Holy Rule for June 1
Prayers, please, for Vladimir, on the anniversary of his death, for his happy death and eternal rest and all who mourn him.
Prayers, too, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Joan and her husband, Bob, who is in ICU on a ventilator, with congestive heart failure
due to severe bladder/kidney infection. Please pray that they are held close
to God during this trial.
Deo gratias, Basil's cataract surgery went well.
For Vince, that he be able to better pray.
For Michael, resolution of a neighborhood rift.
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 31, June 1, October 1
Chapter 7: On Humility
The third degree of humility is that a person
for love of God
submit himself to his Superior in all obedience,
imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle says,
"He became obedient even unto death."
Looks a little repetitious here, doesn't it? Almost like St. Benedict
was scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something to use for a
third step, so he'd still wind up with twelve. Not so.
This short passage tempts one to a short reading and that casual
perusal will miss the terribly important things here. These are the
important elements that frame and sustain our obedience: it is done
for love of God, it is submission to another and it is lifelong.
Remove any one of those mainstays and you no longer have a
It is nothing to persevere to the end without love. Nothing. It is
nothing to obey without love, Eichmann did that quite admirably. Nor
does it avail us anything at all to be obedient to ourselves: big
challenge there! We'd wind up Sarabaites for sure, worshipping
nothing but the idol of our own wills.
This third degree gives the reason for Benedictine obedience: "for
the love of God." We do not obey for so little as an orderly community,
our obedience is not mere sociology, it is love. More even than just
love, it is love of the One Who is Love at its highest perfection.
We obey Love's delegates, our superiors, unto death. There are two
meanings hidden in that phrase. It can mean martyrdom, obeying even
to the point of being killed, but it also means obeying all of our lives,
till the moment of our deaths. Frankly, few of us will be martyrs, because
few of us are worthy of that grace. ALL of us, however, are called to the
lifelong white martyrdom of obedience, which can often remind us that
St. Teresa of Avila said that the martyrs "bought heaven cheaply", that
they gained in one instant what the rest of us must plod on for many
decades in a lifelong struggle to gain.
Like Christ, for love, we become "obedient even unto death." During
the Spanish Civil War, in the 30's, Communist forces raided the
Benedictine monastery of El Pueyo, taking its 18 monks prisoner. One
of the very significant things about this group is that many were
just average monks, nothing special. All of them were martyred and
one witness said that they went to their death "joyfully, as if going
to a fiesta." These martyrs were members of our Subiaco Congregation
and we are justifiably proud to have them as our brothers.
Benedictine obedience of love, even unto death is decidedly not the
kind that would please earthly tyrants. In fact, they'd gladly kill
us for it. There is quite a likeness to our crucified Lord if we
embrace that peril fully.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Prayers for safe travels for our Frs. Gregory and Dunstan, both have flights today.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Martha P., mother and nurse, and for all her family and all who mourn her.
Prayers for Bob, having surgery for diverticulitis. Prayers he gets all the Sacraments.
Prayers for John P., MRI and possible prostate biopsy, prayers for good outcomes.
Prayers for a dear friend of Eileen Grant’s, who died of cancer, and for all her family and Eileen and all who mourn her.
Chris, for whom we prayed, has a 25% chance of dying within three months. Many prayers for him and his family.
Prayers for the eternal rest of the 12 killed and for the recovery of the 52 injured when a tree fell on them during a Marian celebration in Portugal. Prayers, too, for the families of all.
Please continue prayers for, Marion N., recovering slowly and still in a lot of pain. Prayers too for her husband, Bob.
Please pray for, Jenny, who has suffered a miscarriage.
Prayers for Fr. Timothy Castor, on his birthday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!
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
April 17, August 17, December 17
Chapter 62: On the Priests of the Monastery
If an Abbot desire to have a priest or a deacon ordained for his
monastery, let him choose one who is worthy to exercise the priestly
But let the one who is ordained beware of self-exaltation or pride;
and let him not presume to do anything except what is commanded him
by the Abbot, knowing that he is so much the more subject to the
discipline of the Rule. Nor should he by reason of his priesthood
the obedience and the discipline required by the Rule, but make ever
more and more progress towards God.
Let him always keep the place which he received on entering the
monastery, except in his duties at the altar or in case the choice
of the community and the will of the Abbess
should promote him for the worthiness of his life. Yet he must
understand that he is to observe the rules laid down by deans and
Should he presume to act otherwise, let him be judged not as a
priest but as a rebel. And if he does not reform after repeated
admonitions, let even the Bishop be brought in as a witness. If then
he still fails to amend, and his offenses are notorious, let him be
put out of the monastery, but only if his contumacy is such that he
refuses to submit or to obey the Rule.
The other day I passed the assistant manager of our local
supermarket cleaning up a bad mess on the floor with sweeping
compound. I stopped and told him that was the best possible thing
his employees could see. I congratulated him, saying that, as a
result, his employees would do anything for him gladly. They had
seen him do it first.
The Model here is Jesus Himself, washing the feet of His disciples.
That is the ONLY Model for Christian authority, yet how often we can
forget it, sadly this happens in both cloister and world. It happens
in the Church itself, too. What a treasure we deny ourselves and
waste when we do not recall the way Jesus served. No wonder so many
ambitious folks are so unhappy!
This chapter applies to anyone who rises at work or at school or
even in the home. Much is required of those to whom much is given!
When a Benedictine gets a promotion, the basic willingness to do
anything necessary ought to remain firmly in place!
Authority, when it is placed over us, is to be reverenced and
obeyed, when it is placed in our own hands, it is to serve, not to
reign! All of us get the opportunity to deal with authority or to
administer same. Our Benedictine hearts should make it readily
evident to any who observes us that our style in either area is
Love and prayers,