Holy Rule for Feb. 10
St. Scholastica's feast got bumped this year by the First Sunday of Lent, but happy feast to her and all of you anyway!
Prayers, please, for a group doing a pro-life prayer vigil this Saturday, and every second Saturday of the month, from 9-11am.
Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Br. Finbar's Mom, tumor removed, doing well, but not eating well. Prognosis is otherwise
a man, 43, who died after years of alcohol abuse, and for his estranged wife and nine year old son.
for the success of the Catholic Worker anniversary later this year in Worcester.
a man who is having a major depression episode.
a special intention for someone's finances.
Mark, having a hard time with his faith right now, almost wishes he were not Christian, because he feels that God is part of the problems he is having.
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 10, June 11, October 11
Chapter 8: On the Divine Office During the Night
In the winter time,
that is from the Calends of November until Easter,
the sisters shall rise
at what is calculated to be the eighth hour of the night,
so that they may sleep somewhat longer than half the night
and rise with their rest completed.
And the time that remains after the Night Office
should be spent in study
by those sisters who need a better knowledge of the Psalter
or the lessons.
From Easter to the aforesaid Calends of November,
the hour of rising should be so arranged that the Morning Office,
which is to be said at daybreak,
will follow the Night Office after a very short interval,
during which they may go out for the necessities of nature.
Two very human glimpses into the personality of St. Benedict here. He
is thoughtful and kind, making sure the monastics have time for a
bathroom run and he is not prudish about mentioning it. It's part of
the human and part of family life. As casually as a mother asks young
children if anybody "has to go" before a trip, he throws out mention
of the fact that not everyone could make it through two long services
without great discomfort!
The tender concern of a loving parent comes through loud and clear
here. St. Benedict is well aware that he is not setting up a spa
resort, but he also wants the monastics living by his ascetic regime
to live in the reasonable comfort of moderation. "Reasonable," that
is, in accord with reason; and "comfort" that is, to strengthen,
literally, with strength.
Some monastic reforms have missed the boat on this one! Certain
accounts of the early monks of La Trappe seem like nothing more than
travelogues of grim, gloomy, resigned penitential excess. It's not
supposed to be easy, ( and it isn't!) but being a monastic isn't
supposed to be ALL gritted teeth, either. We Benedictines need, as
Hopkins put it: "room to let joy size."!
So, yeah, let them sleep enough, but not too much. And after they've
been chanting in Church for a good long while, give 'em all a
bathroom break. This is not the program of a heartless, joyless,
Love and prayers,
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