Holy Rule for Feb. 10 and 11
- I accidentally sent the 10th with just prayer intentions, both readings are here. Sorry I misssed yesterday and Happy St. Scholastica day to all! JL
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 10, June 11, October 11
Chapter 8: On the Divine Office During the Night
In the winter time,
that is from the Calends of November until Easter,
the sisters shall rise
at what is calculated to be the eighth hour of the night,
so that they may sleep somewhat longer than half the night
and rise with their rest completed.
And the time that remains after the Night Office
should be spent in study
by those sisters who need a better knowledge of the Psalter
or the lessons.
From Easter to the aforesaid Calends of November,
the hour of rising should be so arranged that the Morning Office,
which is to be said at daybreak,
will follow the Night Office after a very short interval,
during which they may go out for the necessities of nature.
Two very human glimpses into the personality of St. Benedict here. He
is thoughtful and kind, making sure the monastics have time for a
bathroom run and he is not prudish about mentioning it. It's part of
the human and part of family life. As casually as a mother asks young
children if anybody "has to go" before a trip, he throws out mention
of the fact that not everyone could make it through two long services
without great discomfort!
The tender concern of a loving parent comes through loud and clear
here. St. Benedict is well aware that he is not setting up a spa
resort, but he also wants the monastics living by his ascetic regime
to live in the reasonable comfort of moderation. "Reasonable," that
is, in accord with reason; and "comfort" that is, to strengthen,
literally, with strength.
Some monastic reforms have missed the boat on this one! Certain
accounts of the early monks of La Trappe seem like nothing more than
travelogues of grim, gloomy, resigned penitential excess. It's not
supposed to be easy, ( and it isn't!) but being a monastic isn't
supposed to be ALL gritted teeth, either. We Benedictines need, as
Hopkins put it: "room to let joy size."!
So, yeah, let them sleep enough, but not too much. And after they've
been chanting in Church for a good long while, give 'em all a
bathroom break. This is not the program of a heartless, joyless,
Love and prayers,
February 11, June 12, October 12
Chapter 9: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at the Night Office
In winter time as defined above,
there is first this verse to be said three times:
"O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
To it is added Psalm 3 and the "Glory be to the Father,"
and after that Psalm 94 to be chanted with an antiphon
or even chanted simply.
Let the Ambrosian hymn follow next,
and then six Psalms with antiphons.
When these are finished and the verse said,
let the Abbot give a blessing;
then, all being seated on the benches,
let three lessons be read from the book on the lectern
by the brethren in their turns,
and after each lesson let a responsory be chanted.
Two of the responsories are to be said
without a "Glory be to the Father"
but after the third lesson
let the chanter say the "Glory be to the Father,"
and as soon as he begins it let all rise from their seats
out of honor and reverence to the Holy Trinity.
The books to be read at the Night Office
shall be those of divine authorship,
of both the Old and the New Testament,
and also the explanations of them which have been made
by well known and orthodox Catholic Fathers.
After these three lessons with their responsories
let the remaining six Psalms follow,
to be chanted with "Alleluia."
After these shall follow the lesson from the Apostle,
to be recited by heart,
and the petition of the litany, that is "Lord, have mercy on us."
And so let the Night Office come to an end.
Keeping Vigils is one of the things monastics do and have done from
time immemorial. Monasteries are structured to make that possible.
Things that are never easy are at least possible in monasteries
because everything has been geared toward that end.
Oblates in the world may sometimes express regret that they cannot
keep the whole monastic Office, but let me assure you, there are
Vigils kept by Oblates of which monastics have no clue. Sure, it's
hard to get up in the dark and say 14 psalms, but monastics need
never face the harder, lonelier Vigils spent beside a desperately ill
spouse or child. They need not face the terror of long insomniac
nights of financial dread and worry, which compounds when one
realizes that oversleeping might cost one one's job. The vocations in
which Oblates find themselves often more than compensate for whatever
asceticism one might find in a cloister!
But, you see, that is how it ought to be: all the graces we need for
holiness, for sainthood, are built right into our situations. The
monk need not long for parenthood, nor the parent for the cloister.
Each vocation is different and appropriately varied, but every
vocation carries within it exactly the mercy and the means of grace which
God knew from all eternity would be most perfect for us.
We must train ourselves with great care to really will whatever God wills
for us. This is different from merely passive acceptance. This is actually
wanting whatever God sends out of deep faith that it is tailored flawlessly
to our best growth in holiness. The best book ever written on this practice,
in my opinion, is "Abandonment to Divine Providence", by Father Jean-Pierre
de Caussade, SJ. I heartily recommend it and it is still in print after
centuries, a real classic! Great Lenten reading!
Never, ever think that a night spent sleepless for a sick child
doesn't count as many, many, MANY Vigils! Benedictines live and
thrive in all manner of environments today, and some of the best of
them are not in choir in the wee hours, but that matters absolutely
not at all!
Love and prayers,
----- Original Message -----
From: Br. Jerome Leo
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ; rcb ; mona ; obl ; holyrule
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:03 PM
Subject: Holy Rule for Feb. 10
Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Eluana, Italy's Terry Schiavo case, who has died and for all her family and those who tried to save her.
Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physcial health of the following, for all their loved ones and alll who take care of them:
Doris,She has brain cancer and is to weak for any further treatment. She is expected to pass within a month. Please pray for an easy passage for her and her family.
Ryan for prayers for his safety and health. He is stationed in a remote part of Iraq. Please could we also pray the all the other's serving and living in war zones?
Deo gratias, Lisa, for whom we prayed has had a successful discernment about her church ministry.
Jeanette, aoung woman, total support for herself and children. Recently diagnosed with a very progressive type of breast cancer. Please pray for her healing and that she will be able to continue to work and care for her young family.
God bless all who prayed for a baby born close to totally deaf ... Eviana has been given a cocial implant and was successfuly wired up yesterday ... she heard her first sounds .... am not sure who wore the biggest smile either parent or the baby herself so many thanks .
Prayers please for Julia who is having many problems with chemo after mascectomy op.... has had to be hospitalised with the effects..... has a young family.
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