Holy Rule for Mar. 26
Prayers were requested earlier for a 55 year old man dying of lung failure, & his 85 year old widowed mother. He died on Friday, and his wife & mother are in great distress.
Today is the second anniversary of the death of MonasticLife member Lou Ann Smith. Please remember her and her husband in your prayers.
Please pray for Jean, macular degeneration.
Karen asks for prayers again for her sister, Kay, who is very ill. She had to go back to surgery again as the infection in her back is getting worse. If this surgery doesn't work, they'll have to go back in and remove all the hardware they had inserted. She is in much pain and badly in need of prayer as her body seems unable to fight the infection.
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 26, July 26, November 25
Chapter 46: On Those Who Fail in Any Other Matters
When anyone is engaged in any sort of work,
whether in the kitchen, in the cellar, in a shop,
in the bakery, in the garden, while working at some craft,
or in any other place,
and she commits some fault,
or breaks something, or loses something,
or transgresses in any other way whatsoever,
if she does not come immediately
before the Abbess and the community
of her own accord
to make satisfaction and confess her fault,
then when it becomes known through another,
let her be subjected to a more severe correction.
But if the sin-sickness of the soul is a hidden one,
let her reveal it only to the Abbess or to a spiritual mother,
who knows how to cure her own and others' wounds
without exposing them and making them public.
I can hear parents relating to this one! "When you break something,
why don't you tell me? Don't just hide the pieces and say nothing."
Well, truthfully, sometimes people may have been afraid to ask us
because of ways we have reacted before, but that's not always so. As
former guest master, I can assure you that many adults have very adolescent
habits when it comes to breaking something, even though they
never had any dealings with me on the matter before. Nothing is said,
the damage is hidden and I'd find out a lot later.
That's too bad, because I really like to give a monastic witness to
the value of people before things and a broken plate or glass or
toilet is a great way to do that. When people do come to me, always
apologetic, and often quite sheepish as well, I say something
like: "Oh, that's OK! We can always get another pitcher, but we can
never get another you! People before things!"
People before things. That is so crucial to remember, because all of
us have lived in a very materialist world. For people of our times,
some of the Holy Rule's insistence that we be careful of the earthly
goods of monastery or home must be carefully balanced. Otherwise, we
run into the trap of becoming monastic materialists, quite a
contradiction in terms, to say the least.
Yes, we must be careful of things, but we must always keep uppermost
in our minds that the greatest treasures or family or monastery or workplace
are the members themselves. If frugality becomes stinginess, if conservation
breaks charity, we are way, way off the mark.
There's another little gem here, right at the end. Not everyone in
the group needs to know all your details all the time, but letting no
one at all know is equally foolish. A balance must be obtained here,
as in all things.
Knowing whom to tell what to is a delicate art of paying very close
attention to reality of the other person. Such attentiveness to another is
an exquisite exercise of personalism, a trait we should all desire! Some
people may not be trustworthy, others may not profit from knowing for
other reasons, like distress or worry or even scandal. Weigh those
considerations very, very carefully.
Being HIV+ has given me a bit of experience in this last regard.
There are those, I know, who think it imprudent to be as candid as I
am about my antibody status. However, I choose the candor for very
valid reasons and I do not apply them in every situation, with every
person I meet. Can't do that. Wouldn't be good for them or for me.
Might be sometime, isn't just yet.
This is very different thing from being secretive or closety. I need- we
all need- to weigh our audience. That's mindfulness of others. Some
weigh things far too cautiously. My experience has shown me that, while
being bold can be scary, it also call forth things from people that neither I
nor sometimes they knew they had going for them! Sometimes our candor can
bring out the best in all of us, or at least in most of us, and those
are the times to forge ahead!
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Many ardent prayers for Mario, substance abuse problem and getting help and treatment, may he stay clean and sober. Prayers, too, for his parents, D. and M. and all his family.
Prayers for Kristen, young wife & mother with serious cancer. Parishioners are praying to Ven. Rose Hawthorne for a miracle.
Prayers for Diana and her daughter, Diana left the Church long ago, prayers that they both may return.
Many ardent prayers for Steve, in hospice, that he may get all the Sacraments, and for his wife and family and all who will mourn him. Divine Mercy chaplets, please, from those so inclined.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Kathy, who died in her sleep, and strength for her husband, Mark and for their family. Kathy was a very devout prayer warrior.
Continued ardent prayers for Josh, drug problems and hopefully already in treatment.
Prayers for Patty, 56, who has been home battling bacterial pneumonia for over a week.
Prayers for the eternal rest of 35 girls killed in a fire at a state-run home for youth in Guatemala, and for their families and all who mourn them. Prayers, too, for the other girls at that facility, where allegations of abuse have prompted riots from those housed there.
Prayers for a man estranged from his children for many years, that they resume contact with him.
Prayers for E., that she go to Confession, also for Liz, that she go to Confession. It has been many years for both.
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 14, July 14, November 13
Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen
An hour before the meal let the weekly servers each receive a drink
and some bread over and above the appointed allowance, in order
that at the meal time they may serve their brethren without
murmuring and without excessive fatigue. On solemn days, however,
let them wait until after Mass.
Immediately after the Morning Office on Sunday, the incoming and
outgoing servers shall prostrate themselves before all the brethren
in the oratory and ask their prayers. Let the server who is ending
his week say this verse: "Blessed are You, O Lord God, who have
helped me and consoled me." When this has been said three times and
the outgoing server has received his blessing, then let the
incoming server follow and say, "Incline unto my aid, O God; O
Lord, make haste to help me." Let this also be repeated three times
by all, and having received his blessing let him enter his service.
Families, and parents and caregivers, listen up! There's an
important lesson here. No task is too small to be blessed by
prayer. More than that, no task is so easy that it can be done
without God's help, so remember to thank Him. Of ourselves, we can
do nothing, literally nothing. All our strength and power comes from God.
Making dinner or washing the dishes? Take a quiet moment in the
midst of either to say "Help!" and "Thanks!" Two simple, one word
prayers. No matter how chaotic your household, everyone will find
time for at least that. God knows the details, knows your heart and
can readily fill in the blanks! We may think God needs essay-length
prayers, but He doesn't. He may enjoy hearing from us, but trust
me, we NEVER tell Him anything that's news to Him.
This chapter is not simply the humility and charity of service, it
is also the honest acknowledgment of complete helplessness without
God. For most folks, only sickness or debility will teach them
that. It may seem like nothing to bend down and pick up a pin off
the floor until a bad back makes that impossible. Handicaps hone
our perceptions of being in charge very, very well.
Of course, there is another side to simple things like serving
table, picking up pins and the like. One could not have done
anything without God's help, but ah, if one does them out of love
and care! Bingo! Double coupons, so to speak! If that pin got
carefully picked up because of a barefoot and running child, or a
beloved pet who is prone to "tasting" whatever she can find on the
floor, simplicity becomes a very much greater matter, indeed. Now
it is very close to the heart of God, and that is a wonderful place
By the way, though some might think me daft for saying this, it is
not at all that crazy. There is no reason why families could not
bless whomever is assigned to a domestic task for a week or month
or whatever. A simple prayer asking God to help them serve us all
and get over any rough times could be tastefully done without a lot
of fuss. This could really help drive home the message of the worthwhile
merit to be had in doing small things with love!
Love and prayers,