+PAX Prayers, please, for the following: Maggie, 18, surgery for scoliosis of the spine. Diane, 23, battling leukemia. Deo gratias and continued prayers forMessage 1 of 95 , Sep 25View Source+PAXPrayers, please, for the following:Maggie, 18, surgery for scoliosis of the spine.Diane, 23, battling leukemia.Deo gratias and continued prayers for her recovery, Ann Marie, for whom we prayed, is cancer-free, no chemo and no radiation needed.Paul, who disappeared, has been found in a cardiac intensive care unit. Prayers for his recovery.Nina, 81, toe surgery.Alice, fibromyalgia and unable to work. She is facing great financial crisis and is scared.Adriana's Dad, in his final hours, for his happy death and for all his family and all who will mourn him.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 26, May 27, September 26
Chapter 7: On Humility
The first degree of humility, then,
is that a person keep the fear of God before his eyes
and beware of ever forgetting it.
Let him be ever mindful of all that God has commanded;
let his thoughts constantly recur
to the hell-fire which will burn for their sins
those who despise God,
and to the life everlasting which is prepared
for those who fear Him.
Let him keep himself at every moment from sins and vices,
whether of the mind, the tongue, the hands, the feet,
or the self-will,
and check also the desires of the flesh.
Few things punch people's buttons like the phrase "fear of God." It is
widely misunderstood and commonly taken in its most unappealing sense. A recent
poll in the United States showed that an overwhelming majority of folks
believed in God, but that an alarmingly high number thought He was a rather
demanding Judge and taskmaster. How very sad!
Perhaps a skewed understanding of the
concept of the fear of God has gone a long way to making folks feel that way.
There is a very big difference between fearing to offend a touchy, nasty,
ill-tempered scoundrel and fearing to offend one we love deeply. Most people,
quite unflatteringly, assume the fear of God is of the first variety. It
isn't. It is the fear of offending One we love, One Who deserves nothing shoddy
or half-hearted from us.
When I love someone my heart breaks if I hurt or upset
them, I would never do so intentionally and even unintentional gaffs upset
me because they upset the one I love. It is this sort of "fear" that we need
to cultivate in regards to God.
This loving fear requires all the mindfulness and care and vigilance
mentioned in this reading for reasons altogether different than terror. It
demands them because of love, the same loving fear a mother has of failing to
protect her child from harm or hurt. It is the lover's fear, not the fear of the
terrorized, cowering, scared-to-death slave of an unjust master. It is the fear
of a son or daughter who would never want to disappoint a beloved father or
We don't fear God because He's mean, we fear Him because He isn't,
because He is so wonderful that nothing would be worse than to displease Him.
To be sure, a lot of folks fear God in the scary way at square one. That's
not surprising. But "perfect love casts out fear," so, in the natural order of
things, as our love grows more perfect, our fear of the terror sort
diminishes, changes, grows into the lover's fear.
When we find ourselves considerably beyond square one and trembling with the
awful fear, we do a great disservice to the kindness and love of God, to His
infinite mercy. Where is our trust?
St. Claude de la Colombiere, spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary
Alacoque and great promoter of the Sacred Heart revelations given to her, also
corresponded with a Benedictine abbess. This abbess had been elected at far too
young an age (20!!!) and later becoming aware of her failings, was despairing
over all her sins and faults. St. Claude firmly rebuked her and said: "One
would think that you had never heard of God or His infinite mercy...[R]emember
that all the evil you have done is as nothing in comparison with that which
you do by failing in confidence."
That is a striking statement, but very true. Our right-minded fear of God
never, ever forgets His love or mercy or tenderness. Never.
Love and prayers,
+PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Nelson Mandela, 95, former President of South Africa, and for all his family and all who mourn him. PrayersMessage 95 of 95 , Dec 5 5:51 PMView Source+PAXPrayers, please, for the eternal rest of Nelson Mandela, 95, former President of South Africa, and for all his family and all who mourn him.
Prayers please for Monique and Martin who are expecting the birth of their first child, probably by C-section today, for a happy birth and long and happy life for the three of them.
Prayers for Father Jude, OSB, on the anniversary of his 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
April 6, August 6, December 6
Chapter 54: Whether a Monastic Should Receive Letters or Anything
On no account shall a monastic be allowed
to receive letters, blessed tokens or any little gift whatsoever
from parents or anyone else,
or from her sisters,
or to give the same,
without the Abbess's permission.
But if anything is sent her even by her parents,
let her not presume to take it
before it has been shown to the Abbess.
And it shall be in the Abbess's power to decide
to whom it shall be given,
if she allows it to be received;
and the sister to whom it was sent should not be grieved,
lest occasion be given to the devil.
Should anyone presume to act otherwise,
let her undergo the discipline of the Rule.
Part of this is about equality, part of it is about depending on
one's community for everything. But there is another part that is
more readily available to monastics and Oblates in the world, a
certain cloister of the heart, a partial flight from the secular.
Outside news, to which we all can become so easily addicted, is not
always useful, let alone nourishing. When I was a pastoral associate
in Boston, I was the slave of the weather channel: knew the five day
forecast ALL the time. Then I moved here- no cable anywhere- and
pretty much let God surprise me each morning with whatever was
available. Granted, traveling on foot and by subway to do a lot of
ministry in Boston, I did have a greater need to know, but not THAT
We used to get the NY Times every week, but stopped a while back. If
something really big happens, the regulars who come
to Mass will tell us. That's how we found out about Princess Diana.
Our contractor told us about 9/11. We were in Mass, praying for the
world anyway, with no clue that the towers were literally falling as
we prayed, that the Pentagon was on fire and thousands were dead.
It really didn't matter, in one sense, whether we knew or not: we
were already praying. Our prayers did not need details to be
effective. The heart of God was already breaking, already knew, HAD
already known from all time and beyond. We were just begging Him to
look at His people while not knowing which ones needed it most. That
made no difference. We ALWAYS know less than Him. It is the usual
There is much that is false, truly false and illusory in the
world. We all know that quite well. What we can miss is that media's
job is to make a lot of things much, much more real and pressing than
they are or will ever be. That sort of illusion we can easily do
This is in no way obscurantist or anti-intellectual, but a part of
the monastic heart actually LIKES to be out of touch in some areas
and profits from same. No one has to live in a cave, but I, as I
imagine most of us without any dream of large stock holdings, would
have managed quite well without knowing about every corporate scandal
in excruciating detail.There's a lot of stuff we DON'T need to
know, and in not knowing some of it there lies a great peace!
Love and prayers,