Holy Rule for Feb. 11
Prayers, please, for Tom who needs a job (3 kids, laid off in Nov.,) and has
an interview coming up. Prayers for Francis, hospice comes to begin their
work today. He has not been to the Sacraments since 1948, so ardent prayers for
his return to God and happy death, and for all his family.
Prayers for chastity for Z., a sexual addict, and for all who suffer from
sexual addiction. Prayers for all who have inspired us and led us to better
Christian lives. 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 11, June 12, October 12
Chapter 9: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at the Night Office
In winter time as defined above,
there is first this verse to be said three times:
"O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
To it is added Psalm 3 and the "Glory be to the Father,"
and after that Psalm 94 to be chanted with an antiphon
or even chanted simply.
Let the Ambrosian hymn follow next,
and then six Psalms with antiphons.
When these are finished and the verse said,
let the Abbot give a blessing;
then, all being seated on the benches,
let three lessons be read from the book on the lectern
by the brethren in their turns,
and after each lesson let a responsory be chanted.
Two of the responsories are to be said
without a "Glory be to the Father"
but after the third lesson
let the chanter say the "Glory be to the Father,"
and as soon as he begins it let all rise from their seats
out of honor and reverence to the Holy Trinity.
The books to be read at the Night Office
shall be those of divine authorship,
of both the Old and the New Testament,
and also the explanations of them which have been made
by well known and orthodox Catholic Fathers.
After these three lessons with their responsories
let the remaining six Psalms follow,
to be chanted with "Alleluia."
After these shall follow the lesson from the Apostle,
to be recited by heart,
and the petition of the litany, that is "Lord, have mercy on us."
And so let the Night Office come to an end.
Keeping Vigils is one of the things monastics do and have done from
time immemorial. Monasteries are structured to make that possible.
Things that are never easy are at least possible in monasteries
because everything has been geared toward that end.
Oblates in the world may sometimes express regret that they cannot
keep the whole monastic Office, but let me assure you, there are
Vigils kept by Oblates of which monastics have no clue. Sure, it's
hard to get up in the dark and say 14 psalms, but monastics need
never face the harder, lonelier Vigils spent beside a desperately ill
spouse or child. They need not face the terror of long insomniac
nights of financial dread and worry, which compounds when one
realizes that oversleeping might cost one one's job. The vocations in
which Oblates find themselves often more than compensate for whatever
asceticism one might find in a cloister!
But, you see, that is how it ought to be: all the graces we need for
holiness, for sainthood, are built right into our situations. The
monk need not long for parenthood, nor the parent for the cloister.
Each vocation is different and appropriately varied, but every
vocation carries within it exactly the mercy and the means of grace which
God knew from all eternity would be most perfect for us.
We must train ourselves with great care to really will whatever God wills
for us. This is different from merely passive acceptance. This is actually
wanting whatever God sends out of deep faith that it is tailored flawlessly
to our best growth in holiness. The best book ever written on this practice,
in my opinion, is "Abandonment to Divine Providence", by Father Jean-Pierre
de Caussade, SJ. I heartily recommend it and it is still in print after
centuries, a real classic! Great Lenten reading!
Never, ever think that a night spent sleepless for a sick child
doesn't count as many, many, MANY Vigils! Benedictines live and
thrive in all manner of environments today, and some of the best of
them are not in choir in the wee hours, but that matters absolutely
not at all!
Love and prayers,
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