Holy Rule for Oct. 1
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Abbot Gabriel and Br. Raphael, both very ill.
Sister Germaine, awaiting tests for possible cancer.
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
January 31, June 1, October 1
Chapter 7: On Humility
The third degree of humility is that a person
for love of God
submit himself to his Superior in all obedience,
imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle says,
"He became obedient even unto death."
Merton once wrote "Love is the the Rule." That's what we can so often
miss. One obeys out of love, love of God. Trust my limited experience
here, please, there are few human beings on earth whose tool kit is so
complete that one can joyously follow and obey them without any
reserve or hesitation. On a purely human level, that would be
most unwise. But we are not dealing with a human level here.
We do follow without hesitation, but we do it for love, not for wisdom.
We do it for love, not for taste or class or savoir faire. We do it for love,
not because the superior is brilliant or right or gifted in any way. We
don't do it because of the superior at all, if we are going about things
the right way. Our obedience must be consistent, as must our faith, no
matter who is in charge. We do it for love, for love of God.
Anything less than love of God as a motive will fall flat on its
face, and sooner rather than later! It never takes long. Life itself,
within the cloister or without, is full of so much purblind stupidity
and outright rubbish that nothing else could sustain one other than love
of God. None but God can guarantee one's safety in holiness
in the midst of such a situation. It truly is Him we obey.
Mother or Father sometimes quite pointedly know nothing at all. The will
of God comes through to us in spite of them, not because they are
wise or stupid, but because of love, God's love for us and for them. Many
people in the church do the will of God for reasons that have little
to do with God!
They do it unwittingly, they may even do it cruelly or wrong-headedly, but
that hardly matters. I think there is a mystical point where the love
and will of God for one cannot ultimately be thwarted, where it is
actually advanced by humans who have not a clue what they are doing.
We do it for love, and that love will shield us, regardless, in the
armor of His will and of His infinite Divine Mercy which surrounds us.
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,