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Holy Rule for June 12

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for happy death and eternal rest of the following, and for all who mourn them: Candace s mother, Doris, who just died. Her father died about 6
    Message 1 of 228 , Jun 11, 2008
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      +PAX

      Prayers for happy death and eternal rest of the following, and for all who mourn them:

      Candace's mother, Doris, who just died. Her father died about 6 months ago, so this is especially hard for this family.

      Fr. Joe Daly, Fr. James Larkin, Fr. Jose Ruiz

      Erma, 67.

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Marlene, cancer is now in the liver and Hospice has
      been called in.She has not given up her HOPE & Faith are deep but the family needs
      prayers also for the journey they are on.

      Julia , a 16 year old being influenced by the world and some of her
      companions.

      Also for Friday, a "Day of Reflection " for the 3rd
      Orders members in a Florida community.

      Pam and her cat, Sophocles. Exploratory surgery could not find his problem, no cancer, but he needs badly to eat and must be force fed, very hard on both Pam and him.

      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 11, June 12, October 12
      Chapter 9: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at the Night Office

      In winter time as defined above,
      there is first this verse to be said three times:
      "O Lord, open my lips,
      and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
      To it is added Psalm 3 and the "Glory be to the Father,"
      and after that Psalm 94 to be chanted with an antiphon
      or even chanted simply.
      Let the Ambrosian hymn follow next,
      and then six Psalms with antiphons.
      When these are finished and the verse said,
      let the Abbot give a blessing;
      then, all being seated on the benches,
      let three lessons be read from the book on the lectern
      by the brethren in their turns,
      and after each lesson let a responsory be chanted.
      Two of the responsories are to be said
      without a "Glory be to the Father"
      but after the third lesson
      let the chanter say the "Glory be to the Father,"
      and as soon as he begins it let all rise from their seats
      out of honor and reverence to the Holy Trinity.


      The books to be read at the Night Office
      shall be those of divine authorship,
      of both the Old and the New Testament,
      and also the explanations of them which have been made
      by well known and orthodox Catholic Fathers.


      After these three lessons with their responsories
      let the remaining six Psalms follow,
      to be chanted with "Alleluia."
      After these shall follow the lesson from the Apostle,
      to be recited by heart,
      the verse
      and the petition of the litany, that is "Lord, have mercy on us."
      And so let the Night Office come to an end.

      REFLECTION

      There is an unfortunate and perennial heresy among would-be
      liturgists, even some Benedictines, which holds that if it's long,
      its good. Not so, and quite evidently not so to St. Benedict, either.
      The order he prescribes for Vigils is almost exactly half the length
      of the Roman cathedral Office of his time.

      St. Benedict was very serious about monasticism, but he also wanted
      to shorten the Office, which was obviously of central importance to
      him. Why? I think he aimed, once again, at balance, at moderation and
      at gentleness. His monastics were farmers, not wealthy cathedral
      prelates with servants and benefices. They would have dropped rather
      quickly from fatigue had he imposed the Roman Office of the time on
      them.

      There is a great message of moderation here for Oblates. St. Benedict
      knew perfectly well that if his monastics were too long at Matins and
      Lauds, the cows would be bellowing in pain from distended udders,
      waiting for the high church milkers to finally arrive. See the
      operative principle here? The Office is PART of one's life, a
      terribly important part, but ALL of one's work and life is prayer.
      Figuratively speaking, if your life and primary vocation has left you
      with cows to milk, for heavens sake (literally!) go milk 'em!

      Our Office, for every monastic, from Abbot Primate down to newest
      Oblate novice, must be a harmonious part of our life. We are not
      called to the excesses of Cluny, whose monks were in choir most of
      the time, adding ever more and more gee-gaws and trinkets to the
      Office. If one's children or spouse or work calls one to do less,
      answer that call. No one is called to be a choir athlete, at it all
      the time.

      If illness or disability limit what you can do, do what you can and bless God
      for what you cannot! He knows what He is about. The Fathers taught that
      illness or other physical challenges, even just aging, took the place
      of stringent penances performed by the healthy and well. Whatever the
      limits imposed by bodily problems, they themselves became penance
      and asceticism for the monastic.

      In long dealings with Oblates I have frequently heard this issue
      raised: saying the whole Office. That is fine, and some lives,
      notably single ones, might make it possible. Other lives, lives
      founded on sacraments like marriage, might well not. Trying to amend
      one's primary, sacramental vocation to be a monastic in the world
      misses the point. That primary vocation is part and parcel of HOW one
      becomes a monastic in the world. Tamper with it and you mess up the
      entire picture.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@...
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      St. Mary's Monastery
      Petersham, MA



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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Br. Tobias, OSB, for his monastic community, his family and for all who mourn him. Please pray
      Message 228 of 228 , Jan 19, 2009
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        +PAX

        Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Br. Tobias, OSB, for his monastic community, his family and for all who mourn him.

        Please pray that the US Congress and the new administration will respect all human life, from conception till natural death.

        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 20, May 21, September 20
        Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works

        To fear the Day of Judgment.
        To be in dread of hell.
        To desire eternal life with all the passion of the spirit.
        To keep death daily before one's eyes.
        To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life.
        To know for certain that God sees one everywhere.
        When evil thoughts come into one's heart, to dash them against Christ
        immediately.
        And to manifest them to one's spiritual mother.
        To guard one's tongue against evil and depraved speech.
        Not to love much talking.
        Not to speak useless words or words that move to laughter.
        Not to love much or boisterous laughter.
        To listen willingly to holy reading.
        To devote oneself frequently to prayer.
        Daily in one's prayers, with tears and sighs, to confess one's past
        sins to God, and to amend them for the future.
        Not to fulfil the desires of the flesh; to hate one's own will.
        To obey in all things the commands of the Abbess, even though she
        herself (which God forbid) should act otherwise, mindful of the
        Lord's precept, "Do what they say, but not what they do."
        Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy; but first to be
        holy, that one may be truly so called.

        REFLECTION


        The first four on today's list are not very palatable to many modern
        ears, but, like all of the Instruments of Good Works, they are
        important, they are interrelated and each one helps one fulfill the
        others. Arguably, one could say that the focus of the first four is
        the fifth: "To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life."

        We have largely "gotten over" dreading Judgment. We went from a
        paralyzing, Jansenistic, scrupulous fear of it right into a smug
        assurance that everyone passes the test with honors. Well, there's got to
        be truth hidden between those two false extremes somewhere!

        I know, beyond any doubt that I shall be both delighted and very,
        very embarrassed and ashamed to meet God face to face, to find that
        my faith has been confirmed. Ah, joy at the confirmation, but oh,
        crushing shame at the simultaneous confirmation of how very far short
        of Him I have fallen, through choice, through laziness, through
        negligence, through sin.

        One can dread that realization without thinking that God is some
        intrinsically mean sort, just waiting for one to trip up, hunting for the
        slightest loophole to nail us. Quite the opposite is the truth! God's awesome
        Divine Mercy seeks every possible way to bring us to Himself and
        His rewards of bliss. Every possible way!!

        Let us admit that we have been all too good at tripping
        on our own: God has no need to duplicate services there! Fearing
        judgment is part and parcel of knowing who we are. We have all
        sinned. And I know I have failed faith, hope and love, again and again
        and again, usually with no more excuse than selfishness.

        We keep goals in sight while training. Forget the Olympic gold and
        you will quite likely forget why you are training so hard. For us,
        between now and the "Olympics" of death, it is only the training that
        matters. It is also good to recall that, as Benedictines, our goal is
        NOT simply to "pass", but to stand on the podium.

        That's not because we are any better, it is only because
        we ourselves have added great holiness to our goal. Why else embrace
        the Rule? Keeping "death daily before our eyes," we are ALWAYS at
        the Olympics, thanks to our vow of conversion of manner of life, we
        are daily in training, every minute, in fact.

        All of these four lead to the fifth, keeping guard over one's
        actions, or mindfulness. Here is a great connection between the
        Benedictine way and the Buddhist way.

        The Buddhists have a saying that monastics can preach a sermon just
        by the way they walk. That's what the care of mindfulness can do!
        Just wait till we get to the 12th degree of humility, which says that
        the monastics' humility will shine through their outward appearance,
        whether walking or sitting or working or praying.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

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