Holy Rule for Oct. 24
A Deo gratias update on our Emma, the little girl many of you have written
to who faces so many orthopedic surgeries and skin grafts. She is cheerfully
wheeling about and another surgery is planned for today (Tuesday.) Possibly,
she might be able to go home for a week before transferring to a pediatric
facility where she will receive extensive physical therapy. She is doing so well
and her family thanks all for their thoughts and prayers. If you would like
to drop Emma an e mail, her address is: _eknappshover@..._
(mailto:eknappshover@...) Prayers, too, for the many folks who are helping Emma's
Mom and family get through this, even cooking meals to give Mom a break. God
reward them all!
Prayers for Eliza, 3, given a prognosis of five years to live, though her
doctors cannot diagnose her disease. Prayers for Dominic, perhaps led astray by
occult influences. He is being unfaithful to his wife. Prayers for her and
their two children, too. Prayers for Amanda, torn knee ligaments may require
surgery, and also for her Dad, who developed a severe infection after a
prostate biopsy. Happily, the biopsy was negative, so Deo gratias for that, and also
for Cas (not Petersham's Cas,) who also had a negative prostate biopsy.
Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Grant and Peg, celebrating 26 years of
marriage, and for all their family. Prayers for Jenn and her Mom. Suspicious
lymph nodes were found after her Mom's surgery. Prayers for Tom and his
daughter Molly, now away at college. Prayers for Charles and Carolyn, Ray and
Dorothy, Sharon and Gene, Larry, Phillip, Mike, Robert, Charles and David, all
going as missionaries to Korea for their church. Prayers for their safety in
these dangerous times, and that they may bring many to the truest light of
Christ. Prayers for Noella, struggling to give it all to God and doing better
than she realizes at that! 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
February 23, June 24, October 24
Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said
Vespers are to be sung with four Psalms every day.
These shall begin with Psalm 109 and go on to Psalm 147,
omitting those which are set apart for other Hours;
that is to say that
with the exception of Psalms 117 to 127 and Psalms 133 and 142,
all the rest of these are to be said at Vespers.
And since there are three Psalms too few,
let the longer ones of the above number be divided,
namely Psalms 138, 143 and 144.
But let Psalm 116 because of its brevity be joined to Psalm 115.
The order of the Vesper Psalms being thus settled,
let the rest of the Hour --
lesson, responsory, hymn, verse and canticle --
be carried out as we prescribed above.
At Compline the same Psalms are to be repeated every day,
namely Psalms 4, 90 and 133.
Maybe it's just me, but I find Vespers and Compline very different
and refreshing. They are evening hours, not followed by work, except
for the light clean up after supper, which is not a main meal here
anyway. Vespers makes me think of finally getting home and shutting
the door after a long day and a tough commute. It is a flavor no
other hour has for me. It ends the workday, leaving the evening for
family. Not shabby! A rite of passage from the job to the home hearth!
A brief glance at the Psalms for Vespers will show that they are yet
another example of consecutive, running psalmody. One right after
another, except for a few which get bumped elsewhere or thoughtfully
divided because of their length. Apparently by numerical
happenstance, Psalm 140 winds us in the Vespers grouping, and it is
most appropriate: "Let my prayer ascend to You like incense and the
lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice." Historically,
Psalm 140 has appeared in the Vespers or services of light
(Lucenaria) of many, many rites.
For active monasteries, or for busy Oblates in the world, evening and
early morning are often the only times we get of relative cloister
and focus. The morning hours are largely available to anyone willing
or able to get up while the rest of the world (including the kids!)
sleeps, the evening hours perhaps less so. Those evenings are family
times par excellence and our first vocations must always be respected.
If, as a working parent or spouse, getting home means just getting
started with dinner, don't despair! There is (or can be, if you
provide for it,) a lot of undistracted solitude in cooking, even if
it is rather harried cooking. If you can GENTLY establish a quiet space
for yourself while cooking, go for it. The solitude of a kitchen at work
feeding loved ones is a rich one, indeed. Be careful not to make your
family crazy, though. That's why I stress GENTLY! The family comes
If you are into tapes, get one of somebody else singing Vespers and
play it. Heaven knows, if you can put up with the kids' music, they
can put up with yours for half an hour a day. Even if you do not
listen to every word, the soothing chant will settle into your bones,
become a backdrop of peace on which you can position the rest of your
evening. Give it a shot for two weeks and I'll bet you find your
evening meals and later times very different, because YOU are
A further plus is that the memory of you listening to Gregorian chant
while cooking, admittedly a rather unusual practice, will stay in
your children's minds long, long after you are gone. Who knows what a
snippet of chant memory might do for a faith life years after you
Love and prayers,
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