+PAX Today is the third anniversary of the death of MonasticLife member Lou Ann Smith. Please remember her and her husband in your prayers. Eternal rest grantMessage 1 of 149 , Mar 25, 2010View Source+PAX
Today is the third anniversary of the death of MonasticLife member Lou Ann
Smith. Please remember her and her husband in your prayers. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord.
Please pray for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones an all who take care of them:
Richard Pieczarka, now in surgery for kidney stone removal, and for his wife, Mary Lou and all who take care of him, especially his surgeon and the OR team.
Lane, scheduled to have a brain tumor removed tomorrow.
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 26, July 26, November 25
Chapter 46: On Those Who Fail in Any Other Matters
When anyone is engaged in any sort of work,
whether in the kitchen, in the cellar, in a shop,
in the bakery, in the garden, while working at some craft,
or in any other place,
and she commits some fault,
or breaks something, or loses something,
or transgresses in any other way whatsoever,
if she does not come immediately
before the Abbess and the community
of her own accord
to make satisfaction and confess her fault,
then when it becomes known through another,
let her be subjected to a more severe correction.
But if the sin-sickness of the soul is a hidden one,
let her reveal it only to the Abbess or to a spiritual mother,
who knows how to cure her own and others' wounds
without exposing them and making them public.
I can hear parents relating to this one! "When you break something,
why don't you tell me? Don't just hide the pieces and say nothing."
Well, truthfully, sometimes people may have been afraid to ask us
because of ways we have reacted before, but that's not always so. As
former guest master, I can assure you that many adults have very adolescent
habits when it comes to breaking something, even though they
never had any dealings with me on the matter before. Nothing is said,
the damage is hidden and I'd find out a lot later.
That's too bad, because I really like to give a monastic witness to
the value of people before things and a broken plate or glass or
toilet is a great way to do that. When people do come to me, always
apologetic, and often quite sheepish as well, I say something
like: "Oh, that's OK! We can always get another pitcher, but we can
never get another you! People before things!"
People before things. That is so crucial to remember, because all of
us have lived in a very materialist world. For people of our times,
some of the Holy Rule's insistence that we be careful of the earthly
goods of monastery or home must be carefully balanced. Otherwise, we
run into the trap of becoming monastic materialists, quite a
contradiction in terms, to say the least.
Yes, we must be careful of things, but we must always keep uppermost
in our minds that the greatest treasures or family or monastery or workplace
are the members themselves. If frugality becomes stinginess, if conservation
breaks charity, we are way, way off the mark.
There's another little gem here, right at the end. Not everyone in
the group needs to know all your details all the time, but letting no
one at all know is equally foolish. A balance must be obtained here,
as in all things.
Knowing whom to tell what to is a delicate art of paying very close
attention to reality of the other person. Such attentiveness to another is
an exquisite exercise of personalism, a trait we should all desire! Some
people may not be trustworthy, others may not profit from knowing for
other reasons, like distress or worry or even scandal. Weigh those
considerations very, very carefully.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
+PAX Don, for whom we prayed, has died without seeing the Priest. Ardent prayers for the repose of his soul and for his brother, Jim, his wife and family andMessage 149 of 149 , Jun 6, 2010View Source+PAX
Don, for whom we prayed, has died without seeing the Priest. Ardent prayers for the repose of his soul and for his brother, Jim, his wife and family and all who mourn him.
Kaitlin, whose test we prayed for has also been able to get out of the bad real estate deal she was enmeshed in. Deo gratias, and thanksgiving prayers!
Lola, whose back surgery we prayed for, has now developed pain/numbness in her other leg. Unsure of the cause, possibly a bone chip or spur, they are taking her back to surgery this afternoon. Continued prayers, please, and for her brother, Richard and all their 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 6, June 7, October 7
Chapter 7: On Humility
The ninth degree of humility
is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence,
not speaking until he is questioned.
For the Scripture shows
that "in much speaking there is no escape from sin" (Prov. 10:19)
and that "the talkative man is not stable on the earth" (Ps. 139:12).
OK, if you are a parent, you cannot speak to your children only when
they question you. The therapy bills in later years would be
astronomical. There are many situations in a Benedictine life lived
in the world, among non-monastics, where this has to be altered, but
its kernel of truth must be discovered and maintained.
WHY do we talk needlessly? Quite often it is nothing more than a
trick to change the reality around us. We are bored, or we feel we
are not getting enough attention or we think the mood too heavy, so
we speak to change whatever annoys us at the moment. I should know.
I am infamous for creating my own entertainment when things seem
dull to me. That's not always a great idea...
Some tough moments, some difficult stuff are meant to be endured.
They are part of our necessary learning and growth. Ever notice how
we assess a child's maturity by its ability to be quiet and non-
fidgety in surroundings (like Church!) that do not spoon feed its
attention span? Well, the same is true of us at every stage. We do
ourselves harm if we defuse every single tense moment with a word or
two. We cheat ourselves.
All too often we speak only to remind the universe around us, which
has carelessly forgotten for a second that we are its center, of a
whole bevy of falsehoods: I am the cutest, smartest, or wittiest, I
have the solution to all of this. What folly on the part of the
entire cosmos to forget our importance! Better speak to clear the
Those who know me are thinking: "HE wrote THIS?!?" Yes, alas, I am
guilty of all I wrote. Three times a year the Holy Rule reminds me of
that and each time I am aware that I need to work on it. Thanks be to
God, the Rule IS read three times a year: usually by the time the
next reading comes up, my interest has flagged and I have to start
over. As for the part about the talkative not being "stable on the
earth," well, there have been times in the last 18 years
when God had to nail my feet to the floor to keep me faithful and I am
not dead yet... I have not always been His most willing pupil, but
oh, is He ever patient! And infinitely merciful!
But, as one Desert Father said, that's what we do all day in
monasteries: "We fall down and we get up."
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]