Holy Rule for June 26
Deo gratias and prayers of thanksgiving for Taffy's successful breast surgery last week, with prayers for a speedy recovery. Thanksgiving, too, for Brianna's recent successful gallbladder surgery with prayers for speedy recovery. Prayers for Shirley who will be having colon cancer surgery this week and for family members who offer her support. Prayers for Bobby, serving in Iraq, for Melissa, his wife and Helen, his grandmother, prayers, too, for Josh, also in Iraq, his wife, Tillie, and his parents, Darlene and Dean.
Prayers for Ross, skin cancer lesions removed yesterday, also for Anne, newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Prayers for John, having his bladder removed next week, and for his wife, Sylvia, distraught because she has already been widowed once before. Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Alan, her first husband. Prayers for a dear friend of Michael's having a medical procedure this week, for a successful and uneventful treatment. Prayers for all those suffering from wildfires in the western United States.
Prayers for a young mother and her baby, the baby may be taken because of the mother's drug abuse. Prayers that the child may be placed with his grandparents, rather than strangers, and that the father may keep his cool when all this comes to pass. Prayers for three newly ordained priests in Baltimore and their families and friends. 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 25, June 26, October 26
Chapter 19: On the Manner of Saying the Divine Office
We believe that the divine presence is everywhere
and that "the eyes of the Lord
are looking on the good and the evil in every place" (Prov. 15:3).
But we should believe this especially without any doubt
when we are assisting at the Work of God.
To that end let us be mindful always of the Prophet's words,
"Serve the Lord in fear" (Ps. 2:11)
and again "Sing praises wisely" (Ps. 46:8)
and "In the sight of the Angels I will sing praise to You" (Ps.
Let us therefore consider how we ought to conduct ourselves
in sight of the Godhead and of His Angels,
and let us take part in the psalmody in such a way
that our mind may be in harmony with our voice.
Students act differently (usually worse, alas...) for a substitute
teacher. Employees are different when the boss is off for the day.
These assortments of different behavior are pretty much shot through
the human condition, though not necessarily always a good idea.
Sometimes, we conduct ourselves in an artificially nice (or wicked!)
manner because we do NOT know with whom we are dealing. Our
politeness or our shyness or boldness can be terribly false facades.
Whether our projections are attempts to be cool and with it or
decidedly cultured and subtle, they can be masks, and are at times!
The message here is no masks. Know Him in Whose presence and House
you are. But really KNOW Him. That can take a lifetime of trying on
and shedding as false different modes of conduct.
God, like so many things, is very Benedictine in His perfection,
which stands between the extremes in which we are prone to think of
Him. If you think God is pretty much like the strictest teacher you
ever had, who ran a real death camp of a classroom, guess again.
You're dead wrong.
On the other hand, neither is God some smiling, spinelessly
"tolerant" chap Who will put up with any and all behavior with a shrug,
though I surely hope He has chuckled at some of my earthier moments
more than once! God has standards and He has shared them with us.
Both extreme views of God are wrong, not surprisingly! The middle
perfection of God is His love and His mercy, His Heart which knows the
demands of justice better than anyone, but always, always tends to
mercy. Mercy is God's greatest attribute, the perfect function of His
God is Parent and Creator and we are always creatures, but we are not
always children. We have to grow to the adult relationship with God
that fortunate children eventually share with their parents. (If we
never got to do this, and many haven't, establishing such honesty
with God is possibly going to be a bit of a chore... Keep trying!)
As we grow in our knowledge of God, our behavior around Him (and we
are ALWAYS "around Him", that's another clear message of the Holy
Rule!) changes. It becomes more real and more natural. It changes with
a very clear eye to Whom God is and who we are. It changes from
knowledge born of love and security.
A final little word here about the angels. We are in the sight
of "the Godhead and His angels." Protestant churches which would
not approve of prayer to saints can find ample Scriptural bases for
praying to angels! Again and again we see people conversing with
God's messengers in the Bible. Hence, don't waste 'em! None of us is
so rich as to afford to ignore friends!
Let the angels help. Ask them to help you on your road. The briefest
glance at their Scriptural track record will show one that that is something
they are very good at! Ditto protection. I ask the angels to guard the houses
of all on my prayer list every single night- as well as protect my chickens from
Love and prayers,
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