Holy Rule for June 11
Prayers of Deo gratias and thanksgiving for Richard and Mary Lou, celebrating their 34th year of marriage yesterday, and for Matt and Bette, celebrating 13
years today. Prayers for Jean Sheridan, on her birthday. I think she may be 39 this year.... Prayers for C., celebrating 21 years in AA. Deo gratias for all!
Prayers, please, for Christie, bleeding and pressure in her brain, cause as yet uncertain, and for her parents, Paul and Shirley. Prayers for Ann, tough discernment issues. A woman we prayed for last year has died, full of faith in the Divine Mercy. Prayers, still, for her happy death and eternal rest and for her grown son, an only child, who will miss her sorely.
Lily, the child for whom we have been praying still has no certain decisions on her dialysis, continued prayers for her and her parents and family. Prayers for Br. David, and the others entering the Carmelite novitiate with him, and also for the novices who will profess first vows on Monday. Prayers for Victoria's cousin, aunt and uncle. The aunt has cancer, the uncle is in alcoholism treatment and the cousin is wracked with driving long distances between visiting them both, prayers for their whole family, a very tough time. Prayers for Joe, who took his own life, for his happy death and eternal rest, for his wife and all his family and all who mourn him. 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 10, June 11, October 11
Chapter 8: On the Divine Office During the Night
In the winter time,
that is from the Calends of November until Easter,
the sisters shall rise
at what is calculated to be the eighth hour of the night,
so that they may sleep somewhat longer than half the night
and rise with their rest completed.
And the time that remains after the Night Office
should be spent in study
by those sisters who need a better knowledge of the Psalter
or the lessons.
From Easter to the aforesaid Calends of November,
the hour of rising should be so arranged that the Morning Office,
which is to be said at daybreak,
will follow the Night Office after a very short interval,
during which they may go out for the necessities of nature.
In St. Benedict's time, and for centuries afterwards, life on a self-sustaining
farm, which monasteries were supposed to be, was far more difficult and
time consuming than it would be today. The simplest things that we now do
with the flick of a switch were big deals, involving lots of human workers and
every available daylight hour.
Hence, the monks got up early, very early, to get in much of their monastic day
before the sun (and the critters!) rose for the day. There was, of course, a
penitential aspect to this early rising, too, and the ancient Christian practice
of the night vigil, but a lot of it was the practicality of sheer necessity. One can
look at monastic schedules in history and see that as farm labor became less, rising
times became later. No point in getting up at the eighth hour of night , 2 AM, if you
don't have to!
There's at least a possible hint for Oblates of today in all this. Get up a bit
earlier if you can, and devote those silent and dark morning hours or minutes to
your monastic endeavors. Knock off a late TV favorite and go to bed a tad
earlier. We always find time for what we love most. If, however, one is married and
has a spouse that doesn't want one to blissfully retire at 7:30 or so, this will not
work. Marriage is a primary, sacramental vocation and demands precedence.
Two very human glimpses into the personality of St. Benedict here. He
is thoughtful and kind, making sure the monastics have time for a
bathroom run and he is not prudish about mentioning it. Its part of
the human and part of family life. As casually as a Mother asks young
children if anybody "has to go" before a trip, he throws out mention
of the fact that not everyone could make it through two long services
without great discomfort!
Love and prayers,
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