Holy Rule for July 16
Prayers, please, for all devotees of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, on her feast, also for all the Swiss American OSB's on their patronal feast, Our Lady of Einsiedeln. May Mary under all her many titles intercede for us all!
Prayers for our Br. Vincent, on the 4th anniversary of his solemn vows. Pray, too, that we get about seven more like him! Prayers for John, on his birthday.
Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Nadeem's niece, and for her family and all who mourn her.
Prayers for the spiritual, physical and mental health of the following, and for all their families and those who treat them:
Nadeem's wife and daughter, both ill.
Anne, Crohn's disease and serious side effects from a new antidepressant med. 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
March 16, July 16, November 15
Chapter 37: On the Old and Children
Although human nature itself is drawn to special kindness
towards these times of life,
that is towards the old and children,
still the authority of the Rule should also provide for them.
Let their weakness be always taken into account,
and let them by no means be held to the rigor of the Rule
with regard to food.
On the contrary,
let a kind consideration be shown to them,
and let them eat before the regular hours.
The tenderness of St. Benedict shines through here. These are strong
words for weakness: "ALWAYS taken into account," and "BY NO MEANS
held to the rigor of the Rule for food." Though he prefaces his
chapter recalling that any healthy human nature has a certain level
of consideration for these age groups, our holy Father Benedict
quickly returns to a very consistent theme of the Holy Rule: we are
called to more than mere nature.
We are called to enhance our nature to the supernatural, to the heights of
sanctity. Our considerate mindfulness for every person and their individual
needs must be greater than that of the world. Indeed, our monastic calling bids
us to raise EVERY area of our lives to the supernatural. As monastics, we
strive to elevate everything to the sacred, everything to grace working in us
and with us!
St. Benedict's aim is that each of us ALWAYS see the person first.
That kind of loving mindfulness will make the chapters on the sick
and the young and old seem to be complete no-brainers. This is the
way we should be seeing everyone: real people for whom they really
are, nothing more or less. Circumstances do arise that require
greater attention, but the foundation of that is a firm theology of
It should come as no great shock that the most frequent obstacle to
viewing others correctly is ourselves. Our own image, our self, our
pain, our projections get in the way of the lens of truth. We have to
spend our monastic struggle learning to put those things aside, so
that the light of others may shine through unobstructed.
With our own needs at least on a back burner, or better yet, shelved
far off in the pantry, we can begin to truly see others and their
needs. Wipe the mud of self from our eyes and we can see the
treasures that surround us. Mother Teresa of Calcutta surely did
that. She saw beauty that all of us less holy than she missed big-
time and she saw it in everyone.
A key to all this is a favorite quote from Antoine de St.
Exupery's "Little Prince":
"The essential is invisible to the eyes. One can only see rightly
with the heart."
That's what our Rule demands: the cultivation of the very loving eyes
of our hearts! Dust off them cardiac lenses, beloveds. Keep 'em clean!!
Love and prayers,
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