4359Holy Rule for Oct. 25
- Oct 24, 2013+PAXPrayers, 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!
I am going to begin this by reprinting two paragraphs of very
important qualifications from the last post on this chapter, in
"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
Love and prayers,
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