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Holy Rule for Feb. 11

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Fr. Victor Gillespie, OSB, of New Subiaco Abbey, and for his Community and all who mourn him. Prayers for the
    Message 1 of 149 , Feb 10, 2010
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Fr. Victor Gillespie, OSB, of New Subiaco Abbey, and for his Community and all who mourn him.

      Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of the following, for all their loved ones and aall who take care of them:

      Sr. Germaine, OSB, dying at home of cancer, for her happy death, her Communityb and all who will mourn her.

      Jose, Lou Gehrig's disease/ALS, and for Beata, his wife.

      Michael, troubles with US Immigration over his residency card.

      Matthew, very stressful changing of jobs.

      Trish, who will get a report and prescribed program of treatment for a breast mass removed last week.

      Maurice, who was just told yesterday that he has malignant melanoma.

      Monica, cancerous lymph nodes removed, having chemo.

      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 11, June 12, October 12

      Chapter 9: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at the Night Office


      In winter time as defined above,
      there is first this verse to be said three times:
      "O Lord, open my lips,
      and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
      To it is added Psalm 3 and the "Glory be to the Father,"
      and after that Psalm 94 to be chanted with an antiphon
      or even chanted simply.
      Let the Ambrosian hymn follow next,
      and then six Psalms with antiphons.
      When these are finished and the verse said,
      let the Abbot give a blessing;
      then, all being seated on the benches,
      let three lessons be read from the book on the lectern
      by the brethren in their turns,
      and after each lesson let a responsory be chanted.
      Two of the responsories are to be said
      without a "Glory be to the Father"
      but after the third lesson
      let the chanter say the "Glory be to the Father,"
      and as soon as he begins it let all rise from their seats
      out of honor and reverence to the Holy Trinity.


      The books to be read at the Night Office
      shall be those of divine authorship,
      of both the Old and the New Testament,
      and also the explanations of them which have been made
      by well known and orthodox Catholic Fathers.


      After these three lessons with their responsories
      let the remaining six Psalms follow,
      to be chanted with "Alleluia."
      After these shall follow the lesson from the Apostle,
      to be recited by heart,
      the verse
      and the petition of the litany, that is "Lord, have mercy on us."
      And so let the Night Office come to an end.


      REFLECTION

      Keeping Vigils is one of the things monastics do and have done from
      time immemorial. Monasteries are structured to make that possible.
      Things that are never easy are at least possible in monasteries
      because everything has been geared toward that end.

      Oblates in the world may sometimes express regret that they cannot
      keep the whole monastic Office, but let me assure you, there are
      Vigils kept by Oblates of which monastics have no clue. Sure, it's
      hard to get up in the dark and say 14 psalms, but monastics need
      never face the harder, lonelier Vigils spent beside a desperately ill
      spouse or child. They need not face the terror of long insomniac
      nights of financial dread and worry, which compounds when one
      realizes that oversleeping might cost one one's job. The vocations in
      which Oblates find themselves often more than compensate for whatever
      asceticism one might find in a cloister!

      But, you see, that is how it ought to be: all the graces we need for
      holiness, for sainthood, are built right into our situations. The
      monk need not long for parenthood, nor the parent for the cloister.
      Each vocation is different and appropriately varied, but every
      vocation carries within it exactly the mercy and the means of grace which
      God knew from all eternity would be most perfect for us.

      We must train ourselves with great care to really will whatever God wills
      for us. This is different from merely passive acceptance. This is actually
      wanting whatever God sends out of deep faith that it is tailored flawlessly
      to our best growth in holiness. The best book ever written on this practice,
      in my opinion, is "Abandonment to Divine Providence", by Father Jean-Pierre
      de Caussade, SJ. I heartily recommend it and it is still in print after
      several
      centuries, a real classic! Great Lenten reading!

      Never, ever think that a night spent sleepless for a sick child
      doesn't count as many, many, MANY Vigils! Benedictines live and
      thrive in all manner of environments today, and some of the best of
      them are not in choir in the wee hours, but that matters absolutely
      not at all!

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

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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Don, for whom we prayed, has died without seeing the Priest. Ardent prayers for the repose of his soul and for his brother, Jim, his wife and family and
      Message 149 of 149 , Jun 6, 2010
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        Don, for whom we prayed, has died without seeing the Priest. Ardent prayers for the repose of his soul and for his brother, Jim, his wife and family and all who mourn him.

        Kaitlin, whose test we prayed for has also been able to get out of the bad real estate deal she was enmeshed in. Deo gratias, and thanksgiving prayers!

        Lola, whose back surgery we prayed for, has now developed pain/numbness in her other leg. Unsure of the cause, possibly a bone chip or spur, they are taking her back to surgery this afternoon. Continued prayers, please, and for her brother, Richard and all their family.

        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 6, June 7, October 7
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The ninth degree of humility
        is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence,
        not speaking until he is questioned.
        For the Scripture shows
        that "in much speaking there is no escape from sin" (Prov. 10:19)
        and that "the talkative man is not stable on the earth" (Ps. 139:12).

        REFLECTION

        OK, if you are a parent, you cannot speak to your children only when
        they question you. The therapy bills in later years would be
        astronomical. There are many situations in a Benedictine life lived
        in the world, among non-monastics, where this has to be altered, but
        its kernel of truth must be discovered and maintained.

        WHY do we talk needlessly? Quite often it is nothing more than a
        trick to change the reality around us. We are bored, or we feel we
        are not getting enough attention or we think the mood too heavy, so
        we speak to change whatever annoys us at the moment. I should know.
        I am infamous for creating my own entertainment when things seem
        dull to me. That's not always a great idea...

        Some tough moments, some difficult stuff are meant to be endured.
        They are part of our necessary learning and growth. Ever notice how
        we assess a child's maturity by its ability to be quiet and non-
        fidgety in surroundings (like Church!) that do not spoon feed its
        attention span? Well, the same is true of us at every stage. We do
        ourselves harm if we defuse every single tense moment with a word or
        two. We cheat ourselves.

        All too often we speak only to remind the universe around us, which
        has carelessly forgotten for a second that we are its center, of a
        whole bevy of falsehoods: I am the cutest, smartest, or wittiest, I
        have the solution to all of this. What folly on the part of the
        entire cosmos to forget our importance! Better speak to clear the
        matter up...

        Those who know me are thinking: "HE wrote THIS?!?" Yes, alas, I am
        guilty of all I wrote. Three times a year the Holy Rule reminds me of
        that and each time I am aware that I need to work on it. Thanks be to
        God, the Rule IS read three times a year: usually by the time the
        next reading comes up, my interest has flagged and I have to start
        over. As for the part about the talkative not being "stable on the
        earth," well, there have been times in the last 18 years
        when God had to nail my feet to the floor to keep me faithful and I am
        not dead yet... I have not always been His most willing pupil, but
        oh, is He ever patient! And infinitely merciful!

        But, as one Desert Father said, that's what we do all day in
        monasteries: "We fall down and we get up."

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



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