Holy Rule for May 15
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Deo gratias, the young man whose dissertation we prayed for has completed it in near miraculous time, now prayers for the defense of his dissertation, probably sometime in autumn.
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following and for all who love them and all who take care of them:
1 newborn - less than 2 pounds - 3 months early - hanging on to life by a thread
1 newborn - stillborn - for it's parents and extended family
pastor of a Baptist Church - he and 13 year old son feared killed in plane crash - people are searching
Kathy who just found out she has
a family who lost their son in a tragic accident this past weekend.
Paschal, special intention
S., panic attacks
Barb, a mother with a degenerative disease called dystonia.
Andrea, having to make some very hard decisions regarding her job and needs all the guidance she can get. Please pray that God will reveal His Will to her and that she will follow Him without reservation.
Nancy has some restrictions due to a stroke and heart attack, and her husband, John, has MS.
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
January 14, May 15, September 14
Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be
The Abbess should always remember what she is
and what she is called,
and should know that to whom more is committed,
from her more is required (Luke 12:48).
Let her understand also
what a difficult and arduous task she has undertaken:
ruling souls and adapting herself to a variety of characters.
One she must coax, another scold, another persuade,
according to each one's character and understanding.
Thus she must adjust and adapt herself to all
in such a way that she may not only suffer no loss
in the flock committed to her care,
but may even rejoice in the increase of a good flock.
We have seen a lot of things that lessen the culpability of parents,
abbots, and those in charge. St. Benedict, however, is the relentless fan
of balance, so here come a couple of zingers that cannot be
overlooked. In its purest form, Christian authority is a precious
stone, indeed, but the gold in which that stone is set is
responsibility. Because the abbess has the ultimate authority to make
decisions alone, she ultimately has the responsibility, too. Try to
shirk that and everyone suffers.
Delegation does not end that responsibility. Give one man or woman
that much power and the buck really does stop there. Hard saying, but
St. Benedict cites Jesus Himself as remarking that more is required
of those to whom so much has been committed. There may be elements
that qualify and reduce that expectation of more, but there is no way
to remove it altogether.
Tucked in the folds of this portion is another warning. The abbot or
parent must recall that they have undertaken a difficult and arduous
task. One can wish to be an abbot or parent for utterly wrong
reasons. Grace can overcome these, God often lets us do the right
thing for the wrong reason, but if the parent or abbot does not later
cooperate with the grace, trouble ensues.
Jesus washed feet, telling us He was giving us an example and
mandate. (Why do you think the ceremony of foot washing got named
"Mandatum"? That's where we got the English term "Maundy Thursday".)
I think it's a safe bet that these days, when feet are most generally
cleaned in tubs or showers, Jesus would be cleaning toilets. It just
strikes me as what would be most like Him. Mothers and fathers can tell
you that their authority requires them to clean a good deal more than just
toilets! Parents and nurses who are faced with some of the most disgusting
stuff to clean up can be absolutely certain that their hands are the hands of
Christ in that moment.
Wouldn't it be a better world if such loving humility was required of
all authority? If Jesus could do it as God, what lesser official
dares quibble with His standards?
Love and prayers,
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