Holy Rule for July 2
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest and happy death of Mickey and for all her family and all who mourn her.
Prayers, please for Luana, complete right knee replacement on Tuesday, July 1st. Please pray that she comes through the surgery okay and that the recovery and rehabilitation process is successful.
Continued prayers for David, whose successful birth we prayed for in
August. His tumor was successfully removed; chemo to commence shortly.
Some rough sledding ahead.
Kenny, age 46, suffered a stroke with many serious complications. He is a talented tenor who willingly shares his gift of music.
Annie, under 15, who had a seizure and was unconscious for several days before they diagnosed meningitis and encephalitis. Long recovery ahead.
Bobby beaten and stabbed by gang members while telling his little sister to
run. They were walking in their neighborhood. He has had several surgeries,
loss of one kidney, still hanging in there.
Trevor, and his wife Kristen, are expecting a baby girl in November. They have waited long and prayed hard for this miracle and blessing.
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
March 2, July 2, November 1
Chapter 25: On Weightier Faults
Let the brother who is guilty of a weightier fault
be excluded both from the table and from the oratory.
Let none of the brethren join him
either for company or for conversation.
Let him be alone at the work assigned him,
abiding in penitential sorrow
and pondering that terrible sentence of the Apostle
where he says that a man of that kind is handed over
for the destruction of the flesh,
that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (1 Cor. 5:5).
Let him take his meals alone
in the measure and at the hour
which the Abbot shall consider suitable for him.
He shall not be blessed by those who pass by,
nor shall the food that is given him be blessed.
The world's concept of punishment is alien to Benedictine values. The
world often sees punishment as nothing other than retribution. Few
today would think of prisons (at least in my country,) as places of
reform or moral rehabilitation. Quite the reverse!
We want offenders to pay and we want them removed from our view
and out of harm's way. We often even want them dead, but we do not much
care whether or not they reform. In fact, we have little faith that they will
and even less hope of that given the prisons in which we have warehoused them.
The world wants problems removed, not solved, not converted.
With St. Benedict, there is no reason for punishment other than
correction and hope of conversion. Only when the hope of those are
gone does he demand expulsion. The familial nature of Benedictine
life means that we have to hold on as long as a possibility of cure
seems to exist. Like any family, we are committed to one another
through a lot of thick or thin and there is no shortage of either!!
However, and some families sadly know this, too, sometimes that hope
is dashed by the offender, the only one who has ultimate power in
this process. Once a monastic is corrected or punished, the real
outcome lies pretty much in the monastic's control. One can profit
from the correction and grow, or one can stubbornly rebel and wither.
Sometimes punishment may seem mean, but, believe me, it is really the
most necessary form of love at times. Charity could not leave such
wounds undressed. If it did, one would have a lot to answer for to
God one day. Real love does not ignore, real love does not take the
easiest route. Real love is often forced, even bravely willing, to name the
horse on the dining room table that other diners ignore.This is as perfectly
true of families and workplaces as it is of monasteries. There is a lot of
here for all!
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Prayers for the safe release of Fr. Chito and 13 others held hostage by militants in Marawi, Philippines. Prayers, too, for the eternal rest of the police chief there, who was beheaded, and for his family and all who mourn him. Prayers for the conversion and repentance of his killers and all the attackers. Prayers for all those affected in any way and for peace in this troubled region.
Prayers for our Sr. Christine, whose 20th anniversary of solemn vows was yesterday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!
Sue asked prayers for all who suffer hearing loss.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. John Brioux, OMI, and for his family and all who mourn him.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Peter D’Alesandre, and for his family and all who mourn him, especially Rachel.
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 25, May 26, September 25
Chapter 7: On Humility
Holy Scripture, brethren, cries out to us, saying,
"Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,
and he who humbles himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
In saying this it shows us
that all exaltation is a kind of pride,
against which the Prophet proves himself to be on guard
when he says,
"Lord, my heart is not exalted,
nor are mine eyes lifted up;
neither have I walked in great matters,
nor in wonders above me."
But how has he acted?
"Rather have I been of humble mind
than exalting myself;
as a weaned child on its mother's breast,
so You solace my soul" (Ps. 130:1-2).
if we wish to reach the very highest point of humility
and to arrive speedily at that heavenly exaltation
to which ascent is made through the humility of this present life,
by our ascending actions
erect the ladder Jacob saw in his dream,
on which Angels appeared to him descending and ascending.
By that descent and ascent
we must surely understand nothing else than this,
that we descend by self-exaltation and ascend by humility.
And the ladder thus set up is our life in the world,
which the Lord raises up to heaven if our heart is humbled.
For we call our body and soul the sides of the ladder,
and into these sides our divine vocation has inserted
the different steps of humility and discipline we must climb.
Today we begin St. Benedict's exhaustive treatment of humility.
Humility and obedience are so closely linked that it is virtually
impossible to speak of one without adding the other. Since both are
essential Benedictine virtues, it is easy to say that there is no
such thing as a holy Benedictine who has not climbed or is not
climbing this ladder. I have never known a holy monk who was not
humble, in fact, it was usually their most outstanding trait.
A lot of this chapter will grate on modern ears. I will be the first
to admit that some people need assertiveness training. However, in my
experience, most of us do not. Most of us manage to be assertive on a
daily- even hourly- basis without much difficulty. Remember, too,
that modern psychology is a science which, like all science, is
limited to observable data.
Hence, it is not surprising that the generalities of psychology deal
with relations between people and visible, created things. The catch
here is that the humility St. Benedict speaks of is rooted in
relationship of humans to God, a sphere in which psychology often
finds itself woefully out of its element. It can see some things
amiss, but not all. It lacks the supernatural basis of faith, and
this impedes it in this area. Balance, always balance.
A quickie on the Psalm quote today: "...neither have I walked in
great matters, nor in matters above me." This would appeal to
Brother Patrick Creamer, my late mentor. He learned to do it quite
well and in just 45 years or so!! Say a special prayer for Patrick's
eternal rest with God.
I speak as one who has been all too focused at many times on the
monastic soap opera, its hand-wringing tempests in teacups. About
many things, even most, we must learn simply not to meddle, not to
trouble ourselves with matters too great, even though we may have to
call them "great" with an inner, rueful chuckle.
You will never have peace until you learn to leave all that alone, to
distrust it for the empty and tragic charade that it truly is. And
you will never get anywhere if you don't have peace. The road to that
peace is humility and love, both effective vaccinations against the
fatal disease of power.
Love and prayers,