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4359Holy Rule for Oct. 25

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    Oct 24, 2013
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      Prayers, please, for:
       
      - Grace (for whom we have prayed before) who has pancreatic cancer; it's getting to be extremely painful and difficult for her.
      - Jan (recently widowed) is losing her memory; she went to the doctor yesterday and things are getting more and more foggy for her.
      - Baby Hazel was born with a rare eye anomaly (Peter's Anomaly); she is scheduled for her first eye surgery on November 1 for a cornea replacement surgery. Just born on October 12.
      - Special Intention for Beth.
      - For return to the Church for S.
       
      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 24, June 25, October 25
      Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said

      The order of psalmody for the day Hours being thus arranged, let
      all the remaining Psalms be equally distributed among the seven
      Night Offices by dividing the longer Psalms among them and
      assigning twelve Psalms to each night.


      We strongly recommend, however, that if this distribution of the
      Psalms is displeasing to anyone, she should arrange them otherwise,
      in whatever way she considers better,
      but taking care in any case that the Psalter with its full number
      of 150 Psalms be chanted every week and begun again every Sunday at
      the Night Office. For those monastics show themselves too lazy in
      the service to which they are vowed, who chant less than the
      Psalter with the customary canticles in the course of a week,
      whereas we read that our holy Fathers strenuously fulfilled that
      task in a single day. May we, lukewarm that we are, perform it at
      least in a whole week!


      REFLECTION

      I am going to begin this by reprinting two paragraphs of very
      important qualifications from the last post on this chapter, in
      February.

      "I hasten to add a word of caution to Oblates here: the Holy Rule
      is referring to choral Office in monasteries. To undertake for
      oneself such an Office could well be unwise, and sometimes, even
      wrong. The conditions of one's state in life come first. Oblates who
      are parents or married have kept Vigils and Nocturns with sick children
      or spouses of which professed monastics would never dream. Don't get
      hung up on this one. SHARE the Office all you can, but tend first
      to the responsibilities of your state in life.

      Before I became a monk I used to OCCASIONALLY do all 150 Psalms
      alone. There were two things worthy of mention here: I was a single
      man with one (very loving!) cat, and I recited them. Even at that,
      I can assure you it took up a chunk of time. Hence, Oblates should
      take great care that they don't obsess on this notion. Do what you
      can and rest assured that your community, and the Order and the
      whole praying Church is "making up" whatever you can't offer."

      A several years ago, the guesthouse well died (temporarily,
      thanks be to God!) We had to gather 10 gallon plastic buckets for
      each bathroom, haul them down the hill to the monastery in the
      station wagon, fill them and bring them back. What a hassle! We
      also had to caution the guests rather indelicately about no
      unnecessary flushes. Even more recently, a storm left us without
      electricity for several hours. Afraid to open the fridge too much
      and with no oven, we ordered pizza in Athol for the guesthouse.

      Both of these things were tough, but neither were anything compared
      to the amount of labor required to maintain life in the first
      centuries of the Order's existence. Neither were there lay
      brothers to do all that work in those days, since they were a much
      later development. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, no running
      water, no phones, no Athol House of Pizza to call and no car to pick
      it up in. (OK aqueducts in some places, but you get the picture...)
      In the midst of a life that we would find crushingly different, St.
      Benedict insisted on the weekly 150. Hmmmm......

      We live in a world where countless labor-saving devices and perks
      give us far more time than anyone in history has ever had. Are we
      always good stewards of that abundance? Heaven knows, I don't want
      to give up those modern advantages, look at how hooked on computers
      I am. But what do we do with all that time? How much of the time we
      save goes to prayer? How much goes to mindless stuff we could well
      do without?


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



       
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