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Holy Rule for Mar. 8

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Donna, seeking full-time teaching work, also for all victims of the tsunami still separated from loved ones, still unidentified,
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 8, 2005
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Donna, seeking full-time teaching work, also for all victims of the tsunami still separated from loved ones, still unidentified, prayers for Joyce, knee replacement surgery today, and for Brian and his wife: they are expecting a son. Further prayers for Betty, her mediastinal tumor is cancerous, but it is not in her lungs. Aggressive chemo and radiation planned, but she is still in the hospital, short of breath and on oxygen. Deo gratias, Susan, pelvic fractures victim for whom we prayed, has been transferred to a facility in her home town, where more friends can visit and help. Continued prayers for Lorraine, having to close her apartment, adopt out her cats and enter a nursing home for cancer. So much wrenching there. Lord, help them as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Alleluia! Thanks so much. JL

      March 8, July 8, November 7
      Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

      As cellarer of the monastery
      let there be chosen from the community
      one who is wise, of mature character, sober,
      not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable,
      not offensive, not slow, not wasteful,
      but a God-fearing man
      who may be like a father to the whole community.


      Let him have charge of everything.
      He shall do nothing without the Abbot's orders,
      but keep to his instructions.
      Let him not vex the brethren.
      If any brother
      happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
      instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
      he should humbly give the reason
      for denying the improper request.

      Let him keep guard over his own soul,
      mindful always of the Apostle's saying
      that "he who has ministered well
      will acquire for himself a good standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).


      Let him take the greatest care
      of the sick, of children, of guests and of the poor,
      knowing without doubt
      that he will have to render an account for all these
      on the Day of Judgment.


      Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery
      and its whole property
      as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.
      Let him not think that he may neglect anything.
      He should be neither a miser
      nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance,
      but should do all things with measure
      and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.

      REFLECTION

      The Abbot is father to the family, in all respects. Some of those,
      however, are delegated to others, so that no one, not even the Abbot,
      may be overburdened. In one sense, the Abbot may be said to be the
      father in things spiritual and the cellarer in things material. It is
      interesting that St. Benedict requires very similar qualities in both.

      What lies beneath that requirement is the Benedictine view of
      property, of goods, of the earth itself. We scorn excess, in either
      direction, but we do not scorn the material world, we reverence it as
      if it were one of the vessels of the altar! This is very different
      from a Buddhist view, where all creation might be looked upon
      as "maya," illusion. We see creation for what it truly is: a
      stupendous and free gift of God to all.

      While we always place people before things, we demand that both
      people and things be the objects of downright exquisite care. We love
      both because they ARE God's gifts, because they are both the means of
      sustaining our lives for God's ends. As such, the Holy Rule's view
      does not permit that things be loved in and of themselves, for
      themselves alone. That's an attachment we have to be careful to
      avoid. That false love, however, can lead to all kinds of erroneous
      ideas about the good we administer: stinginess, hoarding,
      acquisitiveness.

      All of these traits translate very easily into the family sphere.
      Parents need to achieve a sane balance in regards to material things.
      They need not to be career-driven workaholics, but they must also
      avoid being poor providers through lack of concern. The key to the
      middle way is love, as usual. Love the family members more than
      anything worldly and the rest falls more or less into place. If
      children know that they come before things, they have learned a
      lesson that they will pass on for the rest of their lives.

      Face it, many a rich, spoiled child, immersed in privilege, feels
      unloved. Things are never an adequate substitute for our HEARTS,
      which is what God, St. Benedict and the Holy Rule ask us to give
      without reserve. It is the love, the genuine love, that a child (or
      anyone else, for that matter!) will remember. All the rest is dust
      and ashes.

      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 John, colon surgery scheduled for mid-March, for Anne his wife and for his doctors. Prayers for Julie, severe arthritis in knee and
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 8, 2006
        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for John, colon surgery scheduled for mid-March, for Anne his wife and for his doctors. Prayers for Julie, severe arthritis in knee and spine, for Frank, very bad psoriasis, and for the happy death and eternal rest of Salvatrice and Mary, who died last week, and for all who mourn them. Prayers for Brother Aelred, newly invested novice of Pluscarden Abbey, that he persevere according to God's will. Prayers too, for our Brother Dominic and his family. Brother is a convert and his family is still having a difficult time accepting his vocation. Prayers for Father John, possibly thinking about leaving the priesthood.

        Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Jan, who is rejoicing at a successful interfaith contact with the Muslim community in a small group. Prayers for a man, 50, declining into dementia and for his wife and son who watch him fading. Prayers for Freida, diabetic, very severe reaction to antibiotics for foot and toe infections, at risk of losing one or more toes. Prayers for Eileen, self-confidence issues and working to support her family and disabled husband, a heavy load for her. 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

        March 8, July 8, November 7
        Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

        As cellarer of the monastery
        let there be chosen from the community
        one who is wise, of mature character, sober,
        not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable,
        not offensive, not slow, not wasteful,
        but a God-fearing man
        who may be like a father to the whole community.


        Let him have charge of everything.
        He shall do nothing without the Abbot's orders,
        but keep to his instructions.
        Let him not vex the brethren.
        If any brother
        happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
        instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
        he should humbly give the reason
        for denying the improper request.

        Let him keep guard over his own soul,
        mindful always of the Apostle's saying
        that "he who has ministered well
        will acquire for himself a good standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).


        Let him take the greatest care
        of the sick, of children, of guests and of the poor,
        knowing without doubt
        that he will have to render an account for all these
        on the Day of Judgment.


        Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery
        and its whole property
        as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.
        Let him not think that he may neglect anything.
        He should be neither a miser
        nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance,
        but should do all things with measure
        and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.

        REFLECTION

        The Abbot is father to the family, in all respects. Some of those,
        however, are delegated to others, so that no one, not even the Abbot,
        may be overburdened. In one sense, the Abbot may be said to be the
        father in things spiritual and the cellarer in things material. It is
        interesting that St. Benedict requires very similar qualities in both.

        What lies beneath that requirement is the Benedictine view of
        property, of goods, of the earth itself. We scorn excess, in either
        direction, but we do not scorn the material world, we reverence it as
        if it were one of the vessels of the altar! This is very different
        from a Buddhist view, where all creation might be looked upon
        as "maya," illusion. We see creation for what it truly is: a
        stupendous and free gift of God to all.

        While we always place people before things, we demand that both
        people and things be the objects of downright exquisite care. We love
        both because they ARE God's gifts, because they are both the means of
        sustaining our lives for God's ends. As such, the Holy Rule's view
        does not permit that things be loved in and of themselves, for
        themselves alone. That's an attachment we have to be careful to
        avoid. That false love, however, can lead to all kinds of erroneous
        ideas about the good we administer: stinginess, hoarding,
        acquisitiveness.

        All of these traits translate very easily into the family sphere.
        Parents need to achieve a sane balance in regards to material things.
        They need not to be career-driven workaholics, but they must also
        avoid being poor providers through lack of concern. The key to the
        middle way is love, as usual. Love the family members more than
        anything worldly and the rest falls more or less into place. If
        children know that they come before things, they have learned a
        lesson that they will pass on for the rest of their lives.

        Face it, many a rich, spoiled child, immersed in privilege, feels
        unloved. Things are never an adequate substitute for our HEARTS,
        which is what God, St. Benedict and the Holy Rule ask us to give
        without reserve. It is the love, the genuine love, that a child (or
        anyone else, for that matter!) will remember. All the rest is dust
        and ashes.

        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 MaryAnn, for whom we have been praying, died Tuesday evening, surrounded by family. Let us pray for her happy death and eternal rest and for all who mourn
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 7, 2007
          +PAX

          MaryAnn, for whom we have been praying, died Tuesday evening, surrounded by
          family. Let us pray for her happy death and eternal rest and for all who mourn
          her.

          Prayers, please, for Cheryl, her husband and family. Her husband is still
          living in an apt. and is closed to what the Catholic marriage counselor has to
          say. If anyone is able to fast March 21,22, 23 or March 28,29,30 for her
          intentions (or even just one of those days,) she would be grateful. Prayers,
          too, for Ruth, exploratory for a mass in her left inguinal area on March 26. She
          and her husband have had so many health issues and so many expenses, this
          will really affect them financially.

          Prayers prayers for Ethan, 2, and his father and mother, Ben and Becky.
          Ethan is at St. Jude's Hospital for Children with leukemia. Prayers for Tom,
          having one of his kidneys removed due to cancer on Friday morning, and for his
          doctors and family. Prayers for Lisa & Paul, having marriage problems and need
          extra prayers & a lot of help to soften hearts & let the Holy Spirit work.
          Prayers, too, for Mike, fluid in the lung going for a CAT scan. 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 8, July 8, November 7
          Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

          As cellarer of the monastery
          let there be chosen from the community
          one who is wise, of mature character, sober,
          not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable,
          not offensive, not slow, not wasteful,
          but a God-fearing man
          who may be like a father to the whole community.


          Let him have charge of everything.
          He shall do nothing without the Abbot's orders,
          but keep to his instructions.
          Let him not vex the brethren.
          If any brother
          happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
          instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
          he should humbly give the reason
          for denying the improper request.

          Let him keep guard over his own soul,
          mindful always of the Apostle's saying
          that "he who has ministered well
          will acquire for himself a good standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).


          Let him take the greatest care
          of the sick, of children, of guests and of the poor,
          knowing without doubt
          that he will have to render an account for all these
          on the Day of Judgment.


          Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery
          and its whole property
          as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.
          Let him not think that he may neglect anything.
          He should be neither a miser
          nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance,
          but should do all things with measure
          and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.

          REFLECTION

          The Abbot is father to the family, in all respects. Some of those,
          however, are delegated to others, so that no one, not even the Abbot,
          may be overburdened. In one sense, the Abbot may be said to be the
          father in things spiritual and the cellarer in things material. It is
          interesting that St. Benedict requires very similar qualities in both.

          What lies beneath that requirement is the Benedictine view of
          property, of goods, of the earth itself. We scorn excess, in either
          direction, but we do not scorn the material world, we reverence it as
          if it were one of the vessels of the altar! This is very different
          from a Buddhist view, where all creation might be looked upon
          as "maya," illusion. We see creation for what it truly is: a
          stupendous and free gift of God to all.

          While we always place people before things, we demand that both
          people and things be the objects of downright exquisite care. We love
          both because they ARE God's gifts, because they are both the means of
          sustaining our lives for God's ends. As such, the Holy Rule's view
          does not permit that things be loved in and of themselves, for
          themselves alone. That's an attachment we have to be careful to
          avoid. That false love, however, can lead to all kinds of erroneous
          ideas about the good we administer: stinginess, hoarding,
          acquisitiveness.

          All of these traits translate very easily into the family sphere.
          Parents need to achieve a sane balance in regards to material things.
          They need not to be career-driven workaholics, but they must also
          avoid being poor providers through lack of concern. The key to the
          middle way is love, as usual. Love the family members more than
          anything worldly and the rest falls more or less into place. If
          children know that they come before things, they have learned a
          lesson that they will pass on for the rest of their lives.

          Face it, many a rich, spoiled child, immersed in privilege, feels
          unloved. Things are never an adequate substitute for our HEARTS,
          which is what God, St. Benedict and the Holy Rule ask us to give
          without reserve. It is the love, the genuine love, that a child (or
          anyone else, for that matter!) will remember. All the rest is dust
          and ashes.

          Love and prayers,
          Jerome, OSB
          _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
          _brjeromeleo@..._ (mailto:brjeromeleo@...)
          Petersham, MA



          <BR><BR><BR>**************************************<BR> AOL now offers free
          email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at
          http://www.aol.com.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX Prayers for Stephen and his parents as he travels many miles for a home visit. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following: Alex,
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 7, 2008
            +PAX

            Prayers for Stephen and his parents as he travels many miles for a home visit.

            Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of the following:

            Alex, funeral Saturday, and for all those who mourn him, especially Angelina.

            Sister Mary Paul McLaughlin O.S.B. a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Ridgley, Md., She died of severe head injuries sustained after being was struck by pickup truck. Sister Mary Paul was the Oblate director for their community.

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

            Elaine, possible stroke after a minor car accident.

            Robert and his family, for final perseverance.

            John, mentally disabled adult, being removed from life support today.
            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 8, July 8, November 7
            Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

            As cellarer of the monastery
            let there be chosen from the community
            one who is wise, of mature character, sober,
            not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable,
            not offensive, not slow, not wasteful,
            but a God-fearing man
            who may be like a father to the whole community.


            Let him have charge of everything.
            He shall do nothing without the Abbot's orders,
            but keep to his instructions.
            Let him not vex the brethren.
            If any brother
            happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
            instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
            he should humbly give the reason
            for denying the improper request.

            Let him keep guard over his own soul,
            mindful always of the Apostle's saying
            that "he who has ministered well
            will acquire for himself a good standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).


            Let him take the greatest care
            of the sick, of children, of guests and of the poor,
            knowing without doubt
            that he will have to render an account for all these
            on the Day of Judgment.


            Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery
            and its whole property
            as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.
            Let him not think that he may neglect anything.
            He should be neither a miser
            nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance,
            but should do all things with measure
            and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.

            REFLECTION

            The Abbot is father to the family, in all respects. Some of those,
            however, are delegated to others, so that no one, not even the Abbot,
            may be overburdened. In one sense, the Abbot may be said to be the
            father in things spiritual and the cellarer in things material. It is
            interesting that St. Benedict requires very similar qualities in both.

            What lies beneath that requirement is the Benedictine view of
            property, of goods, of the earth itself. We scorn excess, in either
            direction, but we do not scorn the material world, we reverence it as
            if it were one of the vessels of the altar! This is very different
            from a Buddhist view, where all creation might be looked upon
            as "maya," illusion. We see creation for what it truly is: a
            stupendous and free gift of God to all.

            While we always place people before things, we demand that both
            people and things be the objects of downright exquisite care. We love
            both because they ARE God's gifts, because they are both the means of
            sustaining our lives for God's ends. As such, the Holy Rule's view
            does not permit that things be loved in and of themselves, for
            themselves alone. That's an attachment we have to be careful to
            avoid. That false love, however, can lead to all kinds of erroneous
            ideas about the good we administer: stinginess, hoarding,
            acquisitiveness.

            All of these traits translate very easily into the family sphere.
            Parents need to achieve a sane balance in regards to material things.
            They need not to be career-driven workaholics, but they must also
            avoid being poor providers through lack of concern. The key to the
            middle way is love, as usual. Love the family members more than
            anything worldly and the rest falls more or less into place. If
            children know that they come before things, they have learned a
            lesson that they will pass on for the rest of their lives.

            Face it, many a rich, spoiled child, immersed in privilege, feels
            unloved. Things are never an adequate substitute for our HEARTS,
            which is what God, St. Benedict and the Holy Rule ask us to give
            without reserve. It is the love, the genuine love, that a child (or
            anyone else, for that matter!) will remember. All the rest is dust
            and ashes.

            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 the eternal rest of Fr. Yacob Boulos, beheaded in Syria, and for all his family, Community, parishioners, and all who mourn him. Prayers, too,
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 7, 2016

              +PAX

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Yacob Boulos, beheaded in Syria, and for all his family, Community, parishioners, and all who mourn him. Prayers, too, for the repentance and conversion of his killer.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Adrienne B., and for all her family, esp. Judith, and for all who mourn her.

               

              Prayers for two veterans who committed suicide, and for all veterans who are tempted to take their own lives or have done so, and for their families and all who mourn them.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Franciscan Father Eugene Kole, who died suddenly, and for his family, Community, parishioners and all who mourn him

               

              Prayers  for Alexander and his family, esp. his mother, he is disabled after three tours in Iraq, for grace and strength and the Sacraments for all of his family.

               

              Please pray for the Bequette Family. They are undergoing terrible trials as a son struggles with a severe illness.

              Please pray for Nicole, who is suffering from terrible migraines. The doctors are searching for a medication that works, sadly a reaction to one put her in the ER. She is back home, but the search for a medication continues.

               

              Please pray for Claudia and her family undergoing many challenges and difficulties.

               

              Prayers for the Little Sisters of the Poor, Thomas Aquinas College, and other plaintiffs coming before the US Supreme Court regarding the HHS contraceptive mandate, case will be heard beginning March 23, for religious liberty to be granted to all. Some folks are keeping the 23rd as a day of fasting and prayer, you may wish to join them, or to perform some other work of mercy or penance.

               

              Prayers, please, for Robert, spending spring break (March 7 through 12) discerning a vocation to a religious order, that this will be a happy and spiritually productive week for him, no matter what the outcome.

               

              Prayers for a man visiting the Maronite monastery in Petersham and our monastery, too, Prayers for God’s will as he attempts to discern his vocation.

               

              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 8, July 8, November 7
              Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

              As cellarer of the monastery
              let there be chosen from the community
              one who is wise, of mature character, sober,
              not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable,
              not offensive, not slow, not wasteful,
              but a God-fearing man
              who may be like a father to the whole community.


              Let him have charge of everything.
              He shall do nothing without the Abbot's orders,
              but keep to his instructions.
              Let him not vex the brethren.
              If any brother
              happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
              instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
              he should humbly give the reason
              for denying the improper request.

              Let him keep guard over his own soul,
              mindful always of the Apostle's saying
              that "he who has ministered well
              will acquire for himself a good standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).


              Let him take the greatest care
              of the sick, of children, of guests and of the poor,
              knowing without doubt
              that he will have to render an account for all these
              on the Day of Judgment.


              Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery
              and its whole property
              as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.
              Let him not think that he may neglect anything.
              He should be neither a miser
              nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance,
              but should do all things with measure
              and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.

              REFLECTION

              The Abbot is father to the family, in all respects. Some of those,
              however, are delegated to others, so that no one, not even the Abbot,
              may be overburdened. In one sense, the Abbot may be said to be the
              father in things spiritual and the cellarer in things material. It is
              interesting that St. Benedict requires very similar qualities in both.

              What lies beneath that requirement is the Benedictine view of
              property, of goods, of the earth itself. We scorn excess, in either
              direction, but we do not scorn the material world, we reverence it as
              if it were one of the vessels of the altar! We see creation for what
              it truly is: a stupendous and free gift of God to all.

              While we always place people before things, we demand that both
              people and things be the objects of downright exquisite care. We love
              both because they ARE God's gifts, because they are both the means of
              sustaining our lives for God's ends. We must avoid erroneous
              ideas about the goods we administer: stinginess, hoarding,
              acquisitiveness.

              All of these traits translate very easily into the family sphere.
              Parents need to achieve a sane balance in regards to material things.
              They need not to be career-driven workaholics, but they must also
              avoid being poor providers through lack of concern. The key to the
              middle way is love, as usual. Love the family members more than
              anything worldly and the rest falls more or less into place. If
              children know that they come before things, they have learned a
              lesson that they will pass on for the rest of their lives.

              Face it, many a rich, spoiled child, immersed in privilege, feels
              unloved. Things are never an adequate substitute for our HEARTS,
              which is what God, St. Benedict and the Holy Rule ask us to give
              without reserve. It is the love, the genuine love, that a child (or
              anyone else, for that matter!) will remember. All the rest is dust
              and ashes.

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

               

               

               

               

            • russophile2002
              +PAX Prayers for Marion, torn rotator cuff. Prayers for Br. Raphael Quesada, OSB, on his birthday, graces galore and many more , ad multos annos. Prayers for
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 7

                +PAX

                 

                Prayers for Marion, torn rotator cuff.

                 

                Prayers for Br. Raphael Quesada, OSB, on his birthday, graces galore and many more , ad multos annos.

                 

                Prayers for the Community, Associates and Oblates of Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David, Arizona, for special intentions.

                 

                Deo gratias and prayers of thanks for Jeff’s new job and for the healing of Angie’s Dad’s broken leg.

                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 8, July 8, November 7
                Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be

                As cellarer of the monastery
                let there be chosen from the community
                one who is wise, of mature character, sober,
                not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable,
                not offensive, not slow, not wasteful,
                but a God-fearing man
                who may be like a father to the whole community.


                Let him have charge of everything.
                He shall do nothing without the Abbot's orders,
                but keep to his instructions.
                Let him not vex the brethren.
                If any brother
                happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
                instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
                he should humbly give the reason
                for denying the improper request.

                Let him keep guard over his own soul,
                mindful always of the Apostle's saying
                that "he who has ministered well
                will acquire for himself a good standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).


                Let him take the greatest care
                of the sick, of children, of guests and of the poor,
                knowing without doubt
                that he will have to render an account for all these
                on the Day of Judgment.


                Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery
                and its whole property
                as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.
                Let him not think that he may neglect anything.
                He should be neither a miser
                nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance,
                but should do all things with measure
                and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.

                REFLECTION

                The Abbot is father to the family, in all respects. Some of those,
                however, are delegated to others, so that no one, not even the Abbot,
                may be overburdened. In one sense, the Abbot may be said to be the
                father in things spiritual and the cellarer in things material. It is
                interesting that St. Benedict requires very similar qualities in both.

                What lies beneath that requirement is the Benedictine view of
                property, of goods, of the earth itself. We scorn excess, in either
                direction, but we do not scorn the material world, we reverence it as
                if it were one of the vessels of the altar! We see creation for what
                it truly is: a stupendous and free gift of God to all.

                While we always place people before things, we demand that both
                people and things be the objects of downright exquisite care. We love
                both because they ARE God's gifts, because they are both the means of
                sustaining our lives for God's ends. We must avoid erroneous
                ideas about the goods we administer: stinginess, hoarding,
                acquisitiveness.

                All of these traits translate very easily into the family sphere.
                Parents need to achieve a sane balance in regards to material things.
                They need not to be career-driven workaholics, but they must also
                avoid being poor providers through lack of concern. The key to the
                middle way is love, as usual. Love the family members more than
                anything worldly and the rest falls more or less into place. If
                children know that they come before things, they have learned a
                lesson that they will pass on for the rest of their lives.

                Face it, many a rich, spoiled child, immersed in privilege, feels
                unloved. Things are never an adequate substitute for our HEARTS,
                which is what God, St. Benedict and the Holy Rule ask us to give
                without reserve. It is the love, the genuine love, that a child (or
                anyone else, for that matter!) will remember. All the rest is dust
                and ashes.

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


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