March 14, July 14, November 13
Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen
An hour before the meal
let the weekly servers each receive a drink and some bread
over and above the appointed allowance,
in order that at the meal time they may serve their brethren
without murmuring and without excessive fatigue.
On solemn days, however, let them wait until after Mass.
Immediately after the Morning Office on Sunday,
the incoming and outgoing servers
shall prostrate themselves before all the brethren in the oratory
and ask their prayers.
Let the server who is ending his week say this verse:
"Blessed are You, O Lord God,
who have helped me and consoled me."
When this has been said three times
and the outgoing server has received his blessing,
then let the incoming server follow and say,
"Incline unto my aid, O God;
O Lord, make haste to help me."
Let this also be repeated three times by all,
and having received his blessing
let him enter his service.
Families, and parents and caregivers, listen up! There's an important
lesson here. No task is too small to be blessed by prayer. More than
that, no task is so easy that it can be done without God's help, so
remember to thank Him. Of ourselves, we can do nothing, literally
nothing. All our strength and power comes from God.
Making dinner or washing the dishes? Take a quiet moment in the midst
of either to say "Help!" and "Thanks!" Two simple, one word prayers.
No matter how chaotic your household, everyone will find time for at
least that. God knows the details, knows your heart and can readily
fill in the blanks! We may think God needs essay-length prayers, but
He doesn't. He may enjoy hearing from us, but trust me, we NEVER tell
Him anything that's news to Him.
This chapter is not simply the humility and charity of service, it is
also the honest acknowledgment of complete helplessness without God.
For most folks, only sickness or debility will teach them that. It
may seem like nothing to bend down and pick up a pin off the floor
until a bad back makes that impossible. Handicaps hone our
perceptions of being in charge very, very well.
Of course, there is another side to simple things like serving table,
picking up pins and the like. No, one could not have done anything
without God's help, but ah, if one does them out of love and care!
Bingo! Double coupons, so to speak! If that pin got carefully picked
up because of a barefoot and running child, or a beloved pet who is
prone to "tasting" whatever she can find on the floor, simplicity
becomes a very much greater matter, indeed. Now it is very close to
the heart of God, and that is a wonderful place to be.
Love and prayers,