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Holy Rule for Oct. 24

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Deo gratias, big-time: We prayed for Cheryl and others evacuated by the wildfire in California. The fire stopped 1/4 mile from their town line and the
    Message 1 of 78 , Oct 23, 2009

      Deo gratias, big-time: We prayed for Cheryl and others evacuated by the wildfire in California. The fire stopped 1/4 mile from their town line and the winds shifted so that it could be controlled. God is good!

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Cheryl, who had to put her beloved dog of nearly 15 years, Molly, to sleep.

      Jane, complications from MRSA infection acquired in the hospital, then renal failure and liver damage from the meds to treat it, along with anemia from bone marrow damage.

      Caroline, recurrent cancer.

      David, 9, chemo for cancer.

      James, who's working tremendously hard in his studies but still not making good grades and may get discouraged at poor results and lose faith in himself.

      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 23, June 24, October 24
      Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said

      Vespers are to be sung with four Psalms every day. These shall
      begin with Psalm 109 and go on to Psalm 147, omitting those which
      are set apart for other Hours; that is to say that
      with the exception of Psalms 117 to 127 and Psalms 133 and 142, all
      the rest of these are to be said at Vespers. And since there are
      three Psalms too few, let the longer ones of the above number be
      divided, namely Psalms 138, 143 and 144. But let Psalm 116 because
      of its brevity be joined to Psalm 115.

      The order of the Vesper Psalms being thus settled, let the rest of
      the Hour -- lesson, responsory, hymn, verse and canticle -- be
      carried out as we prescribed above.

      At Compline the same Psalms are to be repeated every day, namely
      Psalms 4, 90 and 133.


      Vespers and Compline are very different
      and refreshing. They are evening hours, not followed by work,
      except for the light clean up after supper, which is not a main
      meal here anyway. Vespers makes one think of finally getting home
      and shutting the door after a long day and a tough commute. It ends the
      workday, leaving the evening for family. Not shabby! A rite of passage from
      the job to the home hearth!

      A brief glance at the Psalms for Vespers will show that they are
      yet another example of consecutive, running psalmody. One right
      after another, except for a few which get bumped elsewhere or
      thoughtfully divided because of their length. Apparently by
      numerical happenstance, Psalm 140 winds us in the Vespers grouping,
      and it is most appropriate: "Let my prayer ascend to You like
      incense and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice."
      Historically, Psalm 140 has appeared in the Vespers or services of
      light (Lucenaria) of many, many rites.

      For active monasteries, or for busy Oblates in the world, evening
      and early morning are often the only times we get of relative
      cloister and focus. The morning hours are largely available to
      anyone willing or able to get up while the rest of the world
      (including the kids!)
      sleeps, the evening hours perhaps less so. Those evenings are
      family times par excellence and our first vocations must always be

      If, as a working parent or spouse, getting home means just getting
      started with dinner, don't despair! There is (or can be, if you
      provide for it,) a lot of undistracted solitude in cooking, even if
      it is rather harried cooking. If you can GENTLY establish a quiet
      space for yourself while cooking, go for it. The solitude of a
      kitchen at work feeding loved ones is a rich one, indeed. Be careful
      not to make your family crazy, though. That's why I stress GENTLY!
      The family comes first!

      If you are into CDs, get one of somebody else singing Vespers and
      play it. Heaven knows, if you can put up with the kids' music, they
      can put up with yours for half an hour a day. Even if you do not
      listen to every word, the soothing chant will settle into your bones,
      become a backdrop of peace on which you can position the rest of
      your evening. Give it a shot for two weeks and I'll bet you find
      your evening meals and later times very different, because YOU are

      A further plus is that the memory of you listening to Gregorian
      chant while cooking, admittedly a rather unusual practice, will
      stay in your children's minds long, long after you are gone. Who
      knows what a snippet of chant memory might do for a faith life years
      after you have died?

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      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

        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.
        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.


        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
        Petersham, MA

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