Holy Rule for Dec. 14
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Alex, acutely ill and in intensive care with sepsis. He is also awaiting dialysis.
Jackie, and her husband. Jackie has been successfully treated for Lymphoma,but has developed leukemia. It has resisted all treatment and she is expected to die within weeks, perhaps days. Should God wish to call her, for her happy death and eternal rest and for all who will mourn her.
Jenny and her husband, Roger, are also facing some health and family concerns.
Safe travels for S. and good travelling weather.
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 14, August 14, December 14
Chapter 60: On Priests Who May Wish to Live in the Monastery
If any ordained priest should ask to be received into the monastery,
permission shall not be granted too readily. But if he is quite
persistent in his request, let him know that he will have to observe
the whole discipline of the Rule and that nothing will be relaxed in
that it may be as it is written: "Friend, for what have you come
It shall be granted him, however, to stand next after the Abbot and
to give blessings and to celebrate Mass, but only by order of the
Without such order let him not make any exceptions for himself,
knowing that he is subject to the discipline of the Rule; but rather
let him give an example of humility to all.
If there happens to be question of an appointment or of some business
in the monastery, let him expect the rank due him according to the
date of his entrance into the monastery, and not the place granted him
out of reverence for the priesthood.
If any clerics, moved by the same desire, should wish to join the
monastery, let them be placed in a middle rank. But they too are to
be admitted only if they promise observance of the Rule and stability.
The quintessential question of the Holy Rule is that of
Jesus: "Friend, for what have you come?" The only acceptable answer
to the question is: "To seek God." That might be rephrased in any of
a number of ways, but that's the main event, the only game in town,
the end all be all of Benedictine monastic life.
It is very necessary, in stating that we seek God, to admit that we
haven't altogether found Him yet, nor will we ever do so before
death. Even in the beatific vision of heaven itself, we creatures
will never, ever get to the root of our Creator, to the "ground zero"
of God. Ain't gonna happen.
Another way of saying this is that we need to come to the Holy Rule
and to the Gospel and to Christ admitting how frighteningly little we
DO know, how very much we need to learn. If we think an MDiv or an MD
or a BS may have corrected that problem, even slightly, well, maybe
the degree is just about all we've gotten from the experience.
For heaven's sake, after spending so many years of my life trying to
become clever, what a tremendous relief it is to be admittedly dumb:
pluperfectly, fallibly, humanly, screamingly, shriekingly DUMB! Boy,
I love it! Ignorance truly *IS* bliss, just like they told ya!
In one sense, I heartily recommend it. It is the only position from
which one may learn anything at all. Get too smart (or think you
have!) and you will never listen, thereby failing another Benedictine
hallmark. You won't learn because all your energy will go into
composing your rejoinder or response. Such people do not learn. They
merely joust. Life is more than that, much more. Tons more.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- +PAXPlease 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,