Holy Rule for April 29
Prayers, please, for my Mom, Louise, who would have been 88 today. Even though she has been dead for many years, prayers today for her happy death and eternal rest will be graciously counted by our good God!
Prayers of Deo gratias and thanks for John and Anne Green of Sheffield, as they celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary.
Most unusual and wonderful prayers of Deo gratias for a very private special intention I received yesterday. It got remedied before I could even get around to post it. God knew from all eternity we would be praying today, so I am sure he factored those prayers in! Let us thank Him. Cannot give details, but this was an awesome and swift turn around of some very discouraging events. Deo gratias in excelsis!!!
Prayers for the Benedictine Sisters of Florida, Holy Name Monastery, as they prepare to elect a new Prioress later in May. Prayers for Erin, graduating from college in a small New England town and moving to Los Angeles' inner city, to live in a Christian community and do social service work while in vocational discernment. Prayers for one trying to found a religious community. 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 29, August 29, December 29
Chapter 71: That the Brethren Be Obedient to One Another
Not only is the boon of obedience
to be shown by all to the Abbot,
but the brethren are also to obey one another,
knowing that by this road of obedience they are going to God.
Giving priority, therefore, to the commands of the Abbot
and of the Superior appointed by him
(to which we allow no private orders to be preferred),
for the rest
let all the juniors obey their seniors
with all charity and solicitude.
But if anyone is found contentious,
let him be corrected.
And if any brother,
for however small a cause,
is corrected in any way by the Abbot or by any of his Superiors,
or if he faintly perceives
that the mind of any Superior is angered or moved against him,
let him at once, without delay,
prostrate himself on the ground at his feet
and lie there making satisfaction
until that emotion is quieted with a blessing.
But if anyone should disdain to do this,
let him undergo corporal punishment
or, if he is stubborn, let him be expelled from the monastery.
My friend, Fr. Damian of St. Leo Abbey, once said: "If it gives
him so much pleasure and causes me so little pain, why not?" Great
philosophy! It is very easy to let people have their way in
reasonable requests and it goes a very long way to strengthen peace,
security and unity.
Think of how people are described who answer any request with
cheerful action: "She's someone you can count on." Well, we all ought
to be able to count on one another. If you are a Benedictine in a
situation where people are not dependable in this fashion, try being
a counter witness. Let people count on you, then, when their hearts
soften a bit, tell 'em what Father Damian said. If even one person
changes, the world is better.
Not all obedience is equal, even this chapter points that out.
Obeying the abbot is one thing, obeying each other is quite another.
But there is a connection to ALL obedience. Sometimes obeying a co-
worker is a lot easier than obeying the boss, yet these small steps
of compliance also strengthen us. Obeying each other can be a back
door way into some real growth in obedience. The key to obedience is
learning to control, even forsake our own will. Any good effort in that direction
will yield results.
Want some really deep theological perspective? Obeying each other
simply makes us nicer people. Become that person who always tries
to oblige others, it isn't that hard to learn! As a Southern nurse I used to
work with once said: "Anybody can be a skunk at a garden party if they
want to, but why bother?" She and Father Damian are both right: it is easy
to let others live.
Love and prayers,
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