Br. Jerome: Reflection on the Holy Rule. Oct 23
Please pray for Pat, several serious health complications as a
result of his open heart surgery.
Please pray for +Basil. His Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD in all
future posts) has slipped to Stage IV, and dialysis is certain at
some date in the future. Please continue to pray for him, that God
will move in his life, give him peace (and he would not turn down
an instantaneous healing, either).
From Tom: I humbly ask for your prayers in the healing of broken
communication between Melissa, her dad, and myself. By God's grace,
may hurt and anger be replaced with understanding and
Please, pray for Karl Albert who is having thyroid surgery today.
(Tuesday 23rd). Lord, may he be in your hands. Prayers also for
Franziiska, his wife, and his medical team.
Prayers please, for R and M, that they be allowed to adopt a five
month old foster child they are caring for... the child would be in
a dangerous situation should she be returned to her biological
family, and she has much love right where she is.
+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
+++Brother Jerome is currently having a terrific time in Scotland
and England and will shortly be headed for Italy. Please keep him in
Until the return of our good Brother Jerome please bless me with
your prayer requests at:
February 22, June 23, October 23
Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said
At Terce, Sext and None on Monday let the nine remaining sections
of Psalm 118 be said,
three at each of these Hours.
Psalm 118 having been completed, therefore, on two days, Sunday and
Monday, let the nine Psalms from Psalm 119 to Psalm 127 be said at
Terce, Sext and None, three at each Hour, beginning with Tuesday.
And let these same Psalms be repeated every day until Sunday at the
same Hours, while the arrangement of hymns, lessons and verses is
kept the same on all days; and thus Prime on Sunday will always
begin with Psalm 118.
Running psalmody, that is, reciting the Psalms in numerical order,
no matter what came next, was a very common ancient monastic
practice. Since one of the principles behind the Psalter was to "get
it all in" in the space of a week, that running psalmody was a
consequence. St. Benedict obviously had some of that on his mind:
he goes from detailed directions about the spacing of the longest
Psalm, 118, right into assigning the next 9 to the minor hours
which are repeated throughout the week from Tuesday to Saturday.
As a result, one could safely say that there is nothing specific to
the time of day as such about these Psalms, but that is not
entirely correct. These nine Psalms from 119-127 are gradual
Psalms, pilgrimage songs. They were sung by the Jews as they were
to Jerusalem. They are filled with the tension of anticipation and
possession of God's Temple and His blessings, they are songs
of "already" and "not yet".
The gradual Psalms are short, compact units, easily memorized.
Since memory is one thing the Holy Rule no doubt was providing for-
these Offices frequently had to be said on the spot, in the fields-
it is very likely that this group were quite deliberately chosen.
No one in their right mind would suggest some of the longer Psalms
for easy memorization!!
Regardless of what St. Benedict may or may not have had in mind,
the Holy Spirit can use all of us, even St. Benedict, in ways we do
not realize. Read through these Psalms and picture yourself saying
them in a distant field, with the Abbey in view, but far away. Get
idea? The pilgrim songs that speak of already AND not yet were the
perfect thing for monastics to say in such circumstances.
Jerusalem, the House of God, was both a distant view and a complete
possession, since ALL of the monastery is the House of God.
It is easy, terribly easy, to forget that we live "in the House of
God." We do, all monastics do, Oblates do, everyone does. It IS
God's world. Being reminded of this by those Psalms of journeying
is a great idea. Our feet really are "standing within your gates, O
Jerusalem!" yet we also see it as from a distance. We look from
afar and see that Jerusalem is a city compact, a unity of peace and
order. Who has seen a monastery on a hill and not had similar
Even the accidental end of the sequence (which continues in
Vespers,) has a wonderful application. "Blessed are those who fear
the Lord, who walk in His ways!" It recounts the joys and
protections of a life lived for God and ends with the plea: "On
Israel, peace!" Just
picture yourself saying that at the end of a hard day's work in the
field, looking at back Abbey Church, the safe home of gathered
family and choir. Not shabby!
Love and prayers,