Holy Rule for July 26
A blessed feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin, to all and especially prayers for all our Anns and Joachim's on their nameday.
Prayers for our Br. Bernard on the anniversary of his solemn profession.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Marjorie, 70, who passed away from cancer early Friday morning. She was a fallen away Catholic who did not want any of the sacraments before she died and not because she didn't believe in God but she did not feel worthy to receive them as she felt like a sinner and had fear of our Lord. Ardent prayers for her eternal rest.
Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Dave, multiple musculo-skeletal problems keeping him from his active exercise routine and the lack of activity is stressing and depressing him. Pray that he can allow God's love and will to be manifest in his life in the way He intends.
Thomas, celebrating seven years of sobriety, Deo gratias!!
Jenny, Don & their family as there is a
great amount of spiritual warfare going on. Daughter Beth needs extra strength
from God in dealing with a crisis in her life.
Brendan, possible right eye hemorrhage and needing to lie at 30 degree angle till he sees the doctor on Monday, possible retinal involvement, 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
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.
The Chapter of Faults, wherein monastics confessed public, external
faults, had become rather routine the way it was practiced before Vatican
II. I remember, years ago, seeing a glossary list of Latin phrases used
to describe different faults. As practiced, I'm not sure it was the most
useful thing in the world at all.
However, look at the kernel here, important for both monasteries and
families: communication. What St. Benedict wrote about was not the
formalized and largely empty ritual that the late 20th century had come
to know, it was an airing session of sorts. These can be very useful.
People in any life are often reluctant to open up about what bothers
them, monastics are often even more so! To provide a structured way and
time to do so might have given some just the extra distance and
protection they needed.
Slights and wrongs and hurts that lie hidden and unexpressed can
fester into a spreading, malignant growth. Note that the Holy Rule
bids us never let the sun set on our anger. We have to get the things
that REALLY bother us out. This hardly means a free for all, that would
be very contrary to the whole spirit of the Rule, but it does mean that
genuine differences must be solved in an open and
respectful and humble way.
The way for today's community or family may not be to do this all
together- but then again that might not be all bad, occasionally. At
any rate and however we do it, St. Benedict asks us to own up to our
failures and those of others because he knows it is terribly damaging
not to do so. A important item here is that the all the members must
feel safe to express themselves. How many kids who were afraid to open
their mouths to a parent about really serious troubles in their
relationship are still in therapy years later?
Whether alone or in a group, when we confess our fault to others, we
lighten our load. When we honestly and gently tell others that they have
hurt us or wronged us, we are often surprised to find that they were
unaware of having done so- no wonder they "kept right on doing it!" We
can also be wonderfully surprised at the depth of feeling with which
apologies may be made. Very often the gentle and loving exposure of a
problem between people gives us remarkable opportunities to show our
nobler side and to see that side of our brothers and sisters.
The goal of this is peace, so it must never be done for any other
motive, for anything less than loving. There is the danger that we
lose track of the important "difference between the virtue of honesty
and the vice of brutal frankness" as my friend, Fr. Roger used to say.
This must never become an accepted arena for getting back at one
another. The whole purpose here is to end strife, not perpetuate it.
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,