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Holy Rule for Oct.. 18

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for safe travel and a sucessful, grace-filled pilgrimage to the California Missions for Jim. Prayers, too, for the spiritual, mental and
    Message 1 of 78 , Oct 17, 2009
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for safe travel and a sucessful, grace-filled pilgrimage to the California Missions for Jim.

      Prayers, too, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of Don, end stages of 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

      February 17, June 18, October 18
      Chapter 14: How the Night Office Is to Be Said on the Feasts of the
      Saints

      On the feasts of Saints and on all festivals let the Office be
      performed as we have prescribed for Sundays, except that the
      Psalms, the antiphons and the lessons belonging to that particular
      day are to be said. Their number, however, shall remain as we have
      specified above.


      REFLECTION

      Every love life needs a bit of variety now and then, even the
      monogamous ones, even the celibate ones, and, let us face it, our
      prayer is (or ought to be!) a love life. Without marking certain
      days as special, our Office would quickly become a bland and tedious
      bore.

      On the other hand, mark too much as special and people soon get
      worn out. Variety itself becomes boring and a chore. One would quickly tire
      of that and it would destroy the very freshness and unity it was aiming
      to protect.

      Having lived in a monastery for part of the 1960's and 70's where
      the liturgy became the sad equivalent of a revolving door, changing
      often and not often well, I can speak from experience. It became
      dreadful to wonder what would happen next. It pulled out the
      necessary underpinnings of a certain stability and changelessness
      that a Benedictine life of prayer requires.

      Ah, but in the quest for simplicity carried to unfortunate
      extremes, it did, at times, become UTTERLY changeless. Same old
      same old, every single day with nothing different but the prayer at
      the end, if that. ("Oh boy, it must be Tuesday again....!") No
      antiphons, just psalms and canticles. No music other than the hymn,
      same seven each week for each hour, a few good, many bad.... No
      Glory be between Psalms, just one at the end. It was dull and gave
      even more of an impression of "let's just get this over with" than
      the old Office did at its very worst. One often wondered why we
      still bothered to go to choir.

      A balance between variety and stability is where the virtue truly
      lies. I have never heard anyone complain about singing or saying
      the same unchanging parts of the Mass every day, because they are
      set in the midst of elements that DO change. The same
      must be true of the Office to a certain extent. When SO much changes
      at feasts that one longs and pines for a weekday with one book and
      NOTHING special, that balance has been missed. On the other hand,
      the changeless mundane misses the balance as well. One should never
      have to come out of a "simple" Office and think quietly: "Wow, that
      was dumb...." (But I sometimes have.)

      St. Benedict built the necessary change right into his Office for
      monasteries. Ignore his bottom line or extend it unduly and you get
      into trouble. In this instance, as in so many, he was far wiser
      than we are, than people of any age are.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • carmelitanum
      +PAX Please continue prays for the recovery of our good Brother Jerome. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God s will is best. All is mercy and grace. God
      Message 78 of 78 , Oct 14, 2014
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        +PAX


        Please continue prays for the recovery of our good Brother Jerome.


        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 14, June 15, October 15
        Chapter 12: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said

        The Morning Office on Sunday shall begin with Psalm 66
        recited straight through without an antiphon.
        After that let Psalm 50 be said with "Alleluia,"
        then Psalms 117 and 62,
        the Canticle of Blessing (Benedicite) and the Psalms of praise (Ps.
        148-150);
        then a lesson from the Apocalypse to be recited by heart,
        the responsory, the verse,
        the canticle from the Gospel book,
        the litany and so the end.

        REFLECTION

        Ever notice how a loving parent makes allowances so the kids WON'T
        slip up or be discouraged? Good teachers do the same thing. Some
        things are made so deliberately easy that all of the students can
        generally make it through the hoop!

        St. Benedict does this with both morning Offices, beginning Vigils
        and Lauds with 2 psalms that are said every day. He even stresses
        that, at Lauds, the 66th Psalm is to be said slowly, so that the
        monastics may have time to gather.

        Those two Offices are the time people are most likely to be running
        late, either because they had to bound out of bed at the last minute,
        or because the "necessities of nature" break between Vigils and Lauds
        delayed them unexpectedly. It is worth noting that only with these
        two Offices, when tardiness can so easily occur, does the Holy Rule
        make such allowance. For a further bit of trivia, these four Psalms
        are repeated every day: one could miss them several times in a week
        and still have said all 150 Psalms in that week.

        Sometimes people (including, alas, ourselves!) can make unrealistic
        conditions and demand that others meet them. The concept of failure
        is built into those demands. We fence people about with our own
        standards that they could not possibly meet, then condemn them for
        failing to meet them! What a sad and tragic game.

        Take a self-inventory and check to see if there is anyone you dislike so
        intensely that they cannot be right, no matter what they do. If there are any
        such folks, it's time for you to change, not them! I recall, alas, one pastor
        who annoyed me so much that even when he used incense (something I ordinarily
        love,) I carped to myself that he didn't do it right. With me, he just could NOT
        win. Sigh... When things get that bad, it's ourselves who need the overhaul,
        not the presumed "offender."

        St. Benedict, by his example, teaches us to be the exact opposite. He
        shows us that we should be gentle and loving, that we should not be
        about setting burdens on others that are guaranteed to make them fail
        or quit or be discouraged. If we have received such kindness, we
        should pass it on!

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA


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