Holy Rule for June 28
Prayers, please, for the s[piritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Dolly, soon to be invested as an Oblate novice.
Tony, 15, traumatic head injury, clots on his brain causing pressure. In ICU an soon to have surgery to remove a piece of his skull to relieve pressure on his brain; and for his parents and family.
Bobby, for his conversion and for the severe cold he has.
Deo gratias, Sam's surgery went well and they thank us for our prayers. Now, we need to pray for a quick and full recovery for him.
Deo gratias, Lesli, who breast biopsy we praye for, got benign results. No cancer.
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 27, June 28, October 28
Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery
If the community is a large one,
let there be chosen out of it
brethren of good repute and holy life,
and let them be appointed deans.
These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
observing the commandments of God
and the instructions of their Abbot.
Let men of such character be chosen deans
that the Abbot may with confidence
share his burdens among them.
Let them be chosen not by rank
but according to their worthiness of life
and the wisdom of their doctrine.
If any of these deans should become inflated with pride
and found deserving of censure,
let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time.
If he will not amend,
then let him be deposed
and another be put in his place who is worthy of it.
And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.
Did anyone read this as I did at first, many years ago, and
wonder: "Why did St. Benedict give them an academic name
like "deans"? Well, it was probably the other way around! Since the
first schools were monastic ones, it is quite likely that the
term "dean" entered academia via the Holy Rule!
Surely the academic gown of today is a modified form of our Benedictine
choir robe, the cowl or cuculla. In fact, Benedictines used to wear their
cucullas with the appropriate academic hoods as their formal dress at
graduations and the like. With all due respect to the johnny-come-
latelies like the Dominicans, Franciscans and Jesuits, when they don
full academic regalia, they're wearing a derived form of our choir
But, enough of trivia...This chapter repeats another important
consideration in St. Benedict's plan: people are not to be
overburdened. This theme is less noticeable than the more important
ones of moderation and the like, but it is there. Again and again,
the Holy Rule says that people should have help with their charges,
certain officials should even be exempted from serving in the
Two things are going on here, both very important. Surely the first
is kindness, gentle consideration for human frailty. The second,
however, is every bit as defining and important: we are not our work,
we are not our jobs, our vocation and worth is only connected to such
things tangentially at best. Our motto is Work AND Prayer. The
message is that neither of these should make the other impossible.
This message is equally important for both choir monastics and
Oblates. If your work is so much that your prayer suffers, something
is wrong. However, especially true for those of us in the secular
world, if your prayer is so much that your job or children or
marriage suffers, something is REALLY wrong. If your work deprives
your family or spouse, it might be time to look at changing it, time
to rearrange goals and priorities a bit.
One of the occasional problems of modern life everywhere is not just
that we are too busy, but that we FOCUS too much attachment and will
on stuff that really doesn't matter. Examine and change that focus.
Picture your job today if you had died yesterday. The important stuff would
still get done by someone else. The rest, your own agenda, would go merrily
down the tubes. Well, learn from that!
A LOT of our own agendas are worth little more than that: going down the
tubes. So why waste so much time and spiritual and emotional energy on
them? As it does so frequently, the Holy Rule and Benedictine life tell us:
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,