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Holy Rule for Mar. 17

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  • Jerry Lee
    +PAX Prayers, please, for June, who suffered a very severe stroke, right side paralysis, unable to speak or swallow, prognosis uncertain. Prayers for husband
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 17, 2006
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for June, who suffered a very severe stroke, right side paralysis, unable to speak or swallow, prognosis uncertain. Prayers for husband and all her family and her doctors, and all those treating the folks for whom we pray. Prayers for John, preparing for abdominal surgery on Monday, and for Anne, his wife. Freddie, for whom we prayed in the past, has learned that his brain tumor is growing, prayers for him and his wife Linda and all his family. Prayers for Anthony, depressed, problems with his meds and becoming very negative about treatment. Prayers for Stan, his wife and all their family, especially their grandchildren. Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias, Fr. Damian of St. Leo is doing much better and home at the monastery. Prayers for a man pushed over the brink by his wife and marital problems, who took his own life. For his happy death and eternal rest, for his wife and all his family and friends. 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 17, July 17, November 16
      Chapter 38: On the Weekly Reader

      The meals of the sisters should not be without reading.
      Nor should the reader be
      anyone who happens to take up the book;
      but there should be a reader for the whole week,
      entering that office on Sunday.
      Let this incoming reader,
      after Mass and Communion,
      ask all to pray for her
      that God may keep her from the spirit of pride
      And let her intone the following verse,
      which shall be said three times by all in the oratory:
      "O Lord, open my lips,
      and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
      Then, having received a blessing,
      let her enter on the reading.


      And let absolute silence be kept at table,
      so that no whispering may be heard
      nor any voice except the reader's.
      As to the things they need while they eat and drink,
      let the sisters pass them to one another
      so that no one need ask for anything.
      If anything is needed, however,
      let it be asked for by means of some audible sign
      rather than by speech.
      Nor shall anyone at table presume to ask questions
      about the reading or anything else,
      lest that give occasion for talking;
      except that the Superior may perhaps wish
      to say something briefly for the purpose of edification.


      The sister who is reader for the week
      shall take a little ablution before she begins to read,
      on account of the Holy Communion
      and lest perhaps the fast be hard for her to bear.
      She shall take her meal afterwards
      with the kitchen and table servers of the week.


      The sisters are not to read or chant in order,
      but only those who edify their hearers.

      REFLECTION

      It is a safe bet that Oblates who don't live alone rarely eat in silence, so it
      would be easy to ask what on earth this chapter has for them, for all of us, in
      fact. Easy! Another reminder to bless every action and service, no matter how
      small is here. So is the kindhearted father Benedict: let the reader have a
      little something before reading, so the hunger doesn't overwhelm. (It is funny
      how quickly we become accustomed to eating at EXACTLY this or that time...
      Twenty minutes later can start some stomach rumblings!) A third and perhaps less
      obvious point is that, when it comes to the spiritual life and its nourishment,
      St. Benedict does not like to waste time. He makes judicious use of the time we
      feed our bodies to feed our hearts, minds and souls!

      Let's start with that wasted time idea. Look at some of the other areas we waste
      time actively, or passively, because we have no choice. Grocery store lines come
      to mind, so do waiting for elevators or trains or buses, to say nothing of
      riding on same. An excellent opportunity for silent prayer! One could also carry
      a small book all the time, popping it out when the occasions arise. I used to
      study college texts in line at the store. I was working full-time and I needed
      every minute. But we all need every minute to grow spiritually, because we don't
      know how many of those minutes we have!

      Driving, if one has a tape or cd deck in the car, can be a time to "make up" for
      some of that lectio divina we never seem to have enough hours in a day to
      finish. I speak as one formerly hopelessly addicted to rock 'n roll oldies- I
      was a radio DJ, after all- there are a lot of tapes I could have played that
      would have done far more for me than the Beach Boys or the Beatles! (Though I
      will always hold both dear!) I learned to balance things more! No radio or tape
      in your car? Make sure you have a Rosary. There's plenty of time for one and you
      will find that traffic jams, while still aggravating, can be less so when
      something worthwhile to do is close at hand.

      Oblates who live alone surely can play a tape of reading while they eat, but I
      strongly feel that even families, if the children are old enough to understand,
      can glean something here. What about a brief, very brief reading at the
      beginning of each meal, right after grace? Could be most anything, but the Saint
      of the Day, a free e list, has perfect length Saint bios with a quote and short
      point or two to ponder. (Subscribe at: http://www.americancatholic.org ) You and your
      family will learn about the Saints, about the faith. This can be done in less
      than 3 minutes or so, then (hopefully!) discussion and questions follow.

      You might, also, try a different kind of "silence" at meals. What about a "fast"
      from all talk that doesn't praise or compliment, an occasional meal when you
      agree to do nothing but tell each other the good things you appreciate about
      each member? Not shabby! Or maybe a meal when we never mention ourselves, only
      others at table? There are all kinds of tricks to turn conversation into
      something saving rather than harming, and total silence is only one approach!

      And don't forget that little gem about blessing every action. If grace before
      meals (maybe even after, too!) is not already a custom, make it so. This is not
      turning your family into monastics, it is a basic Christian practice that we
      should never have lost.

      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 Prayers for Susan, on her birthday, ad multos annos, many years, and a happy St. Patrick s Day to all! Graces and blessings! Prayers for Adrian, who
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 16, 2007
        +PAX

        Prayers for Susan, on her birthday, ad multos annos, many years, and a happy
        St. Patrick's Day to all! Graces and blessings!

        Prayers for Adrian, who waited so terribly long for his hip replacement. Now
        his recovery is going slow and rather painfully in some areas. Prayers for
        Tony, biopsy on the tissue around his eyes early today, a disease rare and
        rarely associated his form of cancer may have settled there. Prayers for
        Eleanor, badly needing to sell her house quickly as possible to move into a
        retirement home.

        Prayers for Jim, 88, after many years of dialysis and due to the drugs and
        steroids given to him, he has become totally deaf. Prayers that even a bit of
        hearing may be restored to him if it is God's will. Prayers for Gabriel,
        17-18 years old, blindness from diabetes, also for the happy death and eternal
        rest of Ann's son, who has died, and for Ann and all who mourn him. Prayers for
        a safe and healthy delivery for Sherry Ann, the baby is a few days overdue.
        Prayers for Bill, depression, and for John H., colon cancer.

        Prayers for Alix's Dad, 87, a three-time survivor of cancer, he now has a
        bile duct blockage that may be due to cancer. His compromised pulmonary and
        cardiac make surgery a very risky matter, prayers, too, for Alix and her Mom and
        for all his doctors. Prayers for Linda's brother, Jim, 39, diagnosed with
        lymphoma and he has neither income nor health insurance, family is trying to
        decide how best to help. Continued prayers for Dot, whose respiratory
        hospitalization we have been praying about. She also has two lumps on her breast that
        need to be biopsied. One of the first things she asked her niece was if she
        had put her on our prayer list! 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 17, July 17, November 16
        Chapter 38: On the Weekly Reader

        The meals of the sisters should not be without reading.
        Nor should the reader be
        anyone who happens to take up the book;
        but there should be a reader for the whole week,
        entering that office on Sunday.
        Let this incoming reader,
        after Mass and Communion,
        ask all to pray for her
        that God may keep her from the spirit of pride
        And let her intone the following verse,
        which shall be said three times by all in the oratory:
        "O Lord, open my lips,
        and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
        Then, having received a blessing,
        let her enter on the reading.


        And let absolute silence be kept at table,
        so that no whispering may be heard
        nor any voice except the reader's.
        As to the things they need while they eat and drink,
        let the sisters pass them to one another
        so that no one need ask for anything.
        If anything is needed, however,
        let it be asked for by means of some audible sign
        rather than by speech.
        Nor shall anyone at table presume to ask questions
        about the reading or anything else,
        lest that give occasion for talking;
        except that the Superior may perhaps wish
        to say something briefly for the purpose of edification.


        The sister who is reader for the week
        shall take a little ablution before she begins to read,
        on account of the Holy Communion
        and lest perhaps the fast be hard for her to bear.
        She shall take her meal afterwards
        with the kitchen and table servers of the week.


        The sisters are not to read or chant in order,
        but only those who edify their hearers.

        REFLECTION

        It is a safe bet that Oblates who don't live alone rarely eat in silence, so
        it
        would be easy to ask what on earth this chapter has for them, for all of us,
        in
        fact. Easy! Another reminder to bless every action and service, no matter how
        small is here. So is the kindhearted father Benedict: let the reader have a
        little something before reading, so the hunger doesn't overwhelm. (It is
        funny
        how quickly we become accustomed to eating at EXACTLY this or that time...
        Twenty minutes later can start some stomach rumblings!) A third and perhaps
        less
        obvious point is that, when it comes to the spiritual life and its
        nourishment,
        St. Benedict does not like to waste time. He makes judicious use of the time
        we
        feed our bodies to feed our hearts, minds and souls!

        Let's start with that wasted time idea. Look at some of the other areas we
        waste
        time actively, or passively, because we have no choice. Grocery store lines
        come
        to mind, so do waiting for elevators or trains or buses, to say nothing of
        riding on same. An excellent opportunity for silent prayer! One could also
        carry
        a small book all the time, popping it out when the occasions arise. I used to
        study college texts in line at the store. I was working full-time and I
        needed
        every minute. But we all need every minute to grow spiritually, because we
        don't
        know how many of those minutes we have!

        Driving, if one has a tape or cd deck in the car, can be a time to "make up"
        for
        some of that lectio divina we never seem to have enough hours in a day to
        finish. I speak as one formerly hopelessly addicted to rock 'n roll oldies- I
        was a radio DJ, after all- there are a lot of tapes I could have played that
        would have done far more for me than the Beach Boys or the Beatles! (Though I
        will always hold both dear!) I learned to balance things more! No radio or
        tape
        in your car? Make sure you have a Rosary. There's plenty of time for one and
        you
        will find that traffic jams, while still aggravating, can be less so when
        something worthwhile to do is close at hand.

        Oblates who live alone surely can play a tape of reading while they eat, but
        I
        strongly feel that even families, if the children are old enough to
        understand,
        can glean something here. What about a brief, very brief reading at the
        beginning of each meal, right after grace? Could be most anything, but the
        Saint
        of the Day, a free e list, has perfect length Saint bios with a quote and
        short
        point or two to ponder. (Subscribe at: _http://www.americancatholic.org_
        (http://www.americancatholic.org/) ) You and
        your family will learn about the Saints, about the faith. This can be done
        in less
        than 3 minutes or so, then (hopefully!) discussion and questions follow.

        You might, also, try a different kind of "silence" at meals. What about a
        "fast"
        from all talk that doesn't praise or compliment, an occasional meal when you
        agree to do nothing but tell each other the good things you appreciate about
        each member? Not shabby! Or maybe a meal when we never mention ourselves,
        only
        others at table? There are all kinds of tricks to turn conversation into
        something saving rather than harming, and total silence is only one approach!

        And don't forget that little gem about blessing every action. If grace before
        meals (maybe even after, too!) is not already a custom, make it so. This is
        not
        turning your family into monastics, it is a basic Christian practice that we
        should never have lost.

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








        ************************************** 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 Thanks to all who prayed and sent good wishes my way when I had the flu. It is good to be back and I could feel those prayers! JL Prayers please, for
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 16, 2008
          +PAX

          Thanks to all who prayed and sent good wishes my way when I had the flu. It is good to be back and I could feel those prayers! JL

          Prayers please, for Susan on her birthday, also for Patty, who is still job
          searching, and for Scott who has just been diagnosed
          with cancer behind his ear and will be operated on
          next week.
          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 17, July 17, November 16
          Chapter 38: On the Weekly Reader

          The meals of the sisters should not be without reading.
          Nor should the reader be
          anyone who happens to take up the book;
          but there should be a reader for the whole week,
          entering that office on Sunday.
          Let this incoming reader,
          after Mass and Communion,
          ask all to pray for her
          that God may keep her from the spirit of pride
          And let her intone the following verse,
          which shall be said three times by all in the oratory:
          "O Lord, open my lips,
          and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
          Then, having received a blessing,
          let her enter on the reading.


          And let absolute silence be kept at table,
          so that no whispering may be heard
          nor any voice except the reader's.
          As to the things they need while they eat and drink,
          let the sisters pass them to one another
          so that no one need ask for anything.
          If anything is needed, however,
          let it be asked for by means of some audible sign
          rather than by speech.
          Nor shall anyone at table presume to ask questions
          about the reading or anything else,
          lest that give occasion for talking;
          except that the Superior may perhaps wish
          to say something briefly for the purpose of edification.


          The sister who is reader for the week
          shall take a little ablution before she begins to read,
          on account of the Holy Communion
          and lest perhaps the fast be hard for her to bear.
          She shall take her meal afterwards
          with the kitchen and table servers of the week.


          The sisters are not to read or chant in order,
          but only those who edify their hearers.

          REFLECTION

          It is a safe bet that Oblates who don't live alone rarely eat in silence, so
          it would be easy to ask what on earth this chapter has for them, for all of us,
          in fact. Easy! Another reminder to bless every action and service, no matter how
          small is here. So is the kindhearted father Benedict: let the reader have a
          little something before reading, so the hunger doesn't overwhelm. (It is
          funny how quickly we become accustomed to eating at EXACTLY this or that time...
          Twenty minutes later can start some stomach rumblings!) A third and perhaps
          less obvious point is that, when it comes to the spiritual life and its
          nourishment, St. Benedict does not like to waste time. He makes judicious use of the time
          we feed our bodies to feed our hearts, minds and souls!

          Let's start with that wasted time idea. Look at some of the other areas we
          waste time actively, or passively, because we have no choice. Grocery store lines
          come to mind, so do waiting for elevators or trains or buses, to say nothing of
          riding on same. An excellent opportunity for silent prayer! One could also
          carry a small book all the time, popping it out when the occasions arise. I used to
          study college texts in line at the store. I was working full-time and I
          needed every minute. But we all need every minute to grow spiritually, because we
          don't know how many of those minutes we have!

          Driving, if one has a tape or cd deck in the car, can be a time to "make up"
          for some of that lectio divina we never seem to have enough hours in a day to
          finish. I speak as one formerly hopelessly addicted to rock 'n roll oldies- I
          was a radio DJ, after all- there are a lot of tapes I could have played that
          would have done far more for me than the Beach Boys or the Beatles! (Though I
          will always hold both dear!) I learned to balance things more! No radio or
          tape in your car? Make sure you have a Rosary. There's plenty of time for one and
          you will find that traffic jams, while still aggravating, can be less so when
          something worthwhile to do is close at hand.

          Oblates who live alone surely can play a tape of reading while they eat, but
          I strongly feel that even families, if the children are old enough to
          understand, can glean something here. What about a brief, very brief reading at the
          beginning of each meal, right after grace? Could be most anything, but the
          Saint of the Day, a free e list, has perfect length Saint bios with a quote and
          short point or two to ponder. (Subscribe at: _http://www.americancatholic.org_
          (http://www.americancatholic.org/) ) You and your family will learn about the Saints, about the faith. This can be done in less than 3 minutes or so, then (hopefully!) discussion and questions follow.

          You might, also, try a different kind of "silence" at meals. What about a
          "fast" from all talk that doesn't praise or compliment, an occasional meal when you
          agree to do nothing but tell each other the good things you appreciate about
          each member? Not shabby! Or maybe a meal when we never mention ourselves,
          only others at table? There are all kinds of tricks to turn conversation into
          something saving rather than harming, and total silence is only one approach!

          And don't forget that little gem about blessing every action. If grace before
          meals (maybe even after, too!) is not already a custom, make it so. This is
          not turning your family into monastics, it is a basic Christian practice that we
          should never have lost.

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

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Br. Jerome Leo
          +PAX A blessed feast of St. Patrick to all, special prayers for our troubled Church in Ireland and prayers that the truly religious aspects of today are
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 16, 2016
            +PAX



            A blessed feast of St. Patrick to all, special prayers for our troubled
            Church in Ireland and prayers that the truly religious aspects of today are
            restored.



            Prayers for the happy death of Steve, baptized, but very far from religion
            for many years and now in hospice. Ardent prayers for his happy death and
            that his children will return to the Church and help him have a happy, holy
            death.



            Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Virgilio Elizondo, who sadly appears to
            have taken his own life, and for all his family, parishioners and all who
            mourn him.



            Prayers for a Franciscan, Brother Stephen, who killed himself after abuse
            accusations, and for all his victims and their families, for his family and
            for all who mourn him. Prayers for his three former provincial superiors
            who are facing criminal charges in connection with his case.



            Prayers for the eternal rest of Jadwiga, and for all her family and all who
            mourn her.



            Prayers for the success of Fr. Bala's parish festival.



            Prayers for Kathy, gall stones and very painful.





            Prayers, please, for Kim's nephew who was just sent to prison. Low
            self-esteem lead to bad choices.





            Prayers, please, for Kaila and her new baby. Marcy is 7 weeks premature.
            Both had blood sugar issues. Baby is breathing on her own but, both need a
            lot of prayers and healing. Plus, older siblings are separated from mom and
            with nanna, who has severe MS. All need strength.



            Prayers for the eternal rest of Jenn's Mum, and for Jenn and all her family
            and all who mourn her.



            Prayers for a woman who is trying to extricate herself from decades of an
            abusive relationship. Please pray that the Lord give her peace through the
            process today as she trusts that He will provide for her. May God grant her
            favor after so many years of struggling in this situation and may He bring a
            great good out of it all as only He can do. Amen.



            Please say a prayer for the eternal rest of my dear mentor, Bro. Patrick
            Creamer, OSB. He taught me so much of what I pass on and he always LOVED his
            feastday!



            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 17, July 17, November 16
            Chapter 38: On the Weekly Reader

            The meals of the sisters should not be without reading.
            Nor should the reader be
            anyone who happens to take up the book;
            but there should be a reader for the whole week,
            entering that office on Sunday.
            Let this incoming reader,
            after Mass and Communion,
            ask all to pray for her
            that God may keep her from the spirit of pride
            And let her intone the following verse,
            which shall be said three times by all in the oratory:
            "O Lord, open my lips,
            and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
            Then, having received a blessing,
            let her enter on the reading.


            And let absolute silence be kept at table,
            so that no whispering may be heard
            nor any voice except the reader's.
            As to the things they need while they eat and drink,
            let the sisters pass them to one another
            so that no one need ask for anything.
            If anything is needed, however,
            let it be asked for by means of some audible sign
            rather than by speech.
            Nor shall anyone at table presume to ask questions
            about the reading or anything else,
            lest that give occasion for talking;
            except that the Superior may perhaps wish
            to say something briefly for the purpose of edification.


            The sister who is reader for the week
            shall take a little ablution before she begins to read,
            on account of the Holy Communion
            and lest perhaps the fast be hard for her to bear.
            She shall take her meal afterwards
            with the kitchen and table servers of the week.


            The sisters are not to read or chant in order,
            but only those who edify their hearers.

            REFLECTION

            It is a safe bet that Oblates who don't live alone don't eat in silence, so
            it would be easy to ask what on earth this chapter has for them, for all of
            us,
            in fact. Easy! It is another reminder to bless every action and service, no
            matter how
            small is here. It also shows us the kindhearted father Benedict: let the
            reader have a
            little something before reading, so the hunger doesn't overwhelm. (It is
            funny how quickly we become accustomed to eating at EXACTLY this or that
            time...
            Twenty minutes later can start some stomach rumblings!) A third and perhaps
            less obvious point is that, when it comes to the spiritual life and its
            nourishment, St. Benedict does not like to waste time. He makes judicious
            use of
            the time we feed our bodies to feed our hearts, minds and souls!

            Let's start with that wasted time idea.. Look at some of the other areas we
            waste time actively, or passively, because we have no choice. Grocery store
            lines come to mind, so do waiting for elevators or trains or buses, to say
            nothing of riding on same. An excellent opportunity for silent prayer! One
            could also
            carry a small book all the time, popping it out when the occasions arise. I
            used
            to study college texts in line at the store. I was working full-time and I
            needed every minute. But we all need every minute to grow spiritually,
            because
            we don't know how many of those minutes we have!

            Driving, if one has a tape or cd deck in the car, can be a time to "make up"
            for some of that lectio divina we never seem to have enough hours in a day
            to
            finish. I speak as one formerly hopelessly addicted to rock 'n roll oldies-
            I
            was a radio DJ, after all- there are a lot of tapes I could have played that
            would have done far more for me than the Beach Boys or the Dave Clark 5!
            (Though I will always hold both dear!) No radio or tape in your car? Make

            sure you have a Rosary.. There's plenty of time for one and you will find
            that

            traffic jams, while still aggravating, can be less so when something
            worthwhile

            to do is close at hand.

            Oblates who live alone surely can play a tape of reading while they eat, but
            I strongly feel that even families, if the children are old enough to
            understand, can glean something here. What about a brief, very brief reading
            at
            the beginning of each meal, right after grace? Could be most anything, but
            the
            Saint of the Day, a free e list, has perfect length Saint bios with a quote
            and
            short point or two to ponder. (Subscribe at:
            _http://www.americancatholic.org_
            (http://www.americancatholic.org/) ) You and your family will learn about
            the
            Saints, about the faith. This can be done in less than 3 minutes or so, then
            (hopefully!) discussion and questions follow.

            You might, also, try a different kind of "silence" at meals. What about a
            "fast" from all talk that doesn't praise or compliment, an occasional meal
            when
            you agree to do nothing but tell each other the good things you appreciate
            about
            each member? Not shabby! Or maybe a meal when we never mention ourselves,
            only others at table? There are all kinds of tricks to turn conversation
            into
            something saving rather than harming, and total silence is only one
            approach!

            And don't forget that little gem about blessing every action. If grace
            before
            meals (maybe even after, too!) is not already a custom, make it so. This is
            not turning your family into monastics, it is a basic Christian practice
            that we
            should never have lost.

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







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • russophile2002
            +PAX Please say a prayer for the eternal rest of my dear mentor, Bro. Patrick Creamer, OSB. He taught me so much of what I pass on and he always LOVED his
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 16

              +PAX

               

              Please say a prayer for the eternal rest of my dear mentor, Bro. Patrick Creamer, OSB. He taught me so much of what I pass on and he always LOVED his feastday! Prayers the eternal rest of Abbot Patrick of St. Leo and for all celebrating St. Patrick as their patron. Prayers for the Church in Ireland, too.

              Prayers for Mary, suffering from food poisoning.

               

              Continued prayers for Pat, Neesha’s Mom. She had a total of five consecutive heart attack and two arteries which were heavily blocked had stents put in. She remains in CCU, prayers she heals soon and can go home.

               

              Deo gratias and prayers of thanks, Lola gives thanks that a diagnostic test she had came back normal.

               

              Prayers for the eternal rest of Bryan, 50, who died of a heart attack, and for his family and all who mourn him.

               

              Prayers for Fr. Prasad and his mission in India, also for some special intentions of his.

               

              Prayers for Paul, 48, he has bladder cancer and is scheduled for surgery on April 4th.

               

              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 17, July 17, November 16
              Chapter 38: On the Weekly Reader

              The meals of the sisters should not be without reading.
              Nor should the reader be
              anyone who happens to take up the book;
              but there should be a reader for the whole week,
              entering that office on Sunday.
              Let this incoming reader,
              after Mass and Communion,
              ask all to pray for her
              that God may keep her from the spirit of pride
              And let her intone the following verse,
              which shall be said three times by all in the oratory:
              "O Lord, open my lips,
              and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
              Then, having received a blessing,
              let her enter on the reading.


              And let absolute silence be kept at table,
              so that no whispering may be heard
              nor any voice except the reader's.
              As to the things they need while they eat and drink,
              let the sisters pass them to one another
              so that no one need ask for anything.
              If anything is needed, however,
              let it be asked for by means of some audible sign
              rather than by speech.
              Nor shall anyone at table presume to ask questions
              about the reading or anything else,
              lest that give occasion for talking;
              except that the Superior may perhaps wish
              to say something briefly for the purpose of edification.


              The sister who is reader for the week
              shall take a little ablution before she begins to read,
              on account of the Holy Communion
              and lest perhaps the fast be hard for her to bear.
              She shall take her meal afterwards
              with the kitchen and table servers of the week.


              The sisters are not to read or chant in order,
              but only those who edify their hearers.

              REFLECTION

              It is a safe bet that Oblates who don't live alone don't eat in silence, so
              it would be easy to ask what on earth this chapter has for them, for all of
              us, in fact. Easy! It is another reminder to bless every action and service, no
              matter how small is here. It also shows us the kindhearted father Benedict: let the
              reader have a little something before reading, so the hunger doesn't overwhelm. (It is
              funny how quickly we become accustomed to eating at EXACTLY this or that
              time... Twenty minutes later can start some stomach rumblings!) A third and perhaps
              less obvious point is that, when it comes to the spiritual life and its
              nourishment, St. Benedict does not like to waste time. He makes judicious
              use of the time we feed our bodies to feed our hearts, minds and souls!

              Let's start with that wasted time idea.. Look at some of the other areas we
              waste time actively, or passively, because we have no choice. Grocery store
              lines come to mind, so do waiting for elevators or trains or buses, to say
              nothing of riding on same. An excellent opportunity for silent prayer! One
              could also carry a small book all the time, popping it out when the occasions arise. I
              used to study college texts in line at the store. I was working full-time and I
              needed every minute. But we all need every minute to grow spiritually,
              because we don't know how many of those minutes we have!

              Driving, if one has a tape or cd deck in the car, can be a time to "make up"
              for some of that lectio divina we never seem to have enough hours in a day
              to finish. I speak as one formerly hopelessly addicted to rock 'n roll oldies-
              I was a radio DJ, after all- there are a lot of tapes I could have played that
              would have done far more for me than the Beach Boys or the Dave Clark 5!
              (Though I will always hold both dear!) No radio or tape in your car? Make
              sure you have a Rosary.. There's plenty of time for one and you will find
              that traffic jams, while still aggravating, can be less so when something
              worthwhile to do is close at hand.

              Oblates who live alone surely can play a tape of reading while they eat, but
              I strongly feel that even families, if the children are old enough to
              understand, can glean something here. What about a brief, very brief reading
              at the beginning of each meal, right after grace? Then, hopefully, discussion and

              questions follow.

              You might, also, try a different kind of "silence" at meals. What about a
              "fast" from all talk that doesn't praise or compliment, an occasional meal
              when you agree to do nothing but tell each other the good things you appreciate
              about each member? Not shabby! Or maybe a meal when we never mention ourselves,
              only others at table? There are all kinds of tricks to turn conversation
              into something saving rather than harming, and total silence is only one
              approach!

              And don't forget that little gem about blessing every action. If grace
              before meals (maybe even after, too!) is not already a custom, make it so. This is
              not turning your family into monastics, it is a basic Christian practice
              that we should never have lost.

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


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