Holy Rule for Feb. 19
Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Joseph, and for all his family and those who mourn him.
Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Kathy, who is in discernement of a life/death issue.She is facing surgery with this outlook
and having to decide to have the surgery or not.
Jean, who has inoperable cancer in the ear and recently spread to the bone in her jaw. Radiation is the only hope. Her family is devasted.
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 19, June 20, October 20
Chapter 16: How the Work of God Is to Be Performed During the Day
"Seven times in the day," says the Prophet,
"I have rendered praise to You" (Ps. 118:164).
Now that sacred number of seven will be fulfilled by us
if we perform the Offices of our service
at the time of the Morning Office,
of Prime, of Terce, of Sext, of None,
of Vespers and of Compline,
since it was of these day Hours that he said,
"Seven times in the day I have rendered praise to You."
For as to the Night Office the same Prophet says,
"In the middle of the night I arose to glorify You" (Ps. 118:62).
Let us therefore bring our tribute of praise to our Creator
"for the judgments of His justice" (Ps. 118:164)
at these times:
the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext, None,
Vespers and Compline;
and in the night let us arise to glorify Him.
Tucked neatly into all this business of naming and counting the Hours
of the Divine Office comes the actual reason we go to choir or say
the Office alone. It is "our tribute of praise to our Creator 'for
the judgments of His justice' "
OK, tribute, praise, glorify, all those things are familiar enough to
us, but the zinger here is "for the judgments of His justice."
Whoops! A lot fall out on that one! Whether we realize it or not, the
reason we praise God as Benedictine is to thank Him for ALL His
decisions in regard to us. That isn't easy, but it is terribly valid
and terribly necessary.
We thank God- admittedly sometimes with gritted teeth- for all the
things that did and DIDN'T work out the way we wanted them, for every
acceptance and every rejection that brought us to be as we find
ourselves today, in His arms. The jobs we didn't get, the great loves
which were not reciprocal, the course we flunked, the kids that went
wrong, the illness that dogs us, the spouse we should never have gone
out with twice, the unwanted pregnancy, EVERYTHING
that has shaped our lives and persons is something we thank God for
in the Office, everything He either permitted to happen or willed for us.
I mention only the difficult things, because anybody can be thankful
that the apparently GOOD stuff worked out. I am not saying all the
bad stuff is God's fault, or that it's our own fault, but ALL of it
is turned to GOOD by God, He alone can do that, and that is worth singing about!
All of it! If we look back honestly, we can see the hand of His goodness in the
darkest times, we can see it in NOT having our way, we can see it in
Since the way God turns all to good is a mystery we shall never know
fully in this life, we cannot adequately say much of anything but
thanks and praise, the stammered joy of someone who has received a
really great gift and is astounded at such generosity. Thanks, God.
And hey, You really DID know what You were doing all along, didn't
Truly, truly, God's will *IS* best! And all is mercy and grace!!!
A final word about the "seven times daily" part. Many regret that they
cannot do the whole Office. Indeed, few Oblates in the world have
lives that can easily accommodate that. Start with small steps. Believe me,
if one just makes a point of recalling Jesus' presence in our hearts
and souls seven times a day, that is a firm and wondrous beginning!
Doesn't take long and fits any schedule. Try it and I think you will see
what I mean, as well as a change in yourself.
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,