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Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Oct 12

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  • Michael LoPiccolo
    +PAX Please, I implore you, do not respond to this message to wish me bon voyage, just say a prayer for me, instead, that every detail of my trip be ordered
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 11, 2007

      Please, I implore you, do not respond to this message to wish me bon
      voyage, just say a prayer for me, instead, that every detail of my
      trip be ordered according to the perfect will of God. If a bunch of
      folks send me good wishes, my mailbox will fill up before I'm even
      on the plane, and I will have severely limited ability to answer or
      even check mail from Europe. I will be gone till Nov. 3.

      I also ask your prayers for Arthur Platt, the man who left a trust
      fund to grant wishes to folks with HIV. The foundation he created
      has given me this trip of a lifetime, one which would never have
      been possible for me without their generosity. So, please pray for
      Arthur's happy death and eternal rest (he died of AIDS at 47,) and
      for the foundation board which granted me the wish.

      I am going to Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland first, then Somerset,
      England for a few days with our Abbot's brother, then to Rome and
      the foundation has also given me a rail pass for 8 days in Italy. I
      am going to Turin, Padua and Subiaco, among other places, and
      probably a day trip to Asissi. I PROMISE you that I shall carry you
      all in my heart to all the holy places. You will be with me more
      than you will ever know till heaven!

      Prayers, too, for our wonderful Michael LoPiccolo, who will keep
      things running for me. Please send prayer requests to him:
      michael_oblate@... I so appreciate his kind and loving and
      patient help!! He can also help you with Holy Rule list matters.

      Love and prayer for you at all the holy places,
      Jerome, OSB
      +Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have
      taken their own lives.+

      Please pray for all those whose prayer requests were not able to be
      posted for whatever reason. God is outside of time and our prayers
      are never, ever late. 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

      Until the return of our good Brother Jerome please bless me with
      your prayer requests at:

      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, the verse and the
      petition of the litany, that is "Lord, have mercy on us."
      And so let the Night Office come to an end.


      There is an unfortunate and perennial heresy among would-be
      liturgists, even some Benedictines, which holds that if it's long,
      its good. Not so, and quite evidently not so to St. Benedict,
      either. The order he prescribes for Vigils is almost exactly half
      the length
      of the Roman cathedral Office of his time.

      St. Benedict was very serious about monasticism, but he also wanted
      to shorten the Office, which was obviously of central importance to
      him. Why? I think he aimed, once again, at balance, at moderation
      and at gentleness. His monastics were farmers, not wealthy
      cathedral prelates with servants and benefices. They would have
      dropped rather
      quickly from fatigue had he imposed the Roman Office of the time on

      There is a great message of moderation here for Oblates. St.
      Benedict knew perfectly well that if his monastics were too long at
      Matins and Lauds, the cows would be bellowing in pain from
      distended udders, waiting for the high church milkers to finally
      arrive. See the
      operative principle here? The Office is PART of one's life, a
      terribly important part, but ALL of one's work and life is prayer.
      Figuratively speaking, if your life and primary vocation has left
      you with cows to milk, for heavens sake (literally!) go milk 'em!

      Our Office, for every monastic, from Abbot Primate down to newest
      Oblate novice, must be a harmonious part of our life. We are not
      called to the excesses of Cluny, whose monks were in choir most of
      the time, adding ever more and more gee-gaws and trinkets to the
      Office. If one's children or spouse or work call one to do less,
      answer that call. No one is called to be a choir athlete, at it all
      the time. Do what you can and bless God for what you cannot! He
      knows what He is about.

      St. Vincent de Paul said that being called away from one's prayers
      to serve the needs of the poor was like "leaving God for God."
      Surely the demands of our families and primary vocations admit of
      this application, too. Our spouses, family members and others in
      our vocational milieu are part of our Work of God, sometimes even
      the most important part and must not be neglected.

      In long dealings with Oblates I have frequently heard this issue
      raised: saying the whole Office. That is fine, and some lives,
      notably single ones, might make it possible. Other lives, lives
      founded on sacraments like marriage, might well not. To try to
      amend one's primary, sacramental vocation to be a monastic in the
      world misses the point. That primary vocation is part and parcel of
      HOW one becomes a monastic in the world. Tamper with it and you mess
      up the entire picture.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      _http://www.stmarysmonastery.org_ (http://www.stmarysmonastery.org/)
      Petersham, MA
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