Holy Rule for Feb. 5
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and for all who take care of them:
Bill, financial woes and employment search and his wife, Mary Jo, health issues with MS.
Madeliene, who lost her cat, Dash, due to a medication error, and for her Mom, who made the error and must feel awful.
Marcella, the mother of Garrett for whom we have been praying, she has a lump in her breast and needs to have a biopsy.
Amy who is 24 years old had a biopsy of her uterus on Thursday. The doctors called her in this past Monday morning and she has had another biopsy last night & is having an MRI this morning. Everything has been very sudden. The Mom, Brenda, DOES NOT want to hear about God and the Dad and family are very upset including their Aunt Cindy.
Deo gratias: Bethany's job is holding her position for her. Her shoulder is sore but she is doing very well.
Amber didn't make the CPA exam. She failed by one point. She was very disappointed but will retake the test in May after the tax season.
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 5, June 6, October 6
Chapter 7: On Humility
The eighth degree of humility
is that a monk do nothing except what is commended
by the common Rule of the monastery
and the example of the elders.
[How many of you can tell I used to be a radio DJ by reading this? And I loved it!]
I am a much bigger fan of early Sinatra than I am of his later
career. One of the hits of his closing years, which was also recorded
by Elvis, was "My Way." It quickly became the defining anthem for
many in the rather egocentric late 20th century.
Couple these two guys with a third, Tony Bennett, in an imaginary trio
for another hit, "I've Gotta Be Me" and you have the secular rationale
of the self in a nutshell. I really love Tony Bennett, and I used to own a
copy of his recording of "I've Gotta Be Me", but now I rather wish he'd
passed up on that one.
Both songs take the healthy notion of self and elevate it to a level
of distortion and falsity. They erroneously elevate
a part of truth to being the whole truth and that spells trouble. Our
selves are wonderful, unique, precious gifts, so are children. Leave
either unbridled and malformed and you will regret it.
Humility forms rightly because it is truth. Like the Gospel itself,
humility is the exact reverse of many a worldly tune. The real,
objective truth lies in the paradox, in the tension of yes AND no to
many things which the world would accept unquestioningly as "YES!"
So, here comes the 8th degree. It's message is that it is most safe
to assume that doing it one's own way is neither right nor terribly
bright. We may find that sometimes we are right, but even there, so
long as the action is morally neutral, the wise course is subjection
to the common mind. Benedictines swim in schools, it's our nature to
In fact, even doing it some other monastery's tested, tried and true way
makes no sense. God calls us to the house and the observance that
will best suit us. If we have made a mistake in hearing Him, He will
somehow gets us to transfer (unless we STILL can't hear Him!)
Otherwise, let things alone.
We come to a distinct monastery and congregation, to the Rule, to be
taught, not to teach them. We come to be directed, not to direct, to
be formed, not to form. If we allow all those things to happen to us
in humility we quite likely WILL be elements of change for the better
in the community's history, but that change will be one planned by
God, not ourselves.
Love and prayers,
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Prayers, please for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Dave, recurrent prostate cancer, seeing oncologist on the 18th, and for Elaine, his wife.
Tom, upper erosive esophagitus, a stomach ulcer and hiatal hernia. The current meds are
not helping the problem. Seeing doctor today.
Joyce, who had surgery and several organs are filled with cancer.
The family needs prayers as it is very hard for them to deal with the diagnosis.
Carol, undergoing surgery to repair leg tendons on Thursday... for a safe operation, and a quick, comfortable, and complete recovery.
Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Doris, who has gone to God, for all her family and all who mourn her.
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 13, July 13, November 12
Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen
Let the brethren serve one another, and let no one be excused from
the kitchen service
except by reason of sickness or occupation in some important work.
For this service brings increase of reward and of charity. But let
helpers be provided for the weak ones, that they may not be
distressed by this work; and indeed let everyone have help, as
required by the size of the community or the circumstances of the
locality. If the community is a large one,
the cellarer shall be excused from the kitchen service; and so also
those whose occupations are of greater utility, as we said above.
Let the rest serve one another in charity.
The one who is ending his week of service shall do the cleaning on
Saturday. He shall wash the towels with which the brethren wipe
their hands and feet; and this server who is ending his week, aided
by the one who is about to begin, shall wash the feet of all the
brethren. He shall return the utensils of his office to the
cellarer clean and in good condition,
and the cellarer in turn shall consign them to the incoming server,
in order that he may know what he gives out and what he receives
I know some houses have moved away from having table waiters, but
something is lost in that. We have cafeteria style first portions
here, then the waiter goes around to offer seconds and clears the
dishes. It isn't a really big deal, but it does have a great reward,
as the Holy Rule points out. Because we are a small community, only
8, everyone, even the Superior takes a turn at waiting.
Formerly, in some houses (maybe in all, but I am not sure,) the
Abbot would wait tables on Holy Thursday. There was a nice
connection there: he who held the place of Christ waited on all on
the feast of the Last Supper, and washed the feet of twelve in
Church that day.
The connection here is personalist. Waiting on people connects you
very much to them, as any waiter could tell you. Restaurants may
not pursue that connection to any depth, but a home situation, like
a monastery, surely does. There's a great notion here for Oblates
do not live alone: take turns waiting. We can get slumped into Dad
or Mom or husband or wife always being waiter or waited upon.
Switch off, care for each other, in this and many, many other ways!
There are tons of ways of serving another, serving each other, that
have nothing at all to do with tables or dining. There are many,
many, equivalent forms of foot-washing. Hunt for them diligently and
practice them with deep love!
Love and prayers,
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