Holy Rule for Feb. 7
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
[This is another Lainie, not Sr. Lany Jo for whom we have often prayed.] Lainie who is being unfairly and maliously slandered with potential serious consequences in her workplace. Please pray that truth and justice will rise to the surface. Please pray that she receive wisdom and strength.
Mary Jane, who fell and broke her hip. Will need assisted living for a while, which she can ill afford.
Dolores asks for prayers for her two unborn granddaughters, one of whom is due to be born on her grandfather's 20th anniversary of ordination to the diaconate.
Amy, 24, for whom we prayed, has Type 2 B cancer of the cervix. It is aggressive and there is a 70% survival rate. They are doing a procedure to lift her ovaries this next week (to prevent onset of early menopause) and once this heals, in 4 weeks they will begin radical chemotherapy/radiation treatments combined.
Please pray for Brian having Oral Surgery tomorrow afternoon, Feb. 6. He must be at Nanaimo Hospital at 2 PM and Surgery is scheduled for 4 PM. No food after midnight tonight.This will likely lead to a migraine because if he doesn't eat, he gets migraines, so he will likely be feeling sick by the time he gets to the hospital without a miracle. Brian has to be put under due to two heart surgeries and continued heart problems.
Prayers for the happy death and eternal rest of Bob, for whom we prayed He died during the hour of Mercy, peacefully and with his family. Pray for his soul, and for the comfort of his family.
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 7, June 8, October 8
Chapter 7: On Humility
The tenth degree of humility
is that he be not ready and quick to laugh,
for it is written,
"The fool lifts up his voice in laughter" (Eccles. 21:23).
Face it, beloveds, speech and laughter have a lot in common! Both are
often fake, insincere, nervous or empty. Both are often employed for
no reason other than to break a silence which makes us uncomfortable.
Both are frequently unnecessary. To the degree that both are
sometimes false, they are destructive of truth and, therefore, of humility.
I speak from experience as one of the big-time braying mules, all
too ready to lift my fool's voice in laughter! People like me are
quick to defend themselves by making the other side look dumb or
challenged: "Oh, I can't stand someone with no sense of humor!" Well,
the issue here is NOT having a sense of humor, all saints need that.
It is having a hair trigger on same or, worse. It's having a
catastrophic first strike capability to laugh when no one else does,
to see humor where it truly does not exist, or to be silly in the
presence of those far wiser than oneself.
Every good monk I have ever known has laughed. The best monks,
however, did not laugh easily. A knowing, warm smile with bright eyes
or a discreet chuckle would have been most usual for them. They were
not quick to laugh, nor did they roar loudly with laughter.
There's another connection between speech and laughter here. Their
moderate, virtuous use is connected to wisdom, which is why the person
who rarely speaks at all is usually listened to when they do say
something. Ditto the use of laughter. If Br. X, who laughs at
everything, including things that aren't funny, howls in laughter,
people don't ascribe much to the affair. On the other hand, if Br. Y,
who is NOT given to laughter, even chuckles it is a sign that
something is REALLY funny!
Stupid laughter and stupid speech are both pathetic as a first
resort. Both can stem from thinking we know something that we really
do not, or that we can see clearly and entirely what we really see
only partially, if that. Our ignorance in such matters may be missed
by others, but those we live with can usually point it out, unless
they are too polite or charitable to do so!
Having said that about ignorance, let me jump in to defend valid
laughter and truthful senses of humor. Merely being curmudgeonly and
not laughing is definitely NOT the idea! That treats the symptom, not
the cause! Joyless, cranky, unduly serious people who take
themselves, above all, FAR too seriously, are every bit as much out
of touch with reality as the braying mules.
Both laughter and speech can be cruel and ought never to be for the
Christian. But both can be loving and charitable, too. Surely there is no
implied here of charity! What of the many times when a laugh or chuckle truly
did break the ice, lighten the moment or cheer someone up. One would be hard
pressed to claim that those charitably kind uses of laughter were forbidden.
Humility is truth, remember that one? As Sheen observed, both the sense of
faith and the sense of humor are the terribly important ability to see through
The good monks I described who rarely laughed were not morose. They were not
so because they were holy enough to know better! They were cheerful, joyful men.
That stands in high (and pleasant!) relief to being either a crank or a
That's the issue here: being holy makes us humble, being holy makes
us avoid extremes!
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Prayers for our Sister Mary Paula, on her feastday, graces galore and many more! Ad multos annos!
Prayers for Mary, on her birthday, graces galore and many more! Ad multos annos!
Deo gratias, Moira, for whom we prayed, safely delivered Victor, 11 lbs, and 2 oz., 22 inches long! Prayers, too, for all the family, Dad and brother, Angel and Angel 3rd, and for Gerry and Eva and Victor’s other set of grandparents.
Prayers for three couples that need to get their marriages blessed and receive the Sacraments.
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!
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 would,
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 extensive 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, along with charity, 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 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 finds itself woefully out
of its element. It lacks the supernatural basis of faith; this impedes it in this
area. Balance, always balance. Keep God in focus in these areas.
The model is His greatness, not our own.
A quickie on the Psalm quote today: "...neither have I walked in
great matters, nor in matters above me." This was a favorite of
Brother Patrick Creamer, my mentor. He learned to do it quite
well and in just 46 years or so!! He'd laugh at my saying that.
I speak as one who has been all too focused at many times on the
monastic soap opera and its hand-wringing tempests in teacups. About
many things, even most, we must learn simply not to get upset, not to
trouble ourselves with matters too great, even though we may have to
call them "great" with an inner, rueful chuckle.
That's not apathy, simply a frank admission that, in many cases, others
have charge of areas so that the rest need NOT worry or concern themselves.
The purpose of the division of responsibility is to give the community the
chance to focus their energy on the one thing really needful. This is especially
true in monasteries, but the principle has applications in the workplace, too.
In the latter, there may be times when one is morally obliged to get involved,
but the key word is "morally". About trivia or non-essentials in any milieu,
shrug, say nothing and keep your sanity.
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.
Love and prayers,