Holy Rule for Oct. 20
Prayers, please, for a young woman (I have no name,) and her Dad. He is
seriously ill. Prayers for Darla, 50's,recurring breast cancer. She had her
second breast removed yesterday. Prayers for Phil and his wife, Phyl. He has just
been diagnosed with cancer and his wife is understandably upset. Prayers for
their whole situation. Prayers for a middle-aged woman who may be quite
mistaken about having a religious vocation, for God's will for her. Continued
prayers for a religious in crisis. Prayers of Deo gratias and thanks for
Natalie, no cardiac blockage, but still dealing with high stress levels. Also Deo
gratias for Marialyce, whose physical therapy seems to be helping more. 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 19, June 20, October 20
Chapter 16: How the Work of God Is to Be Performed During the Day
"Seven times in the day," says the Prophet,
"I have rendered praise to You" (Ps. 118:164).
Now that sacred number of seven will be fulfilled by us
if we perform the Offices of our service
at the time of the Morning Office,
of Prime, of Terce, of Sext, of None,
of Vespers and of Compline,
since it was of these day Hours that he said,
"Seven times in the day I have rendered praise to You."
For as to the Night Office the same Prophet says,
"In the middle of the night I arose to glorify You" (Ps. 118:62).
Let us therefore bring our tribute of praise to our Creator
"for the judgments of His justice" (Ps. 118:164)
at these times:
the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext, None,
Vespers and Compline;
and in the night let us arise to glorify Him.
Tucked neatly into all this business of naming and counting the Hours
of the Divine Office comes the actual reason we go to choir or say the
Office alone. It is "our tribute of praise to our Creator 'for the judgments
His justice' "
OK, tribute, praise, glorify, all those things are familiar enough to
us, but the zinger here is "for the judgments of His justice."
Whoops! A lot fall out on that one! Whether we realize it or not, the
reason we praise God as Benedictines is to thank Him for ALL His
decisions in regard to us. That isn't easy, but it is terribly valid
and terribly necessary.
We thank God- admittedly sometimes with gritted teeth- for all the
things that did and DIDN'T work out the way we wanted them, for every
acceptance and every rejection that brought us to be as we find
ourselves today, in His arms, even when we cannot feel His arms.
The jobs we didn't get, the great loves which were not reciprocal, the
course we flunked, the kids that went wrong, the illness that dogs us, the
spouse we should never have gone out with twice, the unwanted pregnancy,
the miscarriage, EVERYTHING that has shaped our lives and persons is
something we thank God for in the Office.
I mention only the difficult things, because anybody can be thankful
that the apparently great stuff worked out. Nor am I saying all the
bad stuff is God's fault, or that it's our own fault, but ALL of it
is turned to good by God, and that is worth singing about! All of it!
If we look back honestly, we can see the hand of His goodness in the
darkest times, we can see it in NOT having our way, we can see it in
Since the way God turns all to good is a mystery we shall never know
fully in this life, we cannot adequately say much of anything but
thanks and praise, the stammered joy of someone who has received a
really great gift and is astounded at such generosity. Thanks, God.
And hey, You really DID know what You were doing all along, didn't
Own it, beloveds, God's will truly IS best. All is really mercy and
grace! All! And, uh, oh yeah- Alleluia!!!!!!!!!
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
I accidentally sent the reading for the 20th yesterday, so here is the missed reading for the 19th to catch up.
Prayers for Maan A., for her final ACT test on October 22. May the Holy Spirit guide her on this special day.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Brian 31, and for his family and all who mourn him.
Prayers for newborn William, his Mom, Katy, his Dad, Bill, and his grandparents, esp. Carol and Joey.
Prayers for Subin’s religious goods and books for children, may they bring many children to Christ.
Prayers for Debra, in RCIA and she has no one for either her daughter or herself whom she can ask to be a sponsor. Please pray that the Lord will send the right person(s) to support her. She is a single Mom, with three kids, and two very ill parents living with her.
Prayers please for Marian T, who has been out of work since Thanksgiving last year.
Please pray for a safe flight, a productive meeting, and safe return flight for Jessica.
Please pray that Dominic, just entering the work force, will get the job for which he has applied.
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 muh. JL
February 18, June 19, October 19
Chapter 15: At What Times "Alleluia" Is to Be Said
From holy Easter until Pentecost without interruption
let "Alleluia" be said both in the Psalms and in the responsories.
From Pentecost to the beginning of Lent let it be said every night
with the last six Psalms of the Night Office only. On every Sunday,
however, outside of Lent, the canticles, the Morning Office, Prime,
Terce, Sext and None shall be said with "Alleluia," but Vespers
The responsories are never to be said with "Alleluia" except from
Easter to Pentecost.
I have sometimes gotten posts asking how on earth I can
say "God's will is best." after recounting some litany of horrible
things which have befallen people in need of our prayers. Well, now
I up the ante a bit and add the equivalent of "Alleluia!" , "praise
Him!" to each post.
In every instance, even when it is all we can do to choke it out,
gritting our teeth, we must always say Alleluia. God must always be
praised, always, even when we cannot see goodness anywhere else at
all, it *IS* in Him and must be acknowledged.
"Alleluia" means "Praise the Lord!" I know we have taken it to mean
something a lot more like "Whoopee!", but it doesn't. I bow to St.
Benedict and Western tradition in the liturgical use. In our
hearts, however, there should be an "Alleluia/praise the Lord" at
all times and seasons. "Praise the Lord anyhow!" the charismatics used to say
when something dreadful or unlovely happened to one. How true, how
I have not had the
crosses of many, but I have had heavy, tailor-made ones of my own.
I was not always very graceful about that, nor about many a
heartbreak, but I do know and I can honestly say that God's will HAS
been best, always best. My 20/20 hindsight must, though grudgingly
at times, fully own that Alleluia was appropriate at every point,
in every instance.
Saying that does not mean that I can no longer be terrified at this
or that prospect. I can. We all can. Jesus was in Gethsemane. It is
a very human fear, and God finds our humanity, in which He sees His
Son, very fetching. So don't freak out if you still get scared, it
is part and parcel of our human condition. But even then, we must train
ourselves to praise!
In every heartbreak, in every despair, in every grief we must
ardently cling to our faith that God is merciful and good. We must
see that when we feel unable to see it. We must, by faith and sheer
will, affirm that the Lord must be praised at all times. He is not
mean. Whatever is bleak shall never, ever lack His tender,
caressing hand behind it, no matter how unseen to us. It is there.
He is there. Always! Praise the Lord! ALLELUIA!
Love and prayers,