Holy Rule for Nov. 7
My cold s awful and it is raining torrentially here, so I am going back to my hermitage and doing the Holy Rule very early. Alas, I cannot respond to all prayer requests individually as I usually do and I am cutting and pasting with little editing, another thing I rarely do. Please understand.
Please continue prayers for Lilly. Lily is out of surgery, they couldn't get a line into either side of her neck so they have prodded and poked and eventually settled on a line in her groin, but don't know how long it will last.
Jenny Rockett is still very ill but they have a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome which is quite rare but treatable. Now she also has pneumonia.
For Fr Kevin Thornton who is starting a six week program of radiotherapy for breast cancer today.
Please pray for Karen, whose been diagnosed with early stage esophageal cancer. She is encouraged as they said it is in the very early stage. Also please pray for Kathy, suffering a recurrence of cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.
Prayers for baby Pearl born premature by 5 weeks ... kidney problem which will need opperation ... blockages in both tubes from kidney to the bladder.
Prayer requests for Sister Juliana, an elderly sister, who goes for a needle biopsy on Tuesday November 6, possible cancer, possible mastectomy. Also possible liver complications. Prayers that she does not have cancer and her liver is healthy.
Prayers for Elaine that her shoulder heals during the 2 weeks she is off work to rest it. Prayers that the ultra sound and x-rays on December 6th show everything is okay. Prayers that it is not cancer.
Prayers for Pat that her hand continues to heal until it is as good as new.
Prayers for Herb that he is blessed with good health.
Prayers for Joda... she is 71 years old, has numerous medical problems including serious heart problems and an amputated leg (done 5 months ago). She had to move to a new state a few months ago and she is very lonely. She is having trouble finding a new church to meet her spiritual needs. Although her medical problems could overwhelm almost anyone, her primary need right now is to find a "church home."
Please pray again for Angela, the 17 year old I asked for prayers before. She started hemmorhaging today and was rushed to the hospital from school. They're pretty sure that she's lost the baby.
Brian is going into hospital for a second hip replacement operation next Tuesday, but last time had heart complications. For John, going to hospital today for a hip x-ray, continuing pain in my groin and hip.
please pray for John to get a good paying permanent job.
pray for Colleen to get pregnant and have a baby.
pray for Guido, for a full health and complete recovery and
Lord, help us all as You knw and will God's will is best. All is mercy and grce. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much JL
March 8, July 8, November 7
Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be
As cellarer of the monastery
let there be chosen from the community
one who is wise, of mature character, sober,
not a great eater, not haughty, not excitable,
not offensive, not slow, not wasteful,
but a God-fearing man
who may be like a father to the whole community.
Let him have charge of everything.
He shall do nothing without the Abbot's orders,
but keep to his instructions.
Let him not vex the brethren.
If any brother
happens to make some unreasonable demand of him,
instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal
he should humbly give the reason
for denying the improper request.
Let him keep guard over his own soul,
mindful always of the Apostle's saying
that "he who has ministered well
will acquire for himself a good standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).
Let him take the greatest care
of the sick, of children, of guests and of the poor,
knowing without doubt
that he will have to render an account for all these
on the Day of Judgment.
Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery
and its whole property
as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.
Let him not think that he may neglect anything.
He should be neither a miser
nor a prodigal and squanderer of the monastery's substance,
but should do all things with measure
and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.
We need to correct our vision here a bit. St. Benedict was writing
1500 years before the world knew Marx and Engels. He far predates the
kind of materialist world view that has grown up in the last hundred
years or so, largely thanks to Communism with a capital "C", but also
thanks to the excesses of capitalism, too.
There is a certain innocence in St. Benedict's time that we lack, and
that can be a trap. St. Benedict's "economic theory" or theology of
material goods is NOT directed to the goods themselves, or to profit
to the max, but to the people (the whole family,) who own them and
the one who uses them. People, first, things later!
In monastery or in family, the message here is that we do not own
things in the ultimate sense, we use and administer them. They are
needed for the common good and are therefore not ours to waste or
expend with impunity. This is very much the theology of private
ownership espoused long after Benedict's time by St. Thomas
Aquinas: we own things in responsible stewardship for the good of
all, since that is how and why God created things. Echoing the ideas
of both saints, Pope Pius XI, in the early half of the 20th century,
said that private property is not an absolute right- it bears all
kinds of obligations for the common good.
One could offer a very incomplete litany here and say: parent,
teacher, boss, all of you: read this chapter! One could be more
complete and say that anyone who has any charge over things on which
others depend should read this. That would include, at one time or
another, all of us!
We do not realize how much like a cellarer we truly are: all of us
administer things we do not own outright. All property is held in
stewardship, all things are given by God for the commonwealth
(literally!) of all. If we administer some of His wealth unjustly, it is Him
St. Thomas Aquinas was very clear in his teachings about
property rights and responsibilities. God made things- all of
creation- so that people could thrive and save their souls. When we see
to it that some thrive frighteningly more than others and others thrive
not at all, something is terribly amiss.
I am not cellarer, but I am guestmaster. Just as there are limits to
my own control, (this is my home, but it is not my house,) there are
limits to all of the things that all of us own. No one, no one in
Christendom owns outright. There is always the responsibility for the
good of others, for sharing, for kindness and clemency.
Look, too, at St. Benedict's concern, which he voices elsewhere when
dealing with authority, for those with little or no voice: the poor,
the guests, the children, the infirm. St. Benedict, more than once,
tries to guarantee that those who may be half afraid to ask need not
be so, that the authority will go out to meet their needs even before
they have to express them. He is trying to give clout to the
cloutless, and so should we all!
Cling to the line about not vexing others. It is always very, very
cheap and easy to let others live. It usually "costs" us far less
than we are willing to admit on a bad day. As Father Damian of St.
Leo used to say: "If it gives him so much pleasure and me so little
pain, why not?" However, spare yourself a lot of pain and frustration
at the onset by realizing firmly that treating others that way will
in no way guarantee that they will return the compliment, often quite
the reverse. But that isn't the reason one does it. One does it for
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]