Holy Rule for Sept. 2
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
For a young man named Steve, just diagnosed with cancer. It's already pretty far advanced. He's not very religious,, so prayers for him and all his family.
for a young pregnant mother who has been suffering from seizures. It appears that her unborn baby probably has had a stroke. The doctors are telling her she should terminate the pregnancy due to serious problems both for herself and her child. The mother doesn't want to do that, but is confused and doesn't know if she has any options. Please pray for all of them, including the doctors.
for 3 year old having Chemo for Cancer and for her family.
for Kathy, a 13 year old with cancer & her family.
Special intention & for ACT International Conference in Chicago Sept.11-15.
Bill, in ICU in a dire state of hepatic encelaphepathy, is losing a great deal of blood and the prognosis is not good....and for his wife Marlene.
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 2, May 3, September 2
Let us arise, then, at last,
for the Scripture stirs us up, saying,
"Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep" (Rom. 18:11).
Let us open our eyes to the deifying light,
let us hear with attentive ears
the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us,
"Today if you hear His voice,
harden not your hearts" (Ps. 94:8).
"Whoever has ears to hear,
hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Matt. 11-15; Apoc. 2:7).
And what does He say?
"Come, My children, listen to Me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord" (Ps. 33:12).
"Run while you have the light of life,
lest the darkness of death overtake you" (John 12:35).
St. Benedict, just by virtue of the period in which he lived, would
have been rather more attuned to the Eastern Church Fathers than
many in the West are today. Not for nothing does he also recommend
St. Basil's Rule to his monastics! Given all this, the
phrase "deifying light", which probably strikes most Westerners as
just a lovely bit of poetry, would ring altogether different bells
in Eastern minds, and may well have rung those bells in the mind of
St. Benedict himself.
Deification, the process of humanity becoming more God-like, is a
central theme of Eastern spirituality, a favorite theme of the
Fathers and a big central issue in Eastern monasticism. The whole
idea of the Incarnation is viewed as God becoming Man so that man
could be deified. (Don't take that term "deified" literally. The
idea was that people became God-like, participated in His wondrous
Being, not that they literally became gods!)
But there was a profound awareness of grace allowing us to share
in God's life and to become ever more
like Him, of being ever more intimately united with the Triune
Life. Put another way, the East would say that we were created in
the image and likeness of God, but we have lost the likeness.
Deification, monastic struggle, the spiritual life, all of these
strive to regain that likeness.
We so often speak of balance, but what does that balance entail?
It is this very deification, it is the closest attempt we can make to restore
the rightness of Eden. It is our halt and lame effort to become what
God intended us to be, as closely as we can in a fallen world.
So, as we continue our loving Father's pep talk at the beginning of
his Holy Rule, let us resolve to never again let that
phrase "deifying light" slip past our eyes as just another literary
device. No way! Deification and Light are what we are all about.
Shine on, dear brothers and sisters, shine on!
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Prayers for the eternal rest of Jerome and Louise, my parents, on the 65th anniversary of their wedding. Thanks all, for your prayers for them.
Prayers for Ken, in his 80’s, his cancer is in his lungs now and hospice care has been called, he is deteriorating rapidly. Prayers, too, for his wife, for Janet and Mel and Barry. Prayers for Ken’s happy death and for all who will mourn him.
Prayers for Max’s older brother who is developmentally disabled. He faced years of medical complications in the past and was able to overcome difficulties. Now with age he faces possible surgery again and heightened risk during procedure because he is not totally independent of an oxygen vent which helps him to breathe. His elderly mother is distraught. May it be possible that physical ailment can be handled without surgery. Prayers for his Mom and all the family. All in accordance with God's will.
Please prayers for Sean, with a recovering alcoholic mother, who is full of hate. Diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression, bipolar. Please bring him peace. Prayers, too, for his Mom and all his family.
Deo gratias, Georgia, Charlene’s dog, is doing well at home, continued prayers for her recovery.
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
May 1, August 31, December 31
Chapter 73: On the Fact That the Full Observance of Justice Is Not
Established in This Rule
Now we have written this Rule
in order that by its observance in monasteries
we may show that we have attained some degree of virtue
and the rudiments of the religious life.
But for those who would hasten to the perfection of that life
there are the teaching of the holy Fathers,
the observance of which leads to the height of perfection.
For what page or what utterance
of the divinely inspired books of the Old and New Testaments
is not a most unerring rule for human life?
Or what book of the holy Catholic Fathers
does not loudly proclaim
how we may come by a straight course to our Creator?
Then the Conferences and the Institutes
and the Lives of the Fathers,
as also the Rule of our holy Father Basil --
what else are they but tools of virtue
for right-living and obedient monks?
But for us who are lazy and ill-living and negligent
they are a source of shame and confusion.
Whoever you are, therefore,
who are hastening to the heavenly homeland,
fulfill with the help of Christ
this minimum Rule which we have written for beginners;
and then at length under God's protection
you will attain to the loftier heights of doctrine and virtue
which we have mentioned above.
I used to love to teach 8th graders. At the top of a kindergarten
through 8th grade school, they thought they had REALLY arrived, they
were very pleased with themselves! My 8th graders knew that I loved
them, so I could afford to tease them a bit. I used to narrow my
eyes into a fake menacing gaze and say: "Ah, now you're the top, but next
year? Next year you will be FRESHMEN! The lowest of the low! Just
wait till high school." And they would laugh, secure in the fact
that I MUST be joking....
Well, folks, the beauty of this last chapter is that is tells us we
are ALL eighth graders, if even that. We'd do well to take St.
Benedict seriously on this one, but I'll bet he smiled with the same
affection I used to show to my kids. Three times a year we read the
Holy Rule entirely and three times a year he lovingly shakes us
awake to the reality that we will for all of our lives, always be
freshmen next year!
That's the Benedictine surprise that's wrapped in conversion of
manners: we never "arrive", we're not so hot as we thought ourselves
to be, we are just barely ready for the next step.
This is VERY different from the self-loathing we spoke about
yesterday with the bitter zeal. This is the true self-knowledge, the
smiling, even shrugging acceptance of the fact that we are just on
the way, nothing special there!
God is so vast and beyond us, we are always taking the tumbling
first steps of toddlers towards Him, but He is always holding on and
beaming with the pride and love of a parent guiding those steps. Our
Holy Rule is filled with awesome things, yet it is only
the "rudiments" of the spiritual life!
Eighth graders, eighth graders all, but ah, what a high school
Love and prayers,