OUT THE 24TH YESTERDAY, THIS IS THE MISSING READING FOR JAN. 23. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Frederick, 93,
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 23 10:33 AM
          +PAX

          SINCE I ACCIDENTALLY SENT OUT THE 24TH YESTERDAY, THIS IS THE MISSING READING FOR JAN. 23.

          Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Frederick, 93, and for Celia and all who mourn him, also for the same intentions for Larry, who has died.

          Prayers for two families who both lost young sons to leukemia, for the tormented parents and for the happy deaths and eternal rest of Christian, 13, and Mitchell, 10.

          Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their familes and those who take care of them:

          Patty", who is having a terrible time with depression,a job search, and now is afraid to go out of the house.

          For Noel's Mom, Valerie, cataract surgery this Friday, for God's perfect will.

          Jenny, very ill three months on. She is still on a respirator, can only move her head and shoulders a little, and is in a lot of pain. Her husband, John, is finding it very difficult.
          Peggy, elderly, confused and rejecting any idea of leaving sheltered accommodation, and for her daughter who loves many miles away in Belgium plus carers and others visiting her who find her very difficult.

          For all Eucharistic Ministers and others visiting people in their homes. Their visits are really appreciated by those who often feel terribly isolated and lonely.

          Continued prayers for Dan, slow recovery after his wife, Nichola's death. 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 23, May 24, September 23
          Chapter 5: On Obedience

          But this very obedience
          will be acceptable to God and pleasing to all
          only if what is commanded is done
          without hesitation, delay, lukewarmness, grumbling, or objection.
          For the obedience given to Superiors is given to God,
          since He Himself has said,
          "He who hears you, hears Me" (Luke 10:16).
          And the disciples should offer their obedience with a good will,
          for "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7).
          For if the disciple obeys with an ill will
          and murmurs,
          not necessarily with his lips but simply in his heart,
          then even though he fulfill the command
          yet his work will not be acceptable to God,
          who sees that his heart is murmuring.
          And, far from gaining a reward for such work as this,
          he will incur the punishment due to murmurers,
          unless he amend and make satisfaction.

          REFLECTION

          Trust me, folks, I am not second-guessing St. Benedict on this one, I
          just think there is a chance that he is often misread and that
          something not at all contrary to his precepts needs to be emphasized.

          Few who share my cynical bent would fail to chafe at a reading of
          this passage which implies that we must all be cheerful, Pollyanna
          optimists, blithely smiling automatons. Yes, we are told not to
          murmur, and to put the very best face on our obedience that we
          possibly can. Often the real miracle of grace is that we can just
          barely obey in silence, without any comment at all. No doubt that is
          a tender mercy to those who live with us! We must not read St.
          Benedict harshly, even less so God. We must keep the loving parent
          image ever before our eyes in both instances.

          I want to expand the image of the non-murmuring heart a bit. Some
          days one's heart cannot murmur, because it is numb and paralyzed,
          unable to do much of anything more explicit than ache. After being racked
          and tortured brutally in prison, St. Edmund Campion's keeper asked him
          how he felt. He replied: "Not ill, because not at all."

          Some days everything seems like another trip to the rack, some days
          one's heart is Ground Zero, and everything coming at it seems to be
          just one more horrible plane. Never, never think that St. Benedict is
          telling us to put a happy face on this. A brave face or even a blank
          expressionless one may be all one can muster. We are asked to try, to
          do our best, to be as brave as we can.

          How very great is the love of God for us at such times. A favorite
          image I have used before is very apt here: the heart of God is like a
          Mother's refrigerator door, plastered with children's bad, even
          ghastly art. (OK, I KNOW it may be age-appropriate art, but bear with
          me on this one....) God is bursting and beaming with pride at our
          struggling efforts. He cares not a wit that we are not beaming with
          false cheer ourselves. With all that mud on our faces, who could see
          the forced smile anyhow?

          There will never be a time, in this world or in the next, when God
          loves us more than He does when we are fallen, crawling toward Him on
          all fours and still barely hanging on. The effort, always the effort
          is what God sees.

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


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers for Chiara. She has very poor judgment and is using a credit card she has no means to pay for to travel into a dangerous situation. It is an
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 23 3:04 PM

            +PAX

             

            Prayers for Chiara. She has very poor judgment and is using a credit card she has no means to pay for to travel into a dangerous situation.  It is an environment where she is not welcome and it is to meet an online friend.  Please pray her parents can  get through to her with God's help.  Urgent prayers, especially  tonight, please.

             

            Prayers for B. and O., having marital troubles. Prayers that B. stops hurting O.

             

            Prayers for Sarah, 28, who has left the Church and is living with her boyfriend.

             

            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 24, May 25, September 24
            Chapter 6: On the Spirit of Silence

            Let us do what the Prophet says:
            "I said, 'I will guard my ways,
            that I may not sin with my tongue.
            I have set a guard to my mouth.'
            I was mute and was humbled,
            and kept silence even from good things" (Ps. 38:2-3).
            Here the Prophet shows
            that if the spirit of silence ought to lead us at times
            to refrain even from good speech,
            so much the more ought the punishment for sin
            make us avoid evil words.


            Therefore, since the spirit of silence is so important,
            permission to speak should rarely be granted
            even to perfect disciples,
            even though it be for good, holy edifying conversation;
            for it is written,
            "In much speaking you will not escape sin" (Prov. 10:19),
            and in another place,
            "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21).


            For speaking and teaching belong to the mistress;
            the disciple's part is to be silent and to listen.
            And for that reason
            if anything has to be asked of the Superior,
            it should be asked
            with all the humility and submission inspired by reverence.


            But as for coarse jests and idle words
            or words that move to laughter,
            these we condemn everywhere with a perpetual ban,
            and for such conversation
            we do not permit a disciple to open her mouth.

            REFLECTION

            Ever wonder why speech is considered so dangerous? Because it can
            build up the false self, the very false self that we are trying to
            tear down with our other hand. Our arms can easily reach to the
            shoulders of that false self, patting it on the back and congratulating it.
            Wrong, wrong, wrong. The false self will grow and thrive badly enough
            on its own. Why on earth would we wish to offer it any mindless
            assistance? There is also the danger that our speech can hurt others,

            sometimes scarring them for many years or for life.

            Let me speak for myself, here. Probably much of what comes out of my
            mouth other than prayer is unnecessary. A further amount I am
            afraid to even guess at is downright harmful to me. I don't imagine I
            am terribly far from average in this respect. And talk about damage
            from second-hand speech. There are LOTS of things I wish I had never,
            ever heard. Wow, if only we would guard silence as zealously as smoke-
            free zones. Wouldn't that be right in line with fearing that which
            can destroy the soul more than that which kills the body alone? I
            seem to recall Someone having something to say along those lines.

            We aren't Trappists in the world. We cannot control our spaces as if
            they were monasteries, but we can and must control our own mouths.
            Total silence would likely be read as uncaring rudeness, but what
            about some alternative forms of silence? What if one resolved to
            speak not at all, all day, except in words of kindness, mercy or
            support, to never open one's mouth except to affirm.

            Pursue that line of thinking, be creative. Fast for a week
            from contention and see what happens. Try a day of not talking at all
            about yourself. Try a whole day of asking others about themselves!
            One way or another, increase the levels of good one can do with
            speech and diminish those of harm.

            "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21)"

            Not just the tongue, folks, but the keyboard and any other writing
            instrument, too! Genuine inner peace cannot coexist with meanness of thought,
            word or deed. Genuine inner peace can be held only in a field of
            gentleness and deep, tender mercy!

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

             

             

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