Well... things do have a way of repeating themselves and this is
another example. Right about this time last year a bad Ice Storm laid
waste to Brother Jerome's part of the Country and knocked out all
their electricity at St. Mary's and a large part of the State. An
early morning phone call from our good Brother Jerome informed me
that another Ice Storm, this one much worse than last year's, has
struck again. Brother says this is the worst one he has has seen.
Please send a storm of your good prayers Heavenward that all will be
safe on the treacherous footpaths and roads and that power will be
In the meantime I will attempt the impossible task of filling his
shoes so please bless me with Prayer Requests at:
+++Please pray that Divine Mercy will shine upon all those who have
taken their own lives.+++
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 13, August 13, December 13
Chapter 59: On the Sons of Nobles and of the Poor Who Are Offered
If anyone of the nobility offers his son to God in the monastery
and the boy is very young, let his parents draw up the document which
we mentioned above; and at the oblation let them wrap the document
itself and the boy's hand in the altar cloth. That is how they offer
As regards their property, they shall promise in the same petition
under oath that they will never of themselves, or through an
intermediary, or in any way whatever, give him anything or provide
him with the opportunity of owning anything. Or else, if they are
unwilling to do this,
and if they want to offer something as an alms to the monastery for
their advantage, let them make a donation of the property they wish
to give to the monastery, reserving the income to themselves if they
And in this way let everything be barred, so that the boy may have no
expectations whereby (which God forbid) he might be deceived and
ruined, as we have learned by experience.
Let those who are less well-to-do make a similar offering. But those
who have nothing at all shall simply draw up the document and offer
their son before witnesses at the oblation.
This is the chapter that allows us to have (and be!) Oblates. How
different would all of our lives be if this chapter had never been
written! While I dwell on the Order as a whole in this reflection,
how drastically different and how impoverished my life would be
without Oblates. How very deeply my life is shaped by so many of you
and how very grateful for that I am!
Reflect a moment on how rich your life WOULDN'T be if you had no
Benedictine family, if the Order had never even been founded. Think
about brothers, sisters and friends whom you would not know, about
what you would have missed. For starters, many of us would not be
members on at least a couple of the forums this appears on- they
wouldn't exist! Our wonderful fraternity in cyberspace would have
never happened at all.
In my own life there would have been no St. Leo, no Brother Patrick,
no Petersham or Pluscarden. My college degree would never have
happened and my dear friend, Jean Ronan, would never have even met
me, let alone taught me theology.
Every single thing I ever received from the Benedictine Order, all the
example, all the awe and joy, and yes, even all the pain that formed
me, would never have existed, nor would I have had any role in the
lives of my Benedictine family of brothers and sisters. Nada. Zilch.
Europe would look a lot different, probably worse, and the Book of
Common Prayer would be devoid of all those wonderful OSB elements
like Morning Prayer and Evensong. Even the architecture of Anglican
Churches would differ: the monastic choir-in-sanctuary style would
probably be unknown.
Often the best way to access a treasure is to imagine its loss. We
can take for granted things which are of inestimable value. Make
today's chapter an opportunity for such an assessment. Carry it even
further, to some other dear and wonderful things in your life. What
if there were no Church? What if you had no family ? (I know, I
know... sometimes that sounds tempting! But even in dysfunctional
families, you would NEVER be exactly who you are without them.) Often
the best appreciation of how things are can be had by such
We all owe a great, great deal to St. Benedict and to his sons and
daughters. Let us pray for our Benedictine family and give thanks,
deep thanks for the gift we have all received!
Love and prayers,