Prayers, please, for Ann Schiff on her birthday, for Jean, suffering
in silence, and for all in harm's way in war, and for they dying.
God's will be done! Thanks. NRN JL
March 25, July 25, November 24
Chapter 45: On Those Who Make Mistakes in the Oratory
When anyone has made a mistake
while reciting a Psalm, a responsory,
an antiphon or a lesson,
if he does not humble himself there before all
by making a satisfaction,
let him undergo a greater punishment
because he would not correct by humility
what he did wrong through carelessness.
But boys for such faults shall be whipped.
Calm down, we don't whip anybody anymore. It has too often been my
experience that such lines push all the buttons of some readers these
days and blind them to the rest of the good stuff there. We don't
whip now, they did 1,500 years ago, heck, they did ONE hundred years
ago: everyone else did, too. Let's not get so mired in the
sensitivities of our own time that we forget how terribly recent some
of them are. Just try to breathe normally... paramedics will be here
any minute now. Maybe we can get that dosage adjusted and you won't
have these terrible fugues anymore, hmmm? LOL!
As I mentioned yesterday, in our house we do kneel in the center when
late for choir or table, then bow to the superior and go to our
place. We also kneel when we make audible mistakes in Church. And
yes, those things, as I pointed out yesterday, can be very useful.
But most Oblates do not have a refectory or choir to kneel in, so
what's here for the majority of us? The grace of humility, without
which communal life on any level, in monastery, workplace, market or
home would be unlivable. Check out some of the lyrics of Shaker
hymns, other than the famous "'Tis a Gift to Be Simple." They feature
LOADS of messages about getting along without murder. One speaks of
not being stubborn like the oak, but of being like the willow who can
Every single human community or whatever sort is going to have its
share of jerks, strays, losers and crosses. Every one without fail-
and this sadly includes ourselves!- will sooner or later mirror in
some sense the fallen brokenness of humanity. Our job is to see to it
that we are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
When,through whatever means, we become part of the problem, we must
own up to it at once and smooth it over as best and as
quickly as we can.
If you can't say "I'm sorry.", for God's sake- quite literally- start
practicing alone in front of a mirror until the words can somehow
tumble out in public. Until they can, try some useful (though not
perfect,) substitutes, like "Excuse me," or "It was my fault." Work
on words of forgiveness, too, like: "It doesn't matter," or "Oh,
that's OK,". Strive to make light of things. There will never be any
shortage whatever of people who will explode and magnify things out
of all rational proportion, so don't duplicate services! Join the
minority and try to prevent hurricanes in teacups, rather than
Most outrage, most lack of apology, most tempests in teacups stem
from a distorted an unhealthy view of the self. Humility corrects
that imbalance. While you're in front of the mirror practicing
apology, why not try a bit of self-interview. WHY do these things or
persons upset you so? What do you have in common with those who annoy
you most? Most important, just who the heck ARE you that your
perceived slights are such a big deal? Try reminding yourself that He
is God and you are not. Honest reflection on these points may be a
big and promising start.
Love and prayers,
jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery