- +PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death of a woman now dying in New York, and for her eternal rest and for all who will mourn her. Prayers for Chuck, that aMessage 1 of 208 , Jul 20, 2009View Source+PAX
Prayers, please, for the happy death of a woman now dying in New York, and for her eternal rest and for all who will mourn her.
Prayers for Chuck, that a job prospect work out very soon.
Cindy, just diagnosed with breast cancer, for her husband, Pat, and their children and grandchildren.
Dot, high blood pressure problems.
Prayers, please for Br. Daniel of Pluscarden on his feastday, graces and
blessings and ad multos annos.
Prayers, please, for employment for John and for the job God wants him to
Prayers for Greg, on the anniversary of his Oblation.
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 21, July 21, November 20
Chapter 42: That No One Speak After Compline
Monastics ought to be zealous for silence at all times,
but especially during the hours of the night.
For every season, therefore,
whether there be fasting or two meals,
let the program be as follows:
If it be a season when there are two meals,
then as soon as they have risen from supper
they shall all sit together,
and one of them shall read the Conferences
or the Lives of the Fathers
or something else that may edify the hearers;
not the Heptateuch or the Books of Kings, however,
because it will not be expedient for weak minds
to hear those parts of Scripture at that hour;
but they shall be read at other times.
If it be a day of fast,
then having allowed a short interval after Vespers
they shall proceed at once to the reading of the Conferences,
as prescribed above;
four or five pages being read, or as much as time permits,
so that during the delay provided by this reading
all may come together,
including those who may have been occupied
in some work assigned them.
When all, therefore, are gathered together,
let them say Compline;
and when they come out from Compline,
no one shall be allowed to say anything from that time on.
And if anyone should be found evading this rule of silence,
let her undergo severe punishment.
An exception shall be made
if the need of speaking to guests should arise
or if the Abbess should give someone an order.
But even this should be done with the utmost gravity
and the most becoming restraint.
Anyone who lives in any family, monastic or otherwise, can attest
that undistracted silence in solitude is very hard to find. That is
precisely why St. Benedict deliberately and firmly carved this chunk
out of the monastic day. Believe me, it is a rare treat and a sacred
hush which blankets the already mysterious darkness of the night.
Not every community observes grand silence these days. Some have
abolished it or left it up to the individual. In one sense, that is
too bad: one of the reasons behind grand silence actually working so
well is that it is a social contract agreed upon and practiced by
all. It is done together, like most things in cenobitic community
life and that enhances both its power and its appeal. The whole place
more or less shuts down together. A few lights stay on longer than
others, but profound silence reigns.
There is a very close relationship between silence and solitude. Each
has the potential to produce the other. One can be all alone and
filled with noise and one can be silent in a group without any
solitude at all. All that is necessary is to add distractions of
whatever kind. The end of both silence and solitude is to free the
mind for God, for prayer, for rest in Him. Done right, a community of
a hundred in the same room could be individually as alone as a cave-
dweller on Mount Athos. Done wrong, one might as well be in Times
Ever know the joy of lovers alone when they know absolutely no one
will disturb their privacy? The door is locked, the phone is
unplugged, the world is theirs. Why? Because (at least hopefully,)
nothing will distract them from each other. So it is with silence and
solitude and God. That's what makes it so wonderful. Try to recall
that lover's joy, if you have ever known it, and you will have a
clear picture of what grand silence ought to be. The final relief and
joy of leaving the world outside one's door, the retreat into the
privacy of the inner chamber.
I will not pretend to be clever enough to tell Oblates in families
how they might find this. Creative ways probably exist, but you might
have to just wait for a visit to a monastery to get the full effect.
All I will say is that one must always carve silence out of any
family LOVINGLY, that's what makes it holy and sacred. If you become
at all cranky about it, the whole value is flushed and you might as
well watch a really mindless TV show. Silence and solitude can work
together, but only with the catalyst of love that makes them a
trinity of power and grace.
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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