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Holy Rule for Feb. 3

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please for Pope John Paul II, for his health and God s perfect will in his regard. God s will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 3, 2005
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please for Pope John Paul II, for his health and God's perfect will in his regard. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Alleluia! 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 something like this happens to you!

      Lots of people LOVE consumerist enslavement, or at least think they do!
      Your efforts to free yourself might be far less than applauded in many eyes,
      while some may actually try, like those crabs, to pull you back. Someone
      once remarked that we think nothing of people spending themselves, even
      dying in the pursuit of sports, bodybuilding, mountaineering and the like,
      but our secular culture has a VERY different view of those who spend them-
      selves in the pursuit of the spiritual.

      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." We can direct our goods ever so much more responsibly toward
      the common good, goods we had been tricked into believing we had to
      throw elsewhere in the service of greed!

      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, please, for Lillian,mental illness, still separated from her husband and three young sons, all under 7. Prayers for Frank, 26, newly diagnosed
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 3, 2006
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for Lillian,mental illness, still separated from her husband and three young sons, all under 7. Prayers for Frank, 26, newly diagnosed with leukemia, and for all his family and friends, this has been a call to conversion for some of those around him. Prayers for Abbot Michael-John, CSL-OSB, parotid gland mass to be removed from behind his jaw, and for his community doctors. Prayers for Al and his wife and family, he will start radiation for prostate cancer on the 16th. Prayers for Jude, having her hysterectomy this morning and for her family and friends who are anxious for her.

        Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Dom Gregory Havill and his Community of Portsmouth Abbey, Rhode Island. He professed solemn vows yesterday. Deo gratias, too, for Emma, the little dog for whom we prayed, she came through her first surgery all right.
        Her human, Adam, thanks all! Lord, help 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

        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 something like this happens to you!

        Lots of people LOVE consumerist enslavement, or at least think they do!
        Your efforts to free yourself might be far less than applauded in many eyes,
        while some may actually try, like those crabs, to pull you back. Someone
        once remarked that we think nothing of people spending themselves, even
        dying in the pursuit of sports, bodybuilding, mountaineering and the like,
        but our secular culture has a VERY different view of those who spend them-
        selves in the pursuit of the spiritual.

        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." We can direct our goods ever so much more responsibly toward
        the common good, goods we had been tricked into believing we had to
        throw elsewhere in the service of greed!

        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 A reminder to all who wish to join us and our brothers in Pluscarden in special prayers from now till Easter for vocations to both our houses. Prayers,
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 2, 2007
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          +PAX

          A reminder to all who wish to join us and our brothers in Pluscarden in
          special prayers from now till Easter for vocations to both our houses. Prayers,
          too, for vocations to all our monasteries.

          Prayers, please, for Sr. Rosemary Ferguson, OP, former Prioress General of
          the Adrian Dominicans, who is quite ill.

          Prayers for all those affected by the tornado in Central Florida, especially
          for the happy death and eternal rest of those who died, and for all who
          mourn them. Thanks to our reader, Ann Marie, who lives in the town hit but is
          safe, Deo gratias, I learned that many of those worst hit were older trailers in
          some of the parks. Tornadoes wreak havoc with trailers, so many who saved
          their lives have no doubt lost everything else, and many of those are likely to
          be elderly with limited income. Prayers for them all, and for all the rescue
          workers trying to help.

          Prayers please for Ron, serious bacterial infection of knee joint requiring
          wound be left open, complicated by diabetes. Prayers for Jenny, recovering
          from shingles. Prayers for George, serious hand infection from a cat bite, has
          to take 3 days off work for antibiotic therapy and has no insurance, plus a
          debt that worries him. Prayers for the healing of the marriage and family of
          Cheryl and Pierre, multiple problems for them and their children. Prayers for
          Tom and his wife and their foster son, Lyrik, whom they hope to adopt. Lyrik
          has a rare congenital condition that affects the formation of his brain.
          Prayers for Scott, 42, in critical condition with a head injury from an accident
          at work, for his sister, Sheila, and all his family. 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
          precept 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, poverty and stability.

          Contentedness does not bide its time for a jump to something better,
          does not merely endure things, but accepts them 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 sad 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 knew one great monk who told me, at 83, that he had finally decided
          to stay! There was not even a hint of irony 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 something like this happens to you!

          Lots of people LOVE consumerist enslavement, or at least think they do!
          Your efforts to free yourself might be far less than applauded in many eyes,
          while some may actually try, like those crabs, to pull you back. Someone
          once remarked that we think nothing of people spending themselves, even
          dying in the pursuit of sports, bodybuilding, mountaineering and the like,
          but our secular culture has a VERY different view of those who spend them-
          selves in the pursuit of the spiritual.

          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." We can direct our goods ever so much more responsibly toward
          the common good, goods we had been tricked into believing we had to
          throw elsewhere in the service of greed!

          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/)
          _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
          Petersham, MA




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers, please, for the physical, mental and spiritual health of the following, for all thier loved ones and for all who take care of them: Robert and
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 2, 2008
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            +PAX

            Prayers, please, for the physical, mental and spiritual health of the following, for all thier loved ones and for all who take care of them:

            Robert and his family, for the grace and final perseverance.

            Fr. Brian, cardiac issues, and for his wife, suffering a lot from a workmen's comp case.

            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
            precept 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, poverty and stability.

            Contentedness does not bide its time for a jump to something better,
            does not merely endure things, but accepts them 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 sad 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 knew one great monk who told me, at 83, that he had finally decided
            to stay! There was not even a hint of irony 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 something like this happens to you!

            Lots of people LOVE consumerist enslavement, or at least think they do!
            Your efforts to free yourself might be far less than applauded in many eyes,
            while some may actually try, like those crabs, to pull you back. Someone
            once remarked that we think nothing of people spending themselves, even
            dying in the pursuit of sports, bodybuilding, mountaineering and the like,
            but our secular culture has a VERY different view of those who spend them-
            selves in the pursuit of the spiritual.

            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." We can direct our goods ever so much more responsibly toward
            the common good, goods we had been tricked into believing we had to
            throw elsewhere in the service of greed!

            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]
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