- +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of the nine people killed in the subway crash in Washington, DC, and for those who mourn them and for the many othersMessage 1 of 208 , Jun 25, 2009View Source+PAX
Prayers for the eternal rest of the nine people killed in the subway crash in Washington, DC, and for those who mourn them and for the many others injured.
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
One who has a history of attempted suicide now being daily tempted to suicide.
Father Ron, now on 30-day retreat after which entering retirement after 48 years in priesthood
Grant, age 8, recovering from serious eye injury and surgery, sight has been saved, but still serious for a little one.
Deo gratias for Doug, whose wife was with him when he went into diabetic shock and knew what to do to pull him out of it. Continued prayers for his diabetes.
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.
February 25, June 26, October 26
Chapter 19: On the Manner of Saying the Divine Office
We believe that the divine presence is everywhere
and that "the eyes of the Lord
are looking on the good and the evil in every place" (Prov. 15:3).
But we should believe this especially without any doubt
when we are assisting at the Work of God.
To that end let us be mindful always of the Prophet's words,
"Serve the Lord in fear" (Ps. 2:11)
and again "Sing praises wisely" (Ps. 46:8)
and "In the sight of the Angels I will sing praise to You" (Ps.
Let us therefore consider how we ought to conduct ourselves
in sight of the Godhead and of His Angels,
and let us take part in the psalmody in such a way
that our mind may be in harmony with our voice.
Students act differently (usually worse, alas...) for a substitute
teacher. Employees are different when the boss is off for the day.
These assortments of different behavior are pretty much shot through
the human condition, though not necessarily always a good idea.
Sometimes, we conduct ourselves in an artificially nice (or bold)
manner because we do NOT know with whom we are dealing. Our
politeness or our shyness or boldness can be terribly false facades.
Whether our projections are attempts to be cool and with it or
decidedly cultured and subtle, they can be masks at times.
The message here is no masks. Know Him in Whose presence and House
you are. But really KNOW Him. That can take a lifetime of trying on
and shedding as false different modes of conduct.
God, like so many things, is very Benedictine in His perfection,
which stands between the extremes in which we are prone to think of
Him. If you think God is pretty much like the strictest teacher you
ever had, who ran a real death camp of a classroom, guess again.
You're dead wrong.
On the other hand, neither is God some smiling, spinelessly
"tolerant" chap Who will put up with any and all behavior with a shrug,
though I surely hope He has chuckled at some of my earthier moments
more than once! God has standards and He has shared them with us.
Both extreme views of God are wrong, not surprisingly! The middle
perfection of God is His love and His mercy, His Heart which knows the
demands of justice better than anyone, but always, always tends to
mercy. Mercy is God's greatest attribute, the perfect function of His
God is Parent and Creator and we are always creatures, but we are not
always children. We have to grow to the adult relationship with God
that fortunate children eventually share with their parents. (If we
never got to do this, and many haven't, establishing such honesty
with God is possibly going to be a bit of a chore... Keep trying!)
As we grow in our knowledge of God, our behavior around Him (and we
are ALWAYS "around Him", that's another clear message of the Holy
Rule!) changes. It becomes more real and more natural. It changes with
a very clear eye to Whom God is and who we are. It changes from
knowledge born of love and security.
A final little word here about the angels. We are in the sight
of "the Godhead and His angels." Protestant churches which would
not approve of prayer to saints can find ample Scriptural bases for
praying to angels! Again and again we see people conversing with
God's messengers in the Bible. Hence, don't waste 'em! None of us is
so rich as to afford to ignore friends!
Let the angels help. Ask them to help you on your road. The briefest
glance at their Scriptural track record will show one that that is something
they are very good at! Ditto protection. I ask the angels to guard the houses
of all on my prayer list every single night.
Love and prayers,
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- +PAX PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL BE AWAY FROM OCT. 6-14. ON THOSE DAYS, PLEASE SEND PRAYER REQUESTS TO MICHAEL LOPICCOLO. If you are on his list or my Holy RuleMessage 208 of 208 , Oct 5, 2009View Source+PAX
PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL BE AWAY FROM OCT. 6-14. ON THOSE DAYS, PLEASE SEND PRAYER REQUESTS TO MICHAEL LOPICCOLO. If you are on his list or my Holy Rule list, you can just reply to the Holy Rule post, otherwise, send them to carmelitanum@...
Bishop Rawsthorne, for whom we prayed as a member of the African Synod, is staying at the Venerable English College in Rome, where one of our readers, Sr. Mary Joseph, OSB, works. She told him that he was on our list for prayers and he was delighted and asked that thanks be extended to all. Small world! Continued prayers for him and the Synod, please.
Prayers for all Carthusians on the feast of St. Bruno, their founder. They spend their lives praying for the world, for all of us, let us return the favor.
Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the folloiwng, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Deo gratias, for Maggi, free of cancer, now prayers that the lung damage from chemo and radiation may be repaired.
Heather, about to have tests done on her heart, having a lot of problems with chest and neck pain. Please pray this turns out to be nothing serious.
Continued prayers for Cheryl and all evacuated by the wildfire in California.
Cindy who is being operated on today for pancreatic cancer.
Kelia, in the hospital with abdominal pain and a high white cell count.
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 5, June 6, October 6
Chapter 7: On Humility
The eighth degree of humility
is that a monk do nothing except what is commended
by the common Rule of the monastery
and the example of the elders.
Well, this one looks deceptively simple enough. Just try it! I speak
as one who has frequently failed it and who sometimes* fails it
still. [* I only fail it on special occasions: Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday.... you get the picture.] This step of humility,
by the way, will translate very easily into family life, the
neighborhood, or the workplace.
The goal here is not just external uniformity so much as internal
detachment. We are deeply attached to the things we do. Demanding to
do things our own way is not humble. When vocation observers come to the
monastery, for the monks or the nuns, I often see little quirks of
external piety in church and think: "Well, that'll have to go..."
One cannot profitably go through monastic formation cherishing the
notion that one has got it right and one's elders have it wrong. You
may even be right, or the matter may be completely neutral. (The
term "optional" comes to mind, but that was NOT used to express
neutrality!) That's not the issue here. Detachment and humility are.
When we singularize ourselves without real moral imperative, the
message given to the whole community is "I know better." That this is
not warmly received in a junior or newcomer should come as no
surprise. A monastic family is like any spouse: you had better not
marry what you hope to change them into, but only what they ARE. If
we fail this, we change "Thy will be done" into "MY will be done!"
and we do so with sorry results.
No spouse is perfect, neither is any family, monastery or job, but if
you expect to change them right off the bat, you're doomed to woe. In
monastery and marriage and workplace, the only person you can REALLY
change is yourself and the sooner you get around to doing that, the
better for all concerned.
The sad thing (and I am guilty here!) is that sometimes these things
we do on our own have nothing to do with piety at all. They are,
pure and simple, revolt, passive aggression, small, though very
public ways of expressing our scorn for this or that concept or
person. Having lived in the Church of the 60's and 70's, I picked up
the idea of refusal as a kind of non-violent demonstration. Not quite
as laudable as my youthful self may have thought!
I also must say that, in those less-than-halcyon days, I picked it up
from my monastic seniors, just not always the best seniors! I still
do it at times, and I still wrestle with paring those times down day
by day. The hardest humility and obedience are to things we truly
think are dumb and do not matter. The difficulty alone must mean
there is great potential for growth there.
An interesting aside here. The dissenter often thinks she is a grand
and eloquent witness for justice and truth. The stubborn monk thinks
he has scored a real victory for integrity and correctness. In fact,
those who live with them often think they're just silly and pathetically
off the mark. Of the two impressions, this last is closer to truth!
It is also interesting to note (again, from sorry personal experience,)
that the rebel often looks at other rebels (with whom he does not agree,
so they are, of course, WRONG...) as silly. Wow! If one can be so right
about those other rebels, how come the other monastics aren't right about
Love and prayers,
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