Holy Rule for Mar. 27
Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of the following and for all who mourn them:
Dom Alban Boutlwood, 97, first Abbot of St. Anselm's Abbey, Washington, DC, and for his Community and their Oblates.
George, whose anniversary is this week, and his wife, Eileen, who died three years after him.
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of Justin, an extraordinarily intelligent young man suffering with schizophrenia. His illness has become out of control and is effecting him and his family in very serious and debilitating ways. Prayers for thenm and for those who take care of him, too.
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 27, July 27, November 26
Chapter 47: On Giving the Signal for the Time of the Work of God
The indicating of the hour for the Work of God
by day and by night
shall devolve upon the Abbot
either to give the signal himself
or to assign this duty to such a careful brother
that everything will take place at the proper hours.
Let the Psalms and the antiphons be intoned
by those who are appointed for it,
in their order after the Abbot.
And no one shall presume to sing or read
unless he can fulfill that office
in such a way as to edify the hearers.
Let this function be performed
with humility, gravity and reverence,
and by him whom the Abbot has appointed.
A quickie here that applies to all, in monastery or out. It sometimes
happens that we desire a job we ought not to have. It sometimes
happens that we get a job that is too much for us and realize that in
the midst of things. These are times for the great truthfulness of
humility, to either stop seeking the task in question or to frankly
admit that we cannot do it as it should be done.
Such honesty is hard, to be sure. Our hearts get in the way. We are
attached to things which are in themselves good, but which would not
be good for us. Not everyone would make a great parent, but there are
plenty of people who want to be badly, whether in fact they would be
good at it or not! Whoops! Tough on the kid there! There are also
people who would be superb parents who cannot be, yet another
thing to be accepted truthfully.
Anyone who has ever seen karaoke or open mike night or a piano bar
knows that MANY who would love to be cabaret singers are far from
that! What our hearts call us to is not always true, alas! Perhaps
most of us have also known people who would have been fantastic
spouses who are quite inexplicably alone.
A big part of discerning here is careful, frank self-examination and
self-knowledge. Another huge piece of the puzzle is looking at where
we REALLY are and where God has presumably placed us. Not everything
is open to every age, place or time. Were I to decide that I
absolutely HAD to become a flamingo farmer in central New England,
the flamingoes would be MOST unhappy by next December or so, and most
likely all dead well before February! See what I mean?
Because our hearts are involved, there is pain when the thing desired
is not for us. That is hard, beloveds, but pain need not be futile or
useless. Unite your pains to those of Christ and His Mystical Body,
to those of His Passion that all of us help bear throughout the rest
of time. Then the Father will see only His beloved Son when He looks
at us. Then the world will be somehow better and helped by our
suffering, mute and unknown. Nothing is wasted with God and His
Divine Mercy. Nothing! Nothing at all!
A very significant postscript to all this: it is ourselves we should be
looking at. Rarely, if ever, should we feel called upon to deliver such a
message of being out of place to another. There are superiors and
bosses for that in most instances, and self-appointed arbiters of
anything at all are quite frequently a pitiable lot, spiritually speaking.
Love and prayers and don't waste suffering, y'all!
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I have no idea why this didn't go through yesterday. Catching up. BJL+PAXPrayers for the grace-filled success of our Oblate Day and our Sisters' Monastic Experience weekend at Petersham and for all participating.Urgent prayers needed for Brian's brother-in-law, Paul. He is a diabetic, and now has been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. It is stage 3, and a biopsy this coming Tuesday will check to see if he is stage 4. He will be starting chemo & radiation. His wife is devastated. Brian has known Paul since they were very young, loves him like a brother and is crushed. Please pray for Paul, his wife, Brian and all their family and friends.Deo gratias, the twin's fluid build up is gone.
Prayer for Brian T.,( another Brian,) who is being viciously harrassed.
Prayers for JS, discernment and assistance in making an important life decision.
Prayers for Beverly, special intention plus dicernment regarding another of perplexing issues..
Deo gratias for all prayers and graces of the past.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,