Holy Rule for Feb. 25
Prayers, please, for spiritual discernment and guidance for Doug.
Prayers, too, for the following:
Mona, in the hospital since January 31st with staph and strains of ecoli. There is talk of putting her in long term intensive care. Also her husband has been told that his current job will end in June. I do not know if they have insurance. They also have a 17 year old daughter with many physical and emotional problems.
for the happy death and eternal rest of Michael, died at the age of 20 in Iraq. He was a convert to the Catholic religion. He left behind a Father, Mother, and several brothers and sisters that mourn him. Also for the priest that taught him about the Catholic faith, baptized him, and conducted his burial. He is suffering grief as he saw this young man as a spiritual son.
for Rose Mary, who is pregnant at the age of 44 for the health and safety of Mother and child.
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 25, June 26, October 26
Chapter 19: On the Manner of Saying the Divine Office
We believe that the divine presence is everywhere
and that "the eyes of the Lord
are looking on the good and the evil in every place" (Prov. 15:3).
But we should believe this especially without any doubt
when we are assisting at the Work of God.
To that end let us be mindful always of the Prophet's words,
"Serve the Lord in fear" (Ps. 2:11)
and again "Sing praises wisely" (Ps. 46:8)
and "In the sight of the Angels I will sing praise to You" (Ps.
Let us therefore consider how we ought to conduct ourselves
in sight of the Godhead and of His Angels,
and let us take part in the psalmody in such a way
that our mind may be in harmony with our voice.
If there were any phrase I could carve on the walls of every choir in
the Order, it would be: "In the sight of the Angels I will sing
praise to You." It stresses not only the lofty character (and cast!)
of our sacrifices of praise, but also the demeanor we should have in
This applies to parishes as well as to monasteries. In either milieu
there can arise a certain foolish and unfortunate terrorism
in "ministers" of rubric or music. The foregoing italics were not
unintentional: when one terrorizes the flock over trivia, ministry
has stopped. We are in the presence of the Angels, yet we sometimes
easily forget that our brothers and sisters are each worth infinitely
more than aesthetics, more than music, more than rubric. We must love
people vastly more than those things!
Dump on your sister or brother in the name of such things and you
have missed the Bridegroom and married the Wedding March. Don't be
too surprised if you find the Wedding March to be a less than
thrilling spouse, a source of frustration rather than peace and joy!
Glare at your brother or sister once and the liturgy has just been
flushed for you, might as well go home right now. Whenever we use the
constructs of rubric or music to hurt or demean one another, those
Angels whose presence we ignore at our peril weep, and I think God
does as well.
The Presence of God that we miss so often should change our
demeanor. Father Bede and I know we can say just about anything to
each other and do! However, when Father Giles of Pluscarden took us to
lunch with his friend, Countess Cawdor, you can bet that Father Bede
and I were VERY well-behaved, subdued and deferential to the max!!!
We behaved differently because of the woman the Countess is, and
because we were in her home, a 13th century castle, not a sports bar
with soccer on big screens and face-painted patrons awash in Guinness.
Students act differently (usually worse, alas...) for a substitute
teacher. Employees are different when the boss is off for the day.
These assortments of different behavior are pretty much shot through
the human condition, though not necessarily always a good idea.
The message here is no masks. Know Him in Whose presence and House
you are. But really KNOW Him. That can take a lifetime of trying on
and shedding as false different modes of conduct. God, like so many
things, is very Benedictine in His perfection, which stands between
the extremes in which we are prone to think of Him. If you think God
is pretty much like the strictest teacher you ever had, who ran a
real death camp of a classroom, guess again. You're dead wrong. On
the other hand, neither is God some raunchy night club comedian,
though I feel hopeful He has chuckled at some of my earthier moments
more than once!
God is Parent and Creator and we are always creatures, but we are not
always children. We have to grow into the adult relationship with God
that fortunate children eventually share with their parents. (If we
never got to do this, and many haven't, establishing such honesty
with God is going to be a bit of a chore... Keep trying!)
As we grow in our knowledge of God, our behavior around Him (and we are
ALWAYS "around Him", that's another clear message of the Holy Rule!)
changes. It becomes more real and more natural. It changes with a
very clear eye to Whom God is and who we are. It changes from
knowledge born of love and security.
We often panic and are less comfortable than God or the people we
think we are pleasing would ever wish. During my visit to Cawdor
Castle, I was so busy being more polite than I'd ever been for that
long in my life that I ALMOST forgot how badly I wanted a cigarette.
I was the only smoker in our group.
The Countess, who had never met me before, must have asked or noted
somehow. At dessert, with no fanfare, an ashtray appeared at my place
at table, no fuss, no ceremony, no problem. I was so stunned I had to
ask to make sure it really WAS an ashtray. The message was: "Be who
you are, you're my guest!" I wonder if the Countess knew how very
much like God she was at that moment: real grace and class. Yeah, and
Love and prayers,
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