Holy Rule for Oct. 5
Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Dennis Rocheford, a military chaplain back from Iraq, who took his own life, and for all who mourn him.
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
R. and M., struggling in their marriage, the result of losing their adopted daughter to an incredibly poor court decision. This means their adopted daughter is living in the abusive home of her biological mother.
Fr David, for whom we have been praying. He is about to enter his last month of chemo, which has made him so sick. For this last month they have changed his routine, and he is having difficulty adjusting to it, so prayers please that all will go well.
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
February 4, June 5, October 5
Chapter 7: On Humility
The seventh degree of humility
is that he consider himself lower and of less account
than anyone else,
and this not only in verbal protestation
but also with the most heartfelt inner conviction,
humbling himself and saying with the Prophet,
"But I am a worm and no man,
the scorn of men and the outcast of the people" (Ps. 21:7).
"After being exalted, I have been humbled
and covered with confusion" (Ps. 87:16).
"It is good for me that You have humbled me,
that I may learn Your commandments" (Ps. 118:71).
No one need worry whether or not the blue jay population of our
forest will make it through the winter! The blue jays bully and terrorize
all the other birds at the feeder-
including members of their own species lower in the pecking order.
And it is LITERALLY a pecking order! While they are pretty birds,
once in action their belligerent personalities will dispel many a
Contrast the cardinals and chickadees, both far lovelier to look at,
and both well aware that they need to stay out of the jays' way! One
imagines that the cardinals, strikingly red, might be as numerous as
their blue cousins if they were anywhere near as combative. Below
even these in the hierarchy are the slate juncos. None too eye-
catching, a rather sooty gray, and spending almost all of their time
gleaning on the ground, not at the feeder. It is a niche they seem
not to mind at all. Their attraction is not in plumage, but in the
humility of their dispositions.
Of course, I watch all this and am amused.
These scrappy jays are fighting over a front yard that they don't
own. They are battling for food that is always there and will be
there in plenty. And hey, they are BIRDS, right? What's all this
idiocy about who's-better-than-who? It's like watching a lot of
Lilliputians in hand-to-hand, mortal combat. It's so silly that it is
laughable. This is my front yard, guys, not yours!
Whoops! Just fell into the same stupid snare as the birds....
One of the beautiful things the late Israeli astronaut on the
Columbia, Ilan Ramon, said about the view from space was that the
earth was just one beautiful blue ball, no boundaries, no borders,
all one. Surely that is a glimpse of how God sees it. Therein lies
the secret of humility: to see things as God sees them, because that
is how things truly are! That means seeing things like neither the
scrappy blue jay, nor the monk inside who just as foolishly thinks
something is his to control, that he has a privilege others do not,
that his hegemony must be protected at any cost!
Of course, it is all too easy to see things in an nation state way,
especially these days. One nation hates another or hates their
agenda. Ah, but that is how it has worked out! How it started was no
doubt one incident, lost in the mists of time, forgotten except for
the rivalry it engendered, which took on a life of its own. Perhaps
the progenitors of two warring Mideast nations of today met once at the same
oasis with their flocks. Maybe one decided it was hers, maybe both
did. At any rate, the fallout was terrible for centuries.
Each of us faces a desert oasis with others. How little we reflect
that our actions there could change history. We will never know until
heaven how our choices to assert or defer literally change the
history of the cosmos, however slightly. All things start out small,
but then they grow! Which outcome do you wish to nourish with your
life? What we do with our hearts affects the whole universe.
Love and prayers,
[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,