Holy Rule for May 10
Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Vince, who died last weekend, and for all his family and those who mourn him. Prayers for Nora, who suffered a seizure and is now hospitalized for evaluation, also for her uncle, Paul, and all their family. Prayers, too, for Mary, hospitalized with fluid build up in her lungs and heart. Prayers, please, for Evalyn, bowel cancer. Prayers for all the doctors and others who treat our prayer folks in body, mind or spirit. Prayers for a religious who badly needs a transfer.
Deo gratias, W. is doing a bit better in his addiction problems, continued prayers for his sobriety and for his concerned family. Prayers for Miel and Jed, trying to resolve tensions in their marriage and for Ian, their 2 year old son. Prayers, too, for Autumn, a single Mom whose autistic son, Julian, is being treated poorly by the school system. She is struggling so hard to make a life for them both. Little Griffin, for whom we have prayed, needs continued prayers, a real roller coaster of ups and downs, in and out of the hospital, all so hard on him and on his family. 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
January 9, May 10, September 9
Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be
An Abbess who is worthy to be over a monastery
should always remember what she is called,
and live up to the name of Superior.
For she is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery,
being called by a name of His,
which is taken from the words of the Apostle:
"You have received a Spirit of adoption ...,
by virtue of which we cry, 'Abba -- Father'" (Rom. 8:15)!
Therefore the Abbess ought not to teach or ordain or command
anything which is against the Lord's precepts;
on the contrary,
her commands and her teaching
should be a leaven of divine justice
kneaded into the minds of her disciples.
It will no doubt come as a great relief to other cranky types like
me to note that the leaven gently kneaded into the minds of certain
disciples often seems to have a downright under-whelming effect. A
hallmark of us curmudgeonly types is impatience: we do not suffer
fools gladly, the miracle is that we endure them at all. Most of all,
we want those fools FIXED, right now, or yesterday at the latest! The
tragedy of this is that, in assuming we can recognize fools so
terribly well, we completely miss the fool at work in ourselves, to say
nothing of the Gospel injunction against calling others fools.
God uses human means to accomplish His will, as my favorite
professor, Dr. Jean Ronan, so often said. Ah, but the abbacy scores
doubly on this maxim. A very human abbot is elected by a very human
community. Quite often, abbots are elected to counteract each other.
The human community gets tired of the very human tendency of an abbot
to stress one thing above others. Hence, tight reins are often
replaced with loose ones and vice versa.
It is also worthy of note that, within about three years, roughly the same
number of people will be sorely complaining about either extreme
or the lack thereof! Abbot Fidelis of St. Leo used to say that the first three
years of abbacy are like Holy Week for Christ: they begin with "Hosanna!",
then there is silence, and the third year it's "Crucify him!" There's
a lot of truth to that rueful chuckle...
Much that will be said of the abbot in the Holy Rule requires
tremendous faith, from both the superior and the monastics. The lofty
things said require grace to bring them fruition and grace is also
necessary to see those fruits. This all boils down to a LOT of faith
and trust on the part of all.
Those human means which God uses are often quite firmly addicted
to extremes. The extremes then vex a majority to the opposite extreme.
(I know this is the Marxist dialectic and I know it is not always true, but it
does have a kernel of application.) Usually, sometime after we are all so
fatigued with polarization that we have briefly stopped watching, a median
And what about that leaven that I couldn't notice having much effect?
Well, neither I nor anyone else knows, save the person and God. Some
die, some leave before the effect is seen. Leaven works. It may work
slowly, it may work in a variety of ways, but all leaven does
something sooner or later!
Faith and trust in God's Divine Mercy require that we have a LOT of patience
with bread cast on waters in tremendous hope! It is our vocation to scatter such
bread, not necessarily to see its results. God judges our efforts, not our
Often an apparent failure turns to triumphal joy and salvation in the very last
instants of a life, when the workings are known to God and the souls alone.
Love and prayers,
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