Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of James Delorey, 7, an autistic child who died of hypothermia after being lost in the Canadian woods for two nights. Prayers for his family and all who mourn him and prayers for the many searchers and others who tried to help. The child was found, barely alive, but his life could not be saved.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Daniel, 51, and Sr. Denise, OCSO, murdered in anti-Christian violence in the Congo and for the eternal rest of Fr. Louis, 70, killed in a robbery of his rectory in South AFrica.
Prayers for Abbot Isaac, recovering from surgery
Fr. Gerry, broken arm and torn shoulder after a fall, and for Fr. Bill, his brother, for whom Fr. Gerry is principal caregiver.
Prayers for Br. Felix, studying for the priesthood in Rome.
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
April 9, August 9, December 9
Chapter 56: On the Abbess's Table
Let the Abbess's table always be with the guests
and the pilgrims. But when there are no guests,
let it be in her power to invite whom she will of the sisters.
Yet one or two seniors must always be left with the others
for the sake of discipline.
Let me give you a bit of pragmatic application here. I don't know if
this is true everywhere, but in both houses I have actually lived in,
the monks tended to eat rather fast. Secularly speaking, I have a
reputation for being a fast eater when dining alone, even though I have
sometimes wondered about how good that is for digestion! Here,
however, with no conversation to slow me down at all, the monks eat
like the wind and I am always the last one, even when gulping down as
fast as I can.
Anyway, the upshot here is that guests OFTEN dine more slowly than
the monastics and we all get up together for grace. If the guests are
where the Abbot can see them, it is easier to check on who's done and
who isn't. We wait for them to finish. (At least 99% of the time. I
have known especially slow guests to win at this face-off once or
twice! We just said grace and left them to finish...)
Monastics (like children or spouses!) can be dreadful creatures of
habit, you should pardon the pun... I can tell you that sometimes
that waiting seems interminable. I can also tell you that it is good
for us, for all of us, and this applies equally to families. We
ALLOW, even enable and encourage the guest to inconvenience us to a
certain extent. That's part of our hospitality, part of receiving
Christ, sometimes in an annoying disguise.
Oblates in families or the world, trust me on this one, I know
company can sometimes be a pain. I had company most of the time
for most of eleven years. While I relished the occasional day
when the house was empty, they were fewer and farther between each
year. The message here is not only for guests in our homes, but for
others in general, at work, when shopping or (horrors!) driving. LET
others put you out a bit. Adopt a courtesy that is greater than the
world's. Many works of genuine mercy can be done in such situations.
A courteous, hospitable, Christian attitude of charity can stand out, really touch
people. You don't have to be obnoxiously preachy, in fact, that has
the opposite effect! The subtle grace and love of courtesy will lead
a lot of people to wonder about you and what motivates you. Some of
the braver ones will one day even ask. And there is your chance! Go
slowly and gently, but tell them why.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]