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Mar 23

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Prayers, please for Katrina and Michael, and for all military caught up in this war, for peace and the safety of all. Also, Deo gratias and thanksgiving:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 23, 2003
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      Prayers, please for Katrina and Michael, and for all military caught
      up in this war, for peace and the safety of all. Also, Deo gratias
      and thanksgiving: M.'s ultrasound was all clear and Lesli delivered a
      healthy baby. God's will be done. NRN Thanks, JL

      March 23, July 23, November 22
      Chapter 43: On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table

      Anyone who does not come to table before the verse,
      so that all together may say the verse and the oration
      and all sit down to table at the same time --
      anyone who
      through his own carelessness or bad habit
      does not come on time
      shall be corrected for this up to the second time.
      If then he does not amend,
      he shall not be allowd to share in the common table,
      but shall be separated from the company of all
      and made to eat alone,
      and his portion of wine shall be taken away from him,
      until he has made satisfaction and has amended.
      And let him suffer a like penalty who is not present
      at the verse said after the meal.

      And let no one presume
      to take any food or drink
      before or after the appointed time.
      But if anyone is offered something by the superior
      and refuses to take it,
      then when the time comes
      that he desires what he formerly refused
      or something else,
      let him receive nothing whatever
      until he has made proper satisfaction.


      Communal monasticism, even long before St. Benedict, established a
      close similarity between Church and refectory. One fed the soul, one
      fed the body, and, with reading, the soul and mind as well! Not
      surprisingly, a ritual grew up around the communal meal with its
      longer, formal, chanted grace, the silence and reading, that would
      make one think very much of Church, indeed!

      Oblates have to be very careful that they do not "impose" their
      monasticism on their families. On the other hand, all things being
      equal, it is certainly within reason to expect our families to be at
      least theistic, even Christian, if in fact they are! (If we do not
      have the blessing of a family or spouse of similar or like faith,
      then scrupulous respect for that difference must obtain.) Having said
      that, a formal grace, no matter how short, is hardly a draconian
      imposition on a family of believers, no matter how nominal that
      belief may be.

      Silence, of course, is hardly a family option, but peace surely is!
      Cease-fire, folks! Truce! Once grace is said, every effort to avoid
      dissension and fighting should be made! They really aren't very good
      for digestion, let alone spiritual growth. Think how many times one
      hears someone say: "Oh, yeah, we HAD to say grace as kids, but then
      all hell broke loose." Don't let them happen. It innoculates most of
      the grace that prayer could bring. No prayer is a magic wand that
      forgives whatever follows!

      I have lived alone as an Oblate in the world. I know at least some of
      the loneliness and longing that goes with that. I urge single Oblates
      (and confess that I was not always clever in this respect myself!) to
      surround their dining in the evening with some kind of formality.
      Single people often fail to take very good care of themselves. Make
      your evening meal a time when you do that. Say or chant a careful
      grace. Light a candle, perhaps. Play a tape of something nourishing
      to the soul, whether words or music. It doesn't matter if you're
      eating tuna out of a can or a frozen dinner. Enhance that time with
      things good for you and good for your monastic struggle. For all the
      disadvantages of single life in the world, there are also some
      advantages! Make sure you gift yourself with the graces your
      situation does offer. Turn off the news and the phone ringer. Take
      the little bit of heaven that is there for you!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery Petersham, MA
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