Holy Rule for Feb. 13
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the folloiwng, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Kristen, who has an interview this weekend, for a scholarship she is applying for.
Another tumor was found in Freddie's brain this week. Chemo, then surgery. This was quite a shock for him and his wife Linda. It doesn't look good.
Shirley, unbearable pain and her pain meds no longer available in generic form, co-pay will be nearly $100 a month.
Baby Sophia, having surgery.
Belated birthday prayers for Judith. May she have many more and graces galore.
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
February 13, June 14, October 14
Chapter 11: How the Night Office Is to Be Said on Sundays
the hour of rising for the Night Office should be earlier.
In that Office let the measure already prescribed be kept,
namely the singing of six Psalms and a verse.
Then let all be seated on the benches in their proper order
while the lessons and their responsories are read from the book,
as we said above.
These shall be four in number,
with the chanter saying the "Glory be to the Father"
in the fourth responsory only,
and all rising reverently as soon as he begins it.
After these lessons
let six more Psalms with antiphons follow in order, as before,
and a verse;
and then let four more lessons be read with their responsories
in the same way as the former.
After these let there be three canticles
from the book of the Prophets,
as the Abbot shall appoint,
and let these canticles be chanted with "Alleluia."
Then when the verse has been said
and the Abbot has given the blessing,
let four more lessons be read,
from the New Testament,
in the manner prescribed above.
After the fourth responsory
let the Abbot begin the hymn "We praise You, O God."
When this is finished
the Abbot shall read the lesson from the book of the Gospels,
while all stand in reverence and awe.
At the end let all answer "Amen,"
and let the Abbot proceed at once
to the hymn "To You be praise."
After the blessing has been given,
let them begin the Morning Office.
This order for the Night Office on Sunday
shall be observed the year around,
both summer and winter;
unless it should happen (which God forbid)
that the brethren be late in rising,
in which case the lessons or the responsories
will have to be shortened somewhat.
Let every precaution be taken, however,
against such an occurrence;
but if it does happen,
then the one through whose neglect it has come about
should make due satisfaction to God in the oratory.
Making the comparatively safe assumption that the majority of those
reading this will not be spending the wee hours of Sunday celebrating
three nocturns instead of two, what do we glean from this? Well, for
starters, let's note that St. Benedict goes out of his way to make
Sunday special year-round, even when he would at other times shorten
the Office. Making Sunday special, by the way, was not some novel
idea of his own: it's a commandment of God, one we often forget these
Sunday is not just a day off. Sunday is not observed by just cramming
Church in somehow and the rest of the day no different. The Roman
Catholic practice of Saturday Vigil Masses can really throw a wrench
into this: do it late Saturday afternoon and "get it out of the way."
Whoops! In spite of the theological and liturgical justifications of
a Vigil Mass, that's what it often boils down to in people's minds:
less than an hour, done late the day before, and you're done! Not!!!
If Sunday affords no extra time at all to you for rest, for prayer,
for lectio, please change something. I know one family who can't make
it to Mass on Sunday because of sports schedules for several kids in
different games. What will those kids grow up thinking of as
Sabbath? A rushed 45 minute Mass Saturday evening, if that? How many
observant Jews does one find in that dilemma? None. They know what
No one took the Sabbath away from Christians: we surrendered it
ourselves! It is, by the way, still there waiting, just as God is, for us
to take back. Fully within our power to do so. All we have to do
is change ourselves. That can be hard at first, but the rewards are
Many of us can clearly recall when no stores were open
on Sunday, save a few of the gas stations and an emergency
pharmacy. I wonder how our willingness to make Sunday just another
shopping day contributed to the change we see today?
Albert Schweitzer once said that the proof that Christianity had
failed in Europe was war. I would say that the only proof needed to
say that our Christian theology of the Sabbath has failed is to take
a look at what's left of Sunday. And please don't blame the pagans
for this one: we are at the root of the problem. Most likely at fault
was our legalistic idea of "youse goes to Church and youse done with it."
Hence, don't go running for some Christian source to read up on the
Sabbath. Check out your library or bookstore for some good Jewish
books on how to keep the seasons, holidays and Sabbath. You're going
to have a refreshing surprise. You're going to find deep holiness and
you're going to find it largely "home-made" by the believers
themselves, in their own homes. If you whine, as Christians can, how
tough it is to run uphill against a secular world's Sunday, bear in mind that
Jews are doing all this themselves on SATURDAY, with absolutely no
cooperation from government or business or society at all.
This Sunday observance, by the way, is not imposing monasticism on your
children: it's making them Christian. Not an optional job!
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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